Reviewed by Nuno on 21 Sep 2001
YES, they are back in business and with an album that promises to be a classic.
Highly orchestrated, it feels like this album has an open window in a mountain shed where the fresh and unpolluted air enters our room and we feel alive.
I think the absence of Rick Wakeman makes this a less keyboard album, but Yes have replaced that fault by a truly fantastic set of orchestrations that enriches Magnification to the limit.
Steve Howe distinctive guitar sounds – YES!
Jon Anderson crystal high tone vocals – YES!
Except for the third track (Don’t Go), weaker and unbalancing the rest of the album, all the other songs are potential classics in modern symphonic rock. And that is what this is, a majestic, magnificent Symphonic experience.
For so many time I’ve been waiting for the return of Yes to its best days, and I think that with this album they are truly an accomplished band. At least for me, the long waiting has produced their results and I consider this to be their best album since Fragile, Relayer and Close to the Edge.
It would be unfair to point a best track here, for they are all good (except the one I pointed above), I lie, they are exceptional.
Furthering my opinion, I really think this is going to be a new reference album for this band, and if this was released in the 70’s we would be still talking about it.
True fans of Progressive Music; don’t miss this by anything in the world.
The name of the album is so well given that the only better one I find would be Magnificent.
Reviewed by MJBrady on 02 Sep 2002
In the more recent episodes of the Yes history, we have seen the band returning to line-ups of their most prolific progressive eras. On this cd, Magnification, you will notice 4 out of five members of the Relayer album present, the exception being keyboardist Patrick Moraz, the keyboard factor has been replaced by genuine orchestration. This point should indicate one thing, and that is ambitious, this is an ambitious outing by the band. Many Yes fans are getting feelings of ambiguity towards the once upon a time progressive rock icons, many personel changes, changes in musical direction, and the lack of commitment to progressive music in general had created somewhat of an apathetic response to the bands music since the early 70's. Though I personally never shunned the band through the many confluences of time and change, I will admit as progressive rock goes, they indeed had strayed to and from the very music that most people identified them with. Many recent albums intended to rediscover the so called 'magic' and while many of them produced the very indelible trademarks of the bands sound, something seemed a bit awry, and saw the bands music trying to be something it really wasn't, sincere. Vintage Yes music was filled with orchestration, and more importantly, instrumental vituosity, now the music remains focus predominantly on vocals, which are as good today as they ever were, if not better. Magnification is a milestone for the band as you consider the amount of rehearsals and production that went towards the completion of this cd. The lack of keyboards, a long time essential part of the bands sound, is really not of any consequence, they orchestration is such that you are taken away by it's huge sound, and it gives you the illusion of a grand keyboard scheme. It's obvious the band has left behind the Trevor Rabin influenced songwriting, and the more straight ahead writing style he lent to the band, which seemed to carry through to the Billy Sherwood era version of Yes, which seemed devoid of the contribtions of Howe, and Squire, or White for that matter. Here the bands members seem very present, mostly Howe, and Anderson, but I cannot hardly believe Alan White is still in the band (has he turned in a performance like that of Relayer since then?), this is something that seems to still be missing, and it took a drummer friend of mine to point that out, he said he quit listening to the band when they 'fired their drummers'. This comment speaks volumes, and also indicates a change towards the importance of the lyrical side of the band. I do like this cd, Yet as Yes albums go, it is a middle ground cd, which to me a essential progrock cd, while it doesn't represent the very best qualities that made the band famous, it is a incredible clear, and interesting listen. And hearing Howe being given more space again is well worth it. Of course this rendition of Yes seems to be more or less the Jon Anderson Band, with Yes musicians backing, hopefully we will hear the band get bck to their instrumental ways, and let Alan White burn those skins again.