- Audio CD (1 Dec. 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Eagle Rock
- ASIN: B00005NIDK
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,904 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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YES Magnification CD
Who'd have thought it? Magnification is the strongest, freshest set of new Yes material in living memory and fundamentally different to anything the veteran prog-rock unit has ever recorded before. Having thoroughly exhausted the world's supply of classically inclined rock keyboard players (Tony Kaye, Rick Wakeman, Patrick Moraz, Geoff Downes and Igor Khorosev) the four remaining--and possibly exasperated--members of Yes have taken the fantastically brave decision to dispense with that perennially bothersome ivory-tickling slot altogether. And so Messrs Anderson, White, Squire and Howe have enlisted the temporary services of Emmy-award-winning television and movie score composer Larry Groupe, whose cinematic orchestrations--dancing flutes, Bond theme brass, tsunami-like strings--lend a whole new and thoroughly modern aura to the band's sonic palette. Anyone expecting smugly complacent, stagnant, stuck-in-the-1970s prog-rock (and the keyboards were always the giveaway) will be thoroughly disappointed by the emotionally engaging ambition, revised logic and sensibly-channelled instrumental prowess of the material on offer. "We Agree", "Dreamtime" and--particularly--the impressively widescreen and superbly melodicised "Give Love Each Day" are all stand-out tracks on an album which--as the title suggests--really does hold up well to close scrutiny. --Kevin Maidment
Top customer reviews
The problem with this album is that it is likeable almost immediately. And that's a problem because Yes records historically seemed almost designed to grow on you, and in the growing their quality and longevity was assured.
The first thing that strikes you about Magnification is the excellence of the production - yet it is not overproduced. There is a clarity to the recording which is quite astonishing; Howe's guitars sparkle, Anderson's vocals and multiple harmonies are smooth and seductive, White's drums and Squire's bass stake out their own proper place at the driving centre of the music. The orchestra is powerful without being overpowering, yet delicate and haunting when it needs to be. The band and Larry Groupe, who wrote and conducted the orchestral parts, obviously fed off each other extensively in the making of this album because the instruments are perfectly complementary at all times.
It is difficult to classify Magnification with respect to the existing Yes catalogue. It is quite unlike anything they or anyone else has produced before - the integration of an orchestra makes that read. If Yes are quoting themselves at all, it is from the Keys To Ascension studio tracks which themselves hark back to their seventies heyday. But whereas the Keys To Ascension tracks wandered around aspiring, yet failing, to be epics, the songs on Magnification almost make it on the first attempt. The seventies pedigree does not really show; all ten songs are fresh and challenging, taking Yes down another untrodden path in the prog rock mystical forest. Once again, the band is re-defining themselves and the very genre itself.
The highlights are undoubtedly the beautiful Give Love Each day, which creeps up on you through a 2-minute orchestral intro - Squire's striking "And you believe it" falsetto in Can You Imagine - the emotionally charged We Agree - the touchingly gentle Soft As A Dove, and the driving Dreamtime. Magnification is a sweeping, soaring record of complex mood changes and intricate musical interaction that will withstand many repeated listenings - which are the elements of a classic Yes record after all.
Highly recommended. Their best in many years.
This music though is by far their best in 20 years. The 'Magnification' album just has to be heard to be believed.
The production and depth of sound quality is the best that I have heard on any album ever. Mixed on ProTools at Trevor Horn's LA studio, the instrumentation and vocals stand out beautifully.
It's no accident that Tim Wiedner is a producer from the Trevor Horn management stable - his open and airy production style washes all over this recording and he enhances the Yes sound in a way that we have not heard since Trevor Horn produced '90125'. Well done Tim!
As for the music, I can't believe how listenable this album is. The orchestral work by Larry Groupe has been incorporated into the writing of the tracks from the word go and it sounds like it.
Thankfully there's no bad Rick Wakeman keyboard sounds on this album. In fact keyboards are kept to a minimum - just piano that is played by Alan White, the drummer, in a rather percussive style.
Vocal and instrumental harmonies are the best in years. Finally, Steve Howe's guitar work is restrained when he needs to be and yet he comes to the fore in a great way when required. There is some lovely and varied guitar work on this album from him.
Bassist Chris Squire has returned to form over the past few years and he has his wonderful bass style stomped all over this album.
He's excellently backed up by Alan White on drums - this rhythm duo really carries the album and Squire continues to prove that he is the real heart and soul of this band.
Tim Weidner really gets the best out of Anderson and Squire's vocals. Jon Anderson really sounds wonderful. It's great to see Chris Squire singing lead on one song - I love his voice - he and Anderson should share more of the lead vocals as Rabin and Anderson used to in the eighties.
There are some interesting influences that Larry Groupe, the orchestrator, brings to this album. I really liked his music in 'The Contender' and 'The Usual Suspects' and he brings something really special to this album. Bond stabs, soaring flutes, wide strings and on 'In the Presence of...' even a Burt Bacharach style orchestral sound (which sounds great).
All up a great treat and a huge relief. I feared that this album would be a huge bloated mess. it's turned out to be possibly their best album yet.
Buy it and you won't be disappointed. All I wish now is that a major label would pick this band back up and put some serious advertising behind them. This new and innovative music deserves to be heard by the widest possible audience.