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Yes - Magnification CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.72 | 1099 ratings

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Winter Wine
4 stars This is an EXCELLENT achievement for a band already over thirty five years into their career. Apart from Jons vocals been astonishingly great, the rest of the band really seem to be working so well with one another, Howe on stunning form in particular. This record (it may surprise you to know) features no keyboard player, but instead, The San Diego orchestra. The orchestra fills in a lot of the colour that would normally have been filled by the keyboards, and does a wonderful job at creating the moods and textures to match Andersons wonderful words.

This album does contain some of Yes' best material, including the seventies greats. The opener "Magnification" has powerful vocal melodies, great guitar and a crashing outro that would remind you of King Crimson. The song drifts right into the following "Spirit of survival", which altogether has a much harsher edge and a fantastic bass line from the always excellent Chris Squire. Some may feel that "Don't go" is a bit of a useless pop song, in truth it IS a pop song, but a great one, A nice catchy chorus and again strong vocals between Squire and Anderson. The only fault in this track is the rather cheesy guitar part at the beginning. "Give love each day" is yet another highlight, it is particularly on this track that the orchestra shines, the intro being stunningly beautiful and immediately reminding me of some of the work from Tchaikovsky I have heard. As the band enter Howe plays some excellent almost "edgey" guitar, but as most tracks on the album do, sounds uplifting and positive. "Can you imagine" features Squire on lead vocals and although short, is a strong track revived from sessions that took place in the eighties.

The two longer tracks "Dreamtime" and "In the presence of" are powerful, the latter including some beautiful piano from White. It is on this track that Anderson really shines as a lyricist "If we were flowers we would worship the sun so why not now? This light is burning brightly, brighter than before", maybe he is referring to the bands stunning return to form? and on the magnificent "Dreamtime" Howe opens with fast, inviting spanish guitar and has some excellent moments (Particularly the big change with odd funk elements, and tribal sounding percussion). Though the album as a whole is strong, there are a couple of songs that do seem almost pointless to include as the album is already quite long, "Soft as a dove" and "Time is time" (which closes the album) two short songs that although not bad (Howe plays fantastic acoustic guitar on soft as a dove), one would still wonder why they were included in an already long album.

None the less any Yes fan should have this album in their collection. It as an amazing achievement, and I hope Yes release another album as good as this.

Winter Wine | 4/5 |


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