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Anderson / Stolt - Invention of Knowledge CD (album) cover

INVENTION OF KNOWLEDGE

Anderson / Stolt

 

Symphonic Prog

3.63 | 206 ratings

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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!!!!"

Evolver | 4/5 |

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