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MAGNIFICATION

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.76 | 790 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

thehallway
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 'Time and a Word', you are no longer needed!

This is the product of 10 hard years of work trying to get rid of unwanted band members, going from about 200 on Union to a splendid 4 here. And all of them are survivors from the "classic" period. So, what do you do when you can't quite sway your most beloved keyboard wizard? You do the next best thing of course. Replace his array of sounds with the 70 something timbres of a symphony orchestra. And this time it worked!

Every song on 'Magnification' has at least one good attribute, and many have more. The orchestra is perfectly integrated as an extra band member, providing counter- themes and melodies that actually help build the songs rather than simply decorate them. This is no last-minute embellishment job. The strings, brass, and woodwind are all essential to the compositions, providing a refreshingly high-quality symphonic album, that for once doesn't scream "mid-career crisis". 'In the Presence of' is special enough to have a place in the classics; the band's first truly amazing song since 'Awaken'. It's beautiful and powerful, incorporating that all-important contrast between light and dark. This song could have easily been on 'Close to the Edge'. 'Dreamtime' is almost as great, with very energetic and emotive playing (although it does seem dangerously close to the "world" style that was prominent on 'The Ladder'). 'Give Love Each Day', 'Magnification' and 'We Agree' are very good songs covering an array of structures and colours. But even the least significant material isn't bad, providing much-needed relief inbetween chunkier songs, and demonstrating the effectiveness of Squire on lead vocals, and the importance of Howe's acoustic guitar tinkling.

'Magnification' is a very solid, only very occasionally drab, long-lasting selection of orchestral delights. It's worth 4.5 stars really.

thehallway | 4/5 |

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