Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Anderson / Stolt

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Anderson / Stolt Invention of Knowledge album cover
3.60 | 223 ratings | 21 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

- I - Invention of Knowledge -
1. Invention (9:41)
2. We Are Truth (6:41)
3. Knowledge (6:30)
- II - Knowing -
4. Knowing (10:31)
5. Chase and Harmony (7:17)
- III - Everybody Heals -
6. Everybody Heals (7:36)
7. Better by Far (2:03)
8. Golden Light (3:30)
- IV - Know... -
9. Know... (11:13)

Total Time 65:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Anderson / lead & backing vocals, synth, percussion, co-producer
- Roine Stolt / guitars (acoustic, electric, lap steel, Portuguese), dobro, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals, co-producer & mixing

- Tom Brislin / grand piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3, synthesizer
- Lalle Larsson / grand piano, synthesizer
- Jonas Reingold / bass, backing vocals
- Michael Stolt / bass, Moog Taurus pedals
- Felix Lehrmann / drums
- Daniel Gildenl÷w / backing vocals
- Nad Sylvan / backing vocals
- Anja Obermayer / backing vocals
- Maria Rerych / backing vocals
- Kristina Westas / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Silas Toball with Eva Toball

2LP + CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMLP 460 (2016, Europe) Full album on both media

CD Inside Out Music ‎- IOMCD 460 (2016, Europe)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy ANDERSON / STOLT Invention of Knowledge Music

ANDERSON / STOLT Invention of Knowledge ratings distribution

(223 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

ANDERSON / STOLT Invention of Knowledge reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars A combination of Jon Anderson and Roine Stolt. It should not surprise anyone, but still it├?┬┤s very nice to them both together at last. Well, it is no secret that Stolt is an avid fan of Anderson. He went as far as dedicate a whole album (The Flower King) to Anderson in 1994, long before they ever met. And anyone who has ever heard a Flower Kings album will know how strongly Yes influenced their music. So I guess that a collaboration was a natural thing to happen. Stolt even asked some of his colleagues from TFK to give a hand (the ever present bassist Jonas Reingold and current drummer Felix Lehrmann, plus his brother and ex TFK Michael Stolt for a couple of tracks). Top swedish players Tom Brislin (Spiraling) and Lalle Larsson (Karmakanic, Agents of Mercy) help along on the keyboards. And Invention of Knowledge is the result.

The music here is inspired and convincing, almost like 70├?┬┤s Yes backing a Jon Anderson solo album (instead of Anderson rejoining 70├?┬┤s Yes, get the difference?). So don├?┬┤t expect long instrumental passages or anything too different, nor explicit displays of virtuosity. Everything here works for the songs. Stolt was always heavily influenced by Steve Howe and it shows, in a good way. In fact, the album sounds very fresh and exciting most of the time, with the excellent backing band providing Anderson with a lush, symphonic and creative tapestry of sounds for his unique voice. The first half of the CD is specially good, while for a time it seemed to me that the second half dragged on a bit, but a few more spins I├?┬┤m enjoying it all. This is surely a grower.

At least on studio, Anderson├?┬┤s voice is in top form. Stolt takes a back seat here, providing basically multi guitars parts that remind me of (who else?) Howe, but is still very much Stolt himself, a brilliant and creative musician. In fact, keyboards, bass and everything else sounds like a mixture of classic Yes and early Flower Kings. The difference is that instead of Yes copycats, everything here turned out as a truthful, heartfelt homage to their heroes.

As a whole I really loved this album. It├?┬┤s high on my top ten list for 2016, without any doubt. It├?┬┤s nothing new, really, but it├?┬┤s brilliant music anyway. Far and far superior than anything Yes has done for a long, long time. If you├?┬┤re a fan of them (and of Anderson in particular) you├?┬┤ll be delighted with Invention Of Knowledge. It├?┬┤s probably Anderson├?┬┤s best solo album to date. And probably the best Yes sounding record ever that was not played by Yes themselves.

Rating: 4.5 stars. Highly recommended!!

Review by FragileKings
4 stars Close up of brightly coloured flowers. Zoom back to get the sun beaming down from an azure sky with a few billowy cumulus clouds drifting by. Pan to the sparkling river and then pull back to include the full view with green hills and Jon Anderson standing in white robes with his arms held out to his sides, palms to the sky, head back, eyes closed and smiling. Now raise the view higher and begin revolving the camera around him while choirs sing, strings and wood winds play, some uplifting lead rock guitar, keyboards, emphatic percussion...

When Yes released "Fly from Here" in 2011, Jon Anderson was not to be just dropped at the side of the road. Though he'd suffered vocal troubles due to an illness, he soon teamed up with Yes alumni and long time friend Rick Wakeman to produce an album which to my ears was slow, sleepy, pretty, and offered little to captivate my ears. Anderson's vocals sounded frail and shaky. However, a couple of years back I read about how Anderson was enthusiastically writing new music in the spirit of Yes. So when I saw he had teamed up with Roine Stolt, I reckoned that this should be an album with some "adventurous music".

After the first listen, I wasn't sure what I'd heard. At least not in detail. The album sounded like one extended journey through Anderson Land, a sweeping ride through an world of Love, Light, Life, and Truth. Bright smiling faces, vivid colours to lighten the spirits, beams of light, everything and everyone simply radiant. It took three listens before I began to identify a song or two that stood apart, and a fifth listen with full attention to learn to recognize each song for some outstanding feature.

The songs here are essentially sweeping, uplifting, spiritual messages both lyrically and sonically. Anderson's vocals are lead and backing with a chorus of background vocals. Though Stolt is an accomplished lead vocalist with a distinct voice, he's not obvious here. The only times I notice that Roine Stolt is on the album at all is at the albums opening when the music resembles a Flower Kings song (and we know that the Flower Kings are inspired by Yes) and in a few places where the guitar sounds like Stolt's style. As for the other guest musicians, everyone is swept into the sparkling rainbow swirl that is Anderson Land. At times there are classic Yes-like moments with a cascade of bright synthesizer notes, some cheerful guitar chatter, or some conspicuously placed bass notes. Classic Yes it is not however with only a slight resemblance to "Tales from Topographic Oceans", "Relayer" or "Going for the One". I personally feel there's more similarity to "Magnification", "The Ladder" or even "Keys to Ascension", though notably different due to the absence of Maestros Howe, Wakeman, and Squire.

Some reasons that the music all seems at first to be part of the same spiritualized hippy fantasy nebula is because a number of songs segue into each other while the songs have a free-flowing structure, shifting to new melodies and themes within songs and sometimes drifting through gentle atmospheres or rising up to powerful crescendos. One never knows so readily if a song has shifted gears or if another has begun unless you're paying attention, which is not easy to do as it's easy to get drifting on a glowing cloud while watching cherubim and rainbow-horned unicorns dancing by. There's also the fact that some songs reprise the lyrics and accompanying melodies from other songs, so with your mind sailing through radiant beams of light and love, you might be excused for thinking that "Knowledge" is still "Invention".

Nevertheless, this is not a bad album by any means. If you can handle about 65 minutes of "Love and Light" lyrics about truth, holding Jon's hand, standing together, and the Spirit coming to you, you are eternal, etc., and Anderson Land theme music, then fans of the force behind Yes music and what inspires The Flower Kings should enjoy this. This is where Yes could have / might have been by now if Anderson had stayed on with them.

Or this is just where Jon Anderson has always been traveling toward. Three stars, four stars, five stars all possible. If there's a two star rating or two I wouldn't be completely surprised. But you can't deny the greatness of the effort that goes into making an album like this.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Seemingly a match made in Prog heaven, `Invention of Knowledge' brings together two massive progressive rock icons in Roine Stolt and Yes' Jon Anderson, the two spiritually minded musicians (along with several additional notable prog guests) delivering what is easily the standout Symphonic Progressive work of 2016. This is really a meeting of two vintage prog-era players, because despite finding more personal status in prog circles with the Flower Kings in the Nineties onwards, Roine was one of the key musicians of Seventies Swedish symph-prog group Kaipa, playing on their first few albums. But despite one or two niggling issues discussed later, they've delivered a complex, ambitious and endlessly grand symphonic work that can easily be considered creative high-points in their already endlessly impressive careers.

Although Stolt and Anderson will deservedly receive all the attention, closer inspection behind the scenes reveals several other gifted musicians lending crucial musical contributions to this project. Jonas Reingold, no stranger to the Flower Kings as well as working with side-projects such as Karmakanic, Barracuda Triangle and the Tangent, is simply one of the most consistently impressive bass players currently active in modern prog circles, and as always, his inclusion pretty much makes this album an instant `must buy'. Fellow Karmakanic member and keyboard player Lalle Larsson has also delivered several outstanding solo albums worthy of investigation (especially his `Weaveworld' trilogy and solo piano disc `Until Never'), Michael Stolt, brother of Roine, is from an earlier version of the Flower Kings, and Feliz Lehrmann is the skilled latest drummer from their last few albums. The disc also includes some welcome backing vocals from the likes of Unifaun /Agents of Mercy singer Nad Sylvan and Pain of Salvation's Daniel Gildenlow amongst others, and keyboardist Tom Breslin will be familiar to many Yes followers, being the keyboard player on Yes' superb `Live Symphonic' DVD from 2002. Giving credit to these guests is important, for reasons mentioned later on.

Although early press-release comments compare the album in spirit to Yes' (perhaps!) defining classic `Tales from Topographic Oceans', this is not really the case very often here. It sounds more like the most dense Flower Kings album to date without the flashy soloing given an extremely vocal-heavy fronting by Anderson, so fans of both those groups should be quite at home here. Although comprised of nine tracks, most of the sixty-five minute album is divided into four multi-part pieces. Stolt is no stranger to lengthy compositions in any of his music, and considering the complexity of the album, all of the transitions between passages here are seamless and natural, with plenty of constant clever reprises that slyly return before you even know you're back again! Symphonic themes with plenty of organ, whirring synths and tasty guitar solos rising into the heavens constantly weave in and out of the entire disc, and the sound of Stolt's soloing will be instantly noticeable to Flower Kings and Transatlantic fans, but thankfully he never resorts to aping the tone of Yes' Steve Howe in an attempt to make this sound more `Yes-like'.

But the album pretty much belongs to Jon Anderson (with Stolt surrendering all vocal duties to his more famous counterpart), and to his credit, he hasn't sounded so relaxed, inspired and varied in decades. Jon completely drives the course of the album with his distinctive breezy, hopeful and embracing lead voice, but also surprises with some exquisite multi-part harmonies that seem to hover in the air around the listener, and he leaves Stolt to craft these weighty majestic passages to hold his new age proclamations and spiritual musings. Plenty of passages see the two musicians successfully gelling and complimenting each-other perfectly, others sometimes come across as if Anderson's gems of belief are added on top afterwards, but most of the time the album is surprisingly and consistently cohesive. It's also a welcome relief to find that `Invention of Knowledge' is hardly commercial or (gulp!) AOR-driven, something that many of the older prog-related musicians depressingly resort to!

As for the music itself, the three-part LP side-long length title-track is full of stirring orchestration and victorious chimes, Anderson's voice impossibly pretty and announcing with plenty of rumbling drums, chunky bass spasms, strains of sitar and regal synth veils, Stolt delivering everything from drowsy slide guitar, reflective slow-burn wisps and scorching quick little bursts. The uplifting melody in the opening minutes of the two-part `Knowing' is one of the loveliest moments of the disc with intricate vocal arrangements over commanding organ, piano ringing through and booming symphonic bluster breaking out, and this eighteen-minute track perhaps drifts the closest to Jon's old band, with an almost `Awaken'-like quality in the dreamier spots. "Faith to the real salvation life" Jon offers on the sweetly romantic and reassuring three-part `Everybody Heals', with some crisp soaring guitar runs ringing through from Stolt and very welcome brisk jazzy piano races. `Know...' is simpler and stripped back, floating gracefully and triumphantly, containing some of the only longer instrumental moments of the disc which thankfully allow all the players to shine brightly, and a final reprise of themes from `Knowing' bring a satisfying sense of closure.

But it all comes down to this - How much you enjoy this album may depend on exactly what Jon Anderson personally means to you, because, make no mistake, this whole album is completely geared around his personality, word view and spiritual beliefs. To many, he is in the heart and spirit of true Yes, so many will adopt this as `the best and most true Yes album since (for instance) `Going for the One', but the truth is - this album sounds nothing like Yes. Nor is it an experimental loopy tour- de-force like his `Olias of Sunhillow' solo album was, yet `Invention of Knowledge', whilst sounding nothing like that one either, is absolutely the most complex and dynamic prog-related work he's been involved with since that landmark distinctive release.

If you're one of those more easy-going Yes fans that believe Anderson CAN be a wonderful ingredient to making up the beautiful music of Yes, but are just as thrilled by Steve Howe's fiery guitar runs or Chris Squire's upfront chugging bass, then this album will make you very aware of what's missing - longer instrumental passages. `Invention of Knowledge' boasts some exceptional players providing endless progressive-music colour and skill to the arrangements, but they're almost constantly pushed behind Anderson's airy vocals. There's fleeting little instrumental breaks of 30 seconds or so here and there, but then it's right back to more vocals, and unless you are simply the biggest Anderson fan-boy in the world (which is not actually a slight in any way), this can become very tiresome over the course of an album than runs over an hour. Of course, it's natural with an icon of the genre such as Anderson that he's going to be a main attraction to the work and it makes sense to have him constantly front and center, but it kind of short-changes the contributions of some fine musicians who deserve to given more attention in undistracted showcase opportunities, that you have to sometimes strain to hear in the background beneath the endless vocal trickery.

But in the end, it's still a joyous triumph of progressive music that doesn't merely remain lazily vintage-flavoured or resort to tiredly remaking the sounds of the classic bands of the style. `Invention of Knowledge' is impeccably performed and produced, is lyrically, vocally and musically utterly convincing, even sometimes a little overwhelming, but holding true magic in several standout spots. It should have provided more interludes of longer purely instrumental sections to break up all the vocal flamboyance, but it's no doubt going to remain the biggest symphonic prog moment of the year that lovers of that grandest of prog-rock styles will absolutely adore to bits. Now let's see if the Anderson/Stolt project is going to become a recurring concern or the iconic pair will just leave us with this one teasing masterwork!

Four stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars The remembering

Jon Anderson is one of the more prolific members of the Yes family tree with a large number of solo albums and also several collaborations with other artists over the years, for example with Vangelis in 80's and more recently with fellow Yes man Rick Wakeman and with Fusion violinist Jean-Luc Ponty in the Anderson Ponty Band. The present album is a collaboration with Swedish musician Roine Stolt. I was previously familiar with Stolt from Transatlantic and I also saw him live with Steve Hackett's band recently.

The Invention Of Knowledge is a vocally driven album, and Jon's vocals are almost constantly to the forefront. His voice sounds very well indeed, better than on other recent releases. The style is what I would like to call "soft progressive Rock". A reasonable comparison in terms of the style here could be to Open, a digital only release from Jon which consists of one 20 plus minute epic piece of symphonic music. Anderson/Stolt is not similar to Yes music, but the closest you get is probably on Tales From Topographic Oceans. The mood of The Invention Of Knowledge is almost constantly uplifting and bright and even though the music is thoroughly pleasant and enjoyable, it is not very challenging. I feel that it never really truly gets off the ground and with a running time of over an hour, it tends to get a bit samey at points.

I like The Invention Of Knowledge. Indeed, I think it is better than most of Jon's solo albums and I would say it is one of his best non-Yes releases. It is well worth having certainly, and a nice listen, but I do not find it terribly impressive.

Review by progaeopteryx
2 stars Wow, a collaboration of Roine Stolt of The Flower Kings and Jon Anderson of Yes! How exciting to see the old school and the not-so-old school (Roine will be 60 later in 2016) working together! Or is it?? That's the question my mind pondered as I fell asleep multiple times while listening to this. Or perhaps the meaning of this music is simply above the ability of my brain to comprehend? Like it was intended for spirits in another dimension to listen to and maybe humans simply have not evolved (at least in my case) enough to understand Anderson's enlightened gibberish.

Let's get the first thing everyone wants to know out of the way. Does it sound like the Flower Kings? No. Does it sound like Yes? Barely. What does it sound like? It sounds like the plodding, slow-moving, new age music Anderson has featured on many of his solo albums (Olias of Sunhillow is one reference point), with an occasional Howe-like nod from Stolt. There really is no prog rock workout here. It plods along at the same speed for over an hour, occasionally reaching minor crescendos in places. The music is by no means simple either. It has some complexity to it in an almost orchestral fashion. And with musicians such as Lalle Larsson, Jonas Reingold, Tom Brislin, and Felix Lehrmann at their disposal, I'm shocked that there wasn't anything worthy enough to provide the "rock" portion of prog rock. The entire album had this folky, new age vibe running throughout; a never-ending "sameness."

Now, maybe there were some interesting instrumental things going on, but they were lost on my ears from the incessant wordiness of this album. Anderson's vocals are nice, but they are forced way above the rest of the mix and there are few moments on the album where he isn't singing. I never imagined Anderson's vocals being "too much" for an album until now.

I can't really comment on the lyrics much as I don't understand them (as I suspect most humans that haven't reached whatever world Jon lives in). There is much repetition, but that still doesn't help me understand them either. I would have better luck understanding the output of a random word generator than this gibberish.

Fans of Anderson's solo career will probably like this; maybe Yes fans that like the softer, sleepier side of Yes. Fans of gibberish will also enjoy this. If you want the rock equation of prog rock, look elsewhere.

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The prolific Jon Anderson has been quite a busy man lately, having recovered from illness with a new found energy and passion, a trait that disproves the long held misconception that rock music is the governance of the young and only the young. Beyond 71 years of age, he continues to voyage into unfamiliar territories such as his long delayed cooperation with Jean-Luc Ponty, a thoroughly successful venture that yielded the aptly named 'Better Late than Never' album and subsequent well-applauded tour. Here, he has teamed up with Swedish mastermind Roine Stolt of the Flower Kings and Transatlantic fame, to create a very Yes-like opus that proves only that the creative juices that inspired him in the glory days of progressive rock, still has a resonating voice and audience today. Sadly, the judgmental universe that we now live in will give way to some unfair and foolish criticism from shameless detractors who need to fuel their pill-fed apathy (to stay awake at the keyboard at the very least) by puncturing this symphonic opus with brazen detritus. Well, like they say at the hardware store: screw them! If you no like, move the hell on!

Gathering a rather stellar crew of familiar faces from both the FK, such as bassist extraordinaire Jonas Reingold, drummer Felix Lehrmann and former FK bassman Michael Stolt) and from the Yes side, Tom Brislin, whilst including the supremely talented Swedish keyboardist Lalle Larsson, the two protagonists certainly have aimed precisely at what they wanted to achieve, a classic sounding Progressive Rock album. Both Anderson and Stolt have never sounded better and more confident, and truth be said, you can hear the enthusiasm displayed throughout. Let us be honest first of all, this collaboration has more musical width and breath than anything spewed by Yes since , my goodness' since Relayer!

That being said, the nine tracks do flow into one another rather seamlessly, a very linear sounding series of arrangements within each piece that get busy one moment and quite atmospheric the next, as on the end of 'Knowledge', where the swirling effects really take hold. As with the Ponty collaboration, the music is totally uplifting, spirited if not necessarily overtly spiritual, spiced by occasional bursts of energetic gusto and dazzling playing by all instrumentalists. Roine can carve with the best of them, a talented guitarist who can infuse a variety of styles that span the gamut of influences, from Howe, Hackett and Gilmour to more oblique talents such as Allan Holdsworth. He can play fast, controlled and delirious when prompted. While Squire has always been a giant, Reingold is one hell of a player, seeing him live seals the deal. A monster.

I also cannot help noticing that three songs contain the sound NO (as opposed to'Yes) in Know, Knowledge and Knowing. Coincidence? Nah, must be my meds. Yeah, I know (no). In fact, all the titles have a positive spin and message. Eat that Steve Wilson!

The glorious track 'Knowing' is an 11 minute celestial epic that reeks the most of 'Close to the Edge', owner of a skilled melody and some complex orchestrations, Lalle's divine grand piano, screeching synth swirls and a fully determined vocal performance that is easily among the very best ever captured by a microphone. The two follow up pieces 'Chase & Harmony' and 'Everybody Heals' are equally masterful expressions of musical craftsmanship and passionate delivery. Shorter ditties offer hope and salvation, 'Better by Far' and 'Golden Light', a lovely diversion that goes straight to the owner of lonely Heartstrings and pulls on them delicately. The jazzy, windswept and airy 'Know' is an 11 minute tropical paradise of topographic ocean breezes, Jon's voice a warm zephyr that soothes the soul and medicates the mind, a beach with grandiose piano, shuffling bass, brushed cymbals and a laid back, laissez-faire attitude. 'An answer to a promise that delivered you' as Roine swirls his guitar like Carlos Santana. Totally delicious.

I enjoyed the whole enchilada, an album that will need made more listens and new details to discover, so dense this is. I was expecting something a bit lamer I guess and I was wrong. The cover artwork, booklet and inlay are truly first-class and worth the eye candy.

4.5 Devices of Awareness

Review by lazland
4 stars 2016 finds a certain Prog God in marvellously rude health and top form. The aforesaid award for Jon Anderson was, in my opinion, thoroughly well deserved. There is a tour, long promised, with fellow Yes cohorts Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman, which, to all accounts, seems to have been extremely well received. And, to start off the year, this collaboration with Roine Stolt, he of Flower Kings fame, with more than a little contributed by a stellar backing band, including the marvellous Jonas Reingold, Stolt's Kings collaborator on bass, and the wonderful Tom Brislin on keys (whose piano work especially on Chase and Harmony is clear and uplifting), this marking a return to working with Anderson.

The album was created over the Internet, Anderson's preferred method of recording, with vocals and musical ideas and compositions sent to each protagonist over the ether. The idea started when Stolt and the Transatlantic boys had Anderson singing Yes classics with them on one of those prog cruise trips which are in vogue at the moment.

Structurally, the album is, understandably, an attempt to recreate the feel of Yes classics from the Topographic symphonic heyday, although, perhaps more than many others who have commented on the album, I feel that Stolt and his unique Flower Kings sound and feel is also stamped over the work. It is not a collection of songs, as such, but a group of suites joining together to segue into a whole body of work. I also think that the Topographic comparison was, in reality, a clever marketing ploy to bring us classic Yes fans on board. They needn't have bothered, because the album stands up more than well enough on its own as a symphony of modern progressive rock, utilising the latest technology and loving production to bring a vision to life.

Does it work? Undeniably, yes. Those who do not buy in to Anderson's mystical view of life, the universe, and everything, will probably not be converted by this, because it is very much his lyrical creation, in keeping with many of his better solo albums. I do buy into this, so it is not a problem for me.

For the first few listens, in fact, you do feel that he is in danger of drowning out the music lyrically and vocally. It is not the case, however, when you become familiar with the album and allow it to wash over and influence you, for example allowing the sheer lifting beauty of We Are Truth, with Anderson sounding better than he has in years, accompanied by a choral backdrop, and the most beautiful soaring symphonic noise, extremely reminiscent of Stardust We Are period Kings (Knowing, by the way, could easily have fitted on that exceptional album), then you know that what you have here is classic progressive rock played by its leading proponents, classic and modern.

Listen to the orchestration on Everyone Heals, and then recoil at the power of Stolt's riff, before Anderson introduces the vocal with a fragile power one thought had been lost to us forever.

Some of Stolt's guitar work really is to be treasured (the delicate sounds produced on Knowledge with the sounds of the ocean waves lapping over it are simply wonderful), and Reingold has his fret fingers working as if it is the last thing he will ever do, and wants to go out on a high.

Both of them have promoted this album with vigour, and it quite clearly is a work of some importance to them. I heard Anderson on BBC Radio on more than one occasion, and he is clearly revelling in the autumn of his career. Given that it is only a few years since he almost died, I thank God that he has survived to carry on his musical legacy to the world. I also wonder what would have been had Squire and Howe showed just a little bit more patience, and allowed him the recovery time he needed, because one thing is for sure. This is a far better, rounded, and genuine "Yes" album than the debacle that was Heaven and Earth, or Fly From Here, as much as I enjoyed the suite on the latter.

This is an excellent album, which all lovers of genuine symphonic prog will want to own. For the PA rating system, four stars, but 4.5 if we had such a rating. I, for one, would like to see this collaboration continue to see where it takes them. To the stars, I think!

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Back in the 1980s, Jon Anderson was invited to sing in what was to become that decade's version of Yes. Along with Chris Squire and Alan White, as well as Yes alumnus Tony Kaye, and driven by Trevor Rabin, this version of the band played a much more pop driven style, dancing around the fringes of prog. But Anderson was not completely content with that. He eventually assembled old friends Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe and Bill Bruford into a more traditional Yes-sounding band.

More recently, during an extended bout with illness, Anderson asked the Yes of that day for a break from touring. Instead of either putting Yes on hiatus, or finding a temporary replacement singer, the group unceremoniously fired him. In the years since, Yes has recorded two fair, but mostly unremarkable albums with two different replacement singers. While these albums again have hints of that old Yes spark, they are missing some key ingredients of what Yes was about.

Joining up now with Roine Stolt and a band of Stolt's cohorts, Anderson has now proven that he is the keeper of the soul of Yes.

Their first (I do hope this band continues) album is an inspired suite of four linked songs, split into nine movements, with underlying themes, lyrically and musically, that weave throughout the album. It is an uplifting, spiritual piece that sound more like Yes than anything the present members of the group have come up with.

I compare this album favorably with "Tales From Topographic Oceans", another full-album concept piece.

Stolt takes care to deliver the Yes sound, crafting his guitar to simulate Howe's unique technique, both in phrasing and tone. And both bass players that perform here, Jonas Reingold and Michael Stolt, do a fine approximation of Chris Squire's outstanding melodic bass lines.

Anderson's lyrics are in the classic Yes vein, positive and spiritual, without focusing on any particular religion or dogma.

On the whole, this album revives the Yes experience better than anything any of the members have released in decades. If I could give any advice to the remaining Yes, it's "Do whatever you can to get Anderson back!!!!"

Review by Neu!mann
2 stars Tales From Soporific Oceans...

On paper it couldn't miss: a collaboration between YES icon Jon Anderson and guitarist Roine Stolt of THE FLOWER KINGS, in a return to the sort of long-form Symphonic Rock not heard from Anderson in decades. The finished album was advertised (in a big sticker smack-dab on the CD cover) as "new music in the spirit of early works such as Tales From Topographic Oceans & Olias of Sunhillow" ...strictly sales talk, but the comparison caught on, in a textbook model of autosuggestion.

Reviews so far have been glowing, enough to warrant a dissenting opinion. And here it is, from a reluctant spoilsport old enough to recall when the music of Jon Anderson and Yes really did strive toward "The Revealing Science of God".

As a bridge uniting two generations of Progressive Rock, the new album is built of flimsy stuff. The original "Topographic Oceans", keep in mind, found its genesis in the ancient Hindu shastras described by Paramahansa Yogananda in his autobiography, famously introduced to Anderson by maverick King Crimson percussionist Jamie Muir. "Invention of Knowledge", in contrast, was born poolside aboard a luxury Prog Rock cruise ship sailing the Caribbean, with free food, fine drinks, and a casino belowdecks.

The so-called collaboration was ersatz from the start. Jon Anderson would email ideas to Sweden, where Stolt force-fit them onto older, unreleased music of his own before sending them back to California for more amendments (and still more lyrics) by Anderson, working alone on his home studio computer. The only time the two were actually in the same room was during a promotional photo shoot.

All a sign of the times, in this Brave New World of web-linked music production. But still a lousy way to write and record an album. It's no wonder the outcome resembled a lesser Flower Kings effort, featuring a celebrity guest vocalist who sounds like he wandered into the studio by chance and began singing about Ley lines before anyone could stop him.

Maybe Stolt was reluctant to assert himself over material developed (suggested, really) by an obvious idol. We could have then been spared this tepid collection of uninspired soft-prog, certainly effective in spots, but with a numbing uniformity in tone and tempo over its 65-minute length. Olias of Sunhillow? Try Olias of Sleepy Hollow instead...

Mine is a minority opinion, to be sure. But no way is the album worthy of comparison to classic Prog, sounding to this Grinch more like something the Whos of Whoville would sing while carving their holiday roast beast. Quoting Jon Anderson himself, from an earlier and more enlightened age of Progressive expression: What happened / To wonders / We once knew so well?

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars I think my ears got cavities listening to this over the past week. Jon Anderson and Roine Stolt certainly seem like a match made in Heaven when it comes to their philosophies on life and so I wasn't too surprised to hear that this is a wordy album. I'm not sure if it's a concept album but it comes across that way to me with the focus on the lyrics over the instrumental work and compositions. They need to get the story across at any costs which is why I usually am not into the concept record. This at the very least is a themed album where Jon and Roine spread their flowers and love upon us in the YES/THE FLOWER KINGS tradition.

Jon's voice is in great form on here which was my biggest take away. I admit to having nothing to do with YES or Anderson post 80's and for good reason but he clearly was into singing these words. Instrumentally it's the bass that impressed me not surprisingly with Michael Stolt doing that and taurus bass pedals but Jonas Reingold is also here and he's a beast man. Roine comes to the fore with his familiar sounding guitar but again this is a vocal driven album where everything else takes a back seat. I do like how some songs blend into the next one over the 65 minutes and nine tracks.

The fourth track "Knowledge" is where we first get some instrumental authority with the organ helping out and it's interesting that less than half way through this track it becomes calm and stays that way to the end. There is a fair amount of piano on this record leading the way and they do contrast and repeat themes a lot. Jon says this is not progressive rock but progressive music. The closer "Know" is the longest at over 11 minutes and during the first half I kept thinking they had a guest female singer but nope that's Jon. The album ends with those piano melodies.

I liked this more than I thought I would but without question in my music world this is not close to a 4 star record.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review N║ 712

As a teenage prog fan I was privileged to have listen and buying many of the classic albums during the early 70's. My passion for the genre waned however during the 80's, and it wasn't until the mid of the 90's and the emergence of band's like Glass Hammer, Spock's Beard and The Flower Kings, fronted by Roine Stolt, that my interest was rekindled. Somehow they captured and revitalised the sound and the spirit of the early 70's, whilst retaining their own identity.

However, my personal tastes have shifted towards to a darker and heavier music in the past years, in part due to the influences of my two sons. Still, I've always kept in constant contact with my musical roots, namely Yes, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Genesis, Camel, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant and Van Der Graaf Generator, the bands that have had the longest and greatest impact during my lifetime, since my teenage beginning until these days.

Anderson and Stolt are two prog musicians that began their musical career in the 70's. Anderson is best known as the lead singer of the prog rock band Yes, which he co-founded in 1968 with bassist Chris Squire. He was a member of the band across three tenures between 1968 and 2008. Many consider him as the soul of Yes. He is also noted for his solo career and collaborations with some artists, including Vangelis, Roine Stolt and Jean-Luc Ponty. He has also appeared on albums of King Crimson, Tangerine Dream, Iron Butterfly, Mike Oldfield and Glass Hammer. Stolt is a Swedish guitarist, vocalist and composer. He is a major figure in the Sweden's prog rock history. Many consider him as the father of the Swedish prog rock. He was in two of his country's most successful prog rock bands, Kaipa in the 70's and The Flower Kings in the 90's. He has collaborated with other prog artists, participating in many other prog projects.

It was in that context that "Invention Of Knowledge" falls. Still and despite so many years of career of both, Anderson and Stolt were never together in the studio. In fact, the two met only twice. Anderson sent music to Stolt, including those he had worked with some of his other musical contacts years before. Anderson and Stolt continued to develop the original ideas via Internet, and in 2015, Stolt then put together a high class ensemble that recorded the music.

When we heard that two legendary figures of prog rock, the ex-Yes vocalist Anderson, and Stolt of The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, and Kaipa, would be joining together to create an album, expectations were indeed quite high. Thankfully, the duo didn't frustrated all those expectations, as their initial recording together, "Invention Of Knowledge", brings together all the elements of what we love about all the classic acts they have each been involved with over the years.

The music contained on "Invention Of Knowledge" is melodic symphonic prog rock music, filled with grand sweeping arrangements that allow Anderson his still enchanting vocal delivery. Stolt with his tasty guitar playing is great, at times seeming to pay tribute to the legendary Steve Howe. The album sounds like a meeting of Yes and The Flower Kings, but I don't think any of us expected anything otherwise, really. Much of "Invention Of Knowledge" has an epic, long form broadness that isn't unlike "Tales From Topographic Oceans" or some of The Flower Kings more grandiose releases such as "Unfold The Future" or "The Sum Of No Evil". The opening three part title suite is a perfect example of that, chock full of majestic arrangements that allow Stolt's nimble guitar lines to weave and battle with quirky keyboard tapestries, all while Anderson's pixie melodies grab the listener by the heart. "Knowing" has a more "Going For The One" feel, with a catchy melody that will instantly grab you much like "Wonderous Stories" did all those years ago, but at over 10 minutes long, of course it leaves plenty of room for alluring guitar solos, sumptuous keyboards, and some few lead seductive bass lines. The charming "Chase And Harmony" combines lush, pastoral sections with moments of symphonic, almost classical orchestrations, Stolt's guitar work at times captures the majesty of Brian May, while the emotional three part "Everybody Heals" suite contains some lovely Anderson's lead vocals supported by rich backing vocals and gorgeous piano and synthesizer works, with Stolt also dropping in a few inspired lead guitar solos. The closing number "Know..." pushes past the 11minute timeframe and is easily the most pastoral track here on "Invention Of Knowledge", filled with drifting keyboard washes, melodic guitar leads, and some Anderson's great vocal passages.

Conclusion: If you are a bit disappointed by the most recent Yes' offering, I urge you to give "Invention Of Knowledge" a try. You might be pleasantly surprised. "Invention Of Knowledge" maybe falls short of perfection, but this is prog personified and it's easily one of the strongest progressive rock albums released in the last years by the classic prog generation. It might sounds to you too much close to "Tales From Topographic Oceans" or to "Olias Of Sunhillow", but I don't care. I still love both albums. This is a majestic epic prog album, hand crafted by two of the legendary masters of the genre. Get your copy of this beautiful piece and thank you Anderson and Stolt for sharing this great music with us.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

2 stars I've never been a fan of Jon Anderson's solo albums, but was intrigued by what a combination of writing skills of Anderson and Roine Stolt would achieve. Jon Anderson achieves his best work collaborating with other talented artists like Steve Howe, whose song writing idol is Bob Dylan, or with R ... (read more)

Report this review (#2436573) | Posted by iluvmarillion | Monday, August 10, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Better than most Jon Anderson solo albums. Many reviewers have suggested this album comes across as a parts Olias of Sunhillow and Tales from Topographic Oceans, and I would not, on the whole, disagree. However, it is missing key elements of both albums that pushed them into 'excellent' terri ... (read more)

Report this review (#1703415) | Posted by Walkscore | Saturday, March 18, 2017 | Review Permanlink

3 stars When I read that Jon Anderson and Roine Stolt would collaborate, I thought 'Why hasn't this happened sooner?' Well, after returning to this album several times over a period of half a year, I can safely say that I'm thoroughly disappointed with the outcome. Now, this is not a bad album but it is nei ... (read more)

Report this review (#1680501) | Posted by BunBun | Monday, January 16, 2017 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Truly an epic album. This album reminds you just how essential Jon was to the sound and music of Yes. On "Invention of Knowledge" Jon soars to new heights as one of the great masters of his craft. Lyrically, IoK carries on where Magnification leaves off. Musically, I find more similarities to Relaye ... (read more)

Report this review (#1587485) | Posted by davemuttillo | Thursday, July 14, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 4.5 stars for now - could grow to 5 after I have a chance to fully assimilate this. This album is beautifully packaged and presented. Joy and love of life really come through in this release. The production is layered so Jon's voice comes to the fore. Drums will sound flat on most audio systems ... (read more)

Report this review (#1586201) | Posted by RockHound | Saturday, July 9, 2016 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I was overjoyed when this collaboration was announced. I have been a fan of Jon, his voice and his lyrics, for decades now since first listening to YES changed my ears and my mind forever. I have been an avid follower of Roine Stolt and the Flower Kings since their inception in the 90's. I re ... (read more)

Report this review (#1584536) | Posted by freyacat | Saturday, July 2, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have played this album over and over and never get tired of it.Any Yes fan would welcome this into there album collection.I rate it just below the best classic albums of the seventies. Whatever ever you think or say Anderson was the inspiration and the the voice behind Yes and this album sees ... (read more)

Report this review (#1584513) | Posted by ggys06241 | Saturday, July 2, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I've been Yes fan since early 90's and listened Yes records through years without losing interest, ever. Ever before "Fly From Here" - album, when Jon Anderson had left Yes. After "Magnification" I still imagined and wished that classic Yes lineup would do one more progressive masterpiece. It did ... (read more)

Report this review (#1584311) | Posted by Muumi | Thursday, June 30, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Multiple times when listening to Flower Kings I felt: if only Jon Anderson would sing, he would greatly enhance the quality of the song... Finally my wish came true! Of course, to truly appreciate this piece and understand every bit of it, I had to give it at least 5 listens, which nowadays isn't ... (read more)

Report this review (#1582952) | Posted by mekaton | Saturday, June 25, 2016 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Jon Anderson of Yes and Roine Stolt of The Flower Kings, making an album together? Why not? I always had the feeling The Flower Kings are heavily influenced by (early) Yes. The two blokes surrounded themselves with guest musicians like Tom Brislin, Daniel Gildenl'w and Nad Sylvan, and (ex) membe ... (read more)

Report this review (#1576332) | Posted by Ier | Tuesday, June 7, 2016 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of ANDERSON / STOLT "Invention of Knowledge"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.