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Yes - Magnification CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 1093 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars From the very first sound the listener hears on this album they will know that Yes has finally-- after the boundless mediocrity of the '80's and '90's-- returned! Magnification possess a powerful energy for music which utterly recharges the band's performances; every member truly sounds better here than they have in decades. The result is an album which-- although admittedly sappy and unchallenging-- shines with enthusiasm and enjoyable songs.

First off, the writing is head-and-shoulders above "Ladder"," Keystudio"... you name it; these pieces are thoughtful and memorable with big instrumental passages and soaring vocals. The opener explodes with sound, leading into the dynamic contrasts of Spirit of Survival where savage riffing contrasts expertly with tender textures. There are certainly a few bits of filler here, but they do little to take away from the power of the standout tracks-- Dreamtime is worthy of standing side-by-side with some of the band's finest work.

Secondly, is the AMAZING difference in quality of the musician's playing from previous albums. Anderson's voice is clear and strong while Squire and Howe deliver their strongest works since Relayer. Even if the song's pale in comparison to the ambition and genius of classic albums, the fact that they are played with such a renewal of energy makes them very enjoyable to listen to. Be warned though, that the lyrics to these songs are straddling the line between cosmic and Christian (In the Presence Of... come on), and are in many cases examples of Anderson preaching his own brand of new-agey spirituality.

The inclusion of the orchestra is done very tastefully, and comes off much classier than Wakeman's contributions in the recent past. Strings and winds are incorporated into the band's lineup very effectively, often changing the carrier of the melody and adding a terrific level of depth to the songs.

The result is an appropriately epic one, and will not disappoint fans of the band.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Prog Leviathan | 4/5 |


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