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Yes - Magnification CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 1094 ratings

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3 stars Do you read FORTUNE magazine? If not, it's okay, don't buy that magazine with respect to a review of YES "Magnification" album because it's not there at all. I just want to make a point with regards to The Excellence Issue of Fortune no. 19, November 6, 2006 where there is an article on "What It Takes To Be Great" about Robert Trujillo, Metallica's bassist. "While the lead guitar may get all the glory, the bass player, along with the drummer, is the foundation of a band, providing the backbone and the pulse of the music." "The bass is also the connective tissue between the beat and the melody line. It's really the engine of any band ." [quoted from the magazine, written by its reporter Andy Serwer]. Well, even though I'm not a big fan of Metallica, I was very happy to see rock musician being featured in this business magazine. I know couple of years ago the magazine put Rolling Stones as cover story as well.

So what is the relationship between Metallica and Yes? Nothing is really connected. But on bass issue, I really buy the idea written with respect to Andy Serwer write-up about the role of bass player (Robert Trujillo) for Metallica. My point is pretty clear: the bass player is very important to any composition of a band. Specific to this Magnification album by Yes, the same is true: the role of Chris Squire with his virtuosity bass playing is very important. I could say that Chris Squire bass guitar work is quite dominant throughout this album - it's probably nothing else more interesting than his basslines. I am not saying that Howe's guitar work is not good at all- it's just not measuring up to how inventive Chris plays his Rickenbaker.

The best track to catch how wonderful his dynamic basslines is on track no. 8 "Dreamtime" which has become my favorite. By composition standard, this is an excellent track as it combines excellent work of Howe acoustic guitar, violin /cello and orchestra and transparent voice of Jon Anderson. On percussion issue, there is latin / brazillian nuance created over here. No one would argue on how beautiful the composition of this tune - it can be considered as top notch composition. This composition might represent Yes music in the new millennium as this tune has taken shape with some elements of old Yes music. The other excellent track I could mention about this album is second track "Spirit of Survival" which has dynamic melody and structure.

Other tracks to me are like Jon Anderson's solo album but this time the accompanying band is Yes. Composition-wise, most tracks are good: right balance between complexity and melody. However, most tracks do not create something that stimulates my emotion but those two tracks I mentioned before. "In The Presence Of" can be considered good one but it lacks its peaks that stir emotion. On production issue, this album has a top notch sonic quality. My CD is Strictly Limited Edition number 11250 which has bonus CD containing "Deeper", "Gates of Delirium" (Live), "Magnification" (Live), and CDRom Track. For those who own a copy of Yessymphonic DVD don't need to have this Bonus Disc. The Bonus Disc includes interview with Jon Anderson on the rationales why Yes needed to do a concert with an orchestra. It's basically because of Yes music was created with an orchestra in mind (according to Jon Anderson).

Overall, no do doubt that this album has good composition featuring the right balance of Yes music with orchestra even though the results do not create something that stimulate the mind. Imagine when you were listening to "Close To The Edge" or "Gates of Delirium" for the first time thirty five years ago. You definitely found something "inspiring" with the songs. I cannot find it here with this album. That's why I rate this album with three stars: good but not essential. For Yes lovers, it's a must owning this CD. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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