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Yes - Magnification CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 1093 ratings

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4 stars I just wanted to add my two cents (and four stars) to some of the recent reviews by listeners who have either discovered or re-discovered this album. And for those who have never heard it: anyone who thinks that a Yes album cannot be great (yes, great) without Bruford and/or Wakeman; scads of non-standard time signatures; and/or ultra-textured layers of atmosphere, needs to listen to this absolutely remarkable, joyous album.

No, it's not The Yes Album, Fragile or Close to the Edge. But it occasionally comes closer than one might expect, and is as good as any of them in its own way. For one thing, it is more heart than head, and all the more uplifting for that. It also has some of the most well-crafted compositions since the Tales/Relayer period. Indeed, even the shorter songs have multiple sections, expertly intertwined. And everyone is in fine form: White is as good as he's ever been (occasionally sounding quite Bruford-esque); Howe is his usual tasty self; Squire is featured here more than he has been in some time; and Anderson's voice has rarely been as solid and expressive.

And although there are no keyboards, it is amazing how little one misses them, particularly here, since the orchestrations are superb: neither overwhelming nor overly sparse, but perfectly appropriate and well- written. In fact, not counting the Moody Blues (who basically wrote the book here), I would say this is the best blending of rock band and orchestra after Wakeman's Myths & Legends.

Taken on its own terms, this album easily ranks alongside Time and a Word and Going For the One - and in places equals the best of Yes' albums - i.e., the things we love to love them for.

So go ahead, don't be shy. If you've never heard it - or haven't heard it in a while - put the CD in, put on those headphones, and be prepared to smile.


maani | 4/5 |


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