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Yes - Magnification CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 1093 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars That's the spirit of survival...!

The Yes boy's final (so far...) album is a good one, not their best, but it was never destined to be anyways. it is impressive, however, that a band of their age could still manage to produce such a caliber of music, this release even holding a couple true YesSongs. The absence of any kind of keyboards will definitely throw off some old fans, but the orchestra added in it's wake is actually a nice replacement (at some points)! As said before, this release actually holds a couple classics, some weak tracks as well, but the good tracks balance it out to make it one good album.

The album opens with a bang. MAGNIFICATION is a wonderful track with some great vocal melodies by Anderson accompanied by some soothing guitar by Howe until we reach the chorus at which point the song really picks up and carries to the end. Good track, this one seems to pass faster than the seven minutes that it is. The second track, SPIRIT OF SURVIVAL is, actually, even better, especially for the hard rocker crowd. A hard bass line accompanies Anderson as Squire pumps out some of his heaviest stuff to date. This is another track that seems to end faster than the track listing time would suggest. Moving along and shifting gears is the calm and almost beautiful GIVE LOVE EACH DAY, a song that takes full advantage of the newly acquired orchestra, but seems to lack a bit in the lyrics department, which at some points come off as cheesy love lyrics. That's okay though, since the music makes up for it, really. WE AGREE is another good song, again a bit heavier (or maybe just louder), this one, however, a little less memorable.

There are a lot of good tracks, but what about great? What about poor? Well, let's see...

A couple tracks on this album are... how you say.... lacking. DON'T GO is a fairly annoying song that was obviously the band searching for some kind of commercially acceptable song to release as a single. On this album, however, it sounds quite strange and out of context. One thing that's not so bad about it is the fact that it's quite short. CAN YOU IMAGINE, voiced by Squire, is an alright song, another short one. Squire has really always been a background vocalist at best (with the exception of his superb solo effort) and this song comes off as an alright rock song at best. SOFT AS A DOVE and TIME IS TIME are a couple songs that have nothing really going for them, they're short, quiet, and basically forgettable. So while each of these particular tracks have a certain charm to them they really wind up falling flat on this album.

The two longer tracks are the ones that really are what stands out on this album. IN THE PRESENCE OF... is a bit of an overrated song, but it's still great. It's a fairly soft one that has a couple of really good moments and is one of the alum's high points, but not one of Yes' classic epics. DREAMTIME, however, is one of Yes' finest works to date. It's a heavy, aggressive, and yet at the same time fairly modest song that is good from any angle you look at it. These two songs definitely demand attention and really show that the band still has potential to impress.

The bonus CD that comes with some of the editions of this album feature 3 live tracks, Close To The Edge, Long Distance Runaround and Gates Of Delirium/Soon. These are song fairly interesting symphonic renditions that sound a lot different than the originals. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, Gates Of Delirium is definitely worth the listen as this live rendition is quite good and lively. Same goes for Long Distance Runaround which seems to benefit greatly from the symphony. Close To The Edge, however, comes off as fairly weak. Strange, yes, but somehow true.

So, in closing;

Is this a classic YesAlbum? No, certainly not. However, it is very good with a few moments of true shining glory. 3 stars would be the rating this album shall receive! Recommended for those who want some good Yes outside the 70s or those who want to hear the band without keyboards.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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