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Yes - Magnification CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 1197 ratings

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2 stars I guess by this stage Yes had realised that most of their fan-base was middle-aged and created this work according. The sensibility is that of "time and a word" filtered through modern recording techniques and some of the clichés Yes had learned in the 80s.

Oddly I had just been previously listening to the 'symphonic music of yes' an album of arrangements of Yes classics which inhabits a sound world similar to this; inoffensive orchestra dominated by high strings, Carpenters-like choral singing etc. But not many people consider that a 5 star album.

The title track introduces an acoustic opening with vague hints of 'world music' it what sounds like panpipes accompanying until high strings add sweetness. This is the basic archetype for all the subsequent songs although what sounds like a banjo (?) delightfully adds piquancy near to the end.

'The spirit of survival' is a harder edged piece. This has some progressive aspirations but only in the context of the post-1980s Yes.

"Don't go" sound like it come off either of Yes's first two albums. The punchy string accompaniment is however effective.

"Give love each day" brings with an orchestral introduction which reminds me of the Peter Knight arrangements on the Moody Blues' Days of future passed. Then some vague 'world music' sounds and slick electric guitar. The song itself is actually pretty decent.

"Can you imagine" is a brief filler. Its very bland and sung by Squire.

"We agree" has some classical guitar and woodwind. After this imaginative opening, the song is not very good.

The charming "soft as a dove" is sadly too brief. It has some subtle writing for woodwind and solo violin.

More classical guitar (this time with hints of Albeniz) and solo violin make a good start on 'Dreamtime' but then disappear. Then full orchestra and somewhat African drumming. I'm reminded of Teakbois from ABWH, a low-point on that album. I think this lasts even longer. The orchestral postludes is one of the more interesting things here.

The piano intro to "In the presence of" is easily the most memorable tune on the album. It is probably the outstanding cut but the Yes of old could have made so much more than the bland mush here. It is dutifully divided into 4 sections like Yes songs from the past, as if to emphasize its importance.

The short "Time is time" is another one which could have come off an early album. It is a good tune and makes an agreeable finale.

In the end this is an easy listening album. But it is not progressive or very varied.

2 and a half stars.

Cheesehoven | 2/5 |


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