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Room For Improvement,
This review is from: Magnification (Audio CD)Yes has flirted with orchestras on several occasions but 'Magnification' is the first real release of this kind of cooperation. And it's promising... and yet it leaves a lot of room for improvement.
The title track opening the album is kind of obligatory mediocre until its rocking orchestral noise turns to Jon Anderson's life-giving voice on 'Spirit Of Survival', a song which develops into a potential James Bond score (sorry).
'Give Love Each Day' too, is a good mixture of Jon Anderson's voice, virtous guitar play, filling drums, and classical instruments, especially violins. It's a good piece, followed by 'Can You Imagine' which is a decent attempt that however sadly becomes a lot like the mediocre tracks on 'Open Your Eyes' and 'The Ladder'.
One of the best songs on 'Magnification' is the balladic kliché 'We Agree', with the acoustic guitar and Jon Anderson in the foreground. It is followed by the superfluous 'Soft As A Dove' - practically a remake of 'From The Balcony'...!
And then, finally, comes the true climax of the album: track #8, the 10.45 mins long 'Dreamtime'. It's a rhapsody, an epic, and yet it is the easiest song to catch. 'Dreamtime' is like a fairytale. A journey into what yes, and especially this classical cooperation should be all about!
The other long song is placed directly after this feast, and maybe that is the reason why it is somewhat disappointing. 'In The Presence Of' remains very OK though.
After this promising but not quite satisfying kick-off, I do look forward to a more worked-through follow-up to 'Magnification'... Gimme more like 'Dreamtime', gimme epic journeys, gimme Yes!