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Yes - Magnification CD (album) cover

MAGNIFICATION

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.76 | 812 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
4 stars When I read that Yes was recording a new album with an orchestra I wasnīt very interested, so when it was finally released my interest to buy it didnīt improve. It was until much later, and really until I went to see Yes playing in one venue in my city ten years ago (in early December 2002) when I saw them playing two songs from this album ("Magnification" and "In the Presence of") with Rick Wakeman on keyboards that my opinion changed. But it really was until I bought their "Live in Montreux 2003" DVD that I finally saw them playing these songs very well that I finally became interested to listen to this album as a whole. Also the price was a bit expensive in comparison to other new CDs which were released then, so it really prevented me to buy it. I really expected a "quiet" album, but while it is still a "soft" album in many ways, it still has very good songs. At the time of the recording of this album Yes was without a keyboard player, so they decided to replace the keyboard parts with the use of an orchestra. While I didnīt like very much the use of an orchestra in their "Time and a Word" album from 1970, the use of the orchestra in this album is very well done, with the orchestra really working very well with the rest of the instruments played by the band, and it was very well recorded and mixed, so you can listen to everything having a "space" without "buring" any instrument as it happened in their "Time and a Word" album (which has some good songs and some good orchestral arrangements, and maybe the problem in that album was that Peter Banksīguitar playing canīt be listened very well and some of his guitar parts and some of Tony Kayeīs keyboards parts were duplicated by the orchestral arrangements). In comparison, in this album the orchestral arrangements are more complementary to the other instruments, so they work very well together. Alan White plays a bit of piano (I remember hearing his piano playing in at least two songs: "Can You Imagine?'" and "In the Presence of"), and I think that he plays the piano very well, and I donīt understand why he doesnīt compose songs more often or his songs are not recorded more often by the band or for a solo album, because he said in one interview that "In the Presence of " is mostly a song composed by him, and in my opinion this song is the best from this album. I remember that I liked this song very much when they played it in my city with Wakeman on keyboards, who for the two songs they played from this album he played the orchestral arrangements on the keyboards while reading scores, doing a very good job. I think that the presence of Jon Anderson in the songwriting and in the lead and backing vocals makes a very clear difference to the Yesīalbums which were recorded without him. He and Squire together on songwriting (althought all the songs of this albums are credited to all members) and backing vocals (althought Howe and White also sing backing vocals) make the Yesīsound to be more "authentic" to the original concept of the band, in my opinion. Andersonīs lyrics talk more about love and other "warm" feelings more related to the music of the sixties and seventies, and this band was founded in the late sixties, so the messages are more "authentic" to their "essence". This is a very good album, not comparable to other very good albums they have recorded before, but still enjoyable.
Guillermo | 4/5 |

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