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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

Yes - Magnification - 2001

Last October 4th, Ramón Trecet in his radio program Dialogos 3 (a program which initially (80´s) let us know some interesting artists such as George Winston, Philip Glass or Jan Garbarek; but lately has lost control, wandering and searching for the most diverse musical penuries in the world), played the song that gives title to the last Yes CD. His comments were (as I supossed) something like: "look out, what an awful CD,... I don´t know why these artists still deceive their fans,... if Yes has no ideas why do they think they have the right to go on releasing shits like this?, etc.". Sadly, I had to admit he was right, although he confused the two Anderson -Jon and Ian- (I think I´ve lived this scene before, and sure you did too), and even he ignored that Yes had released CDs after "90125" -wow, Ramón, I think you should be more informed-. But do I insist that he was absolutely right. Unfortunately, when you buy a Yes CD, you have to go to the shop praying because you don´t know if the music will be good or mediocre. Now, after a good CD like "The Ladder", Yes had to release a mediocre CD. With orchestra, with a grandiloquent name: "MAGGGNIFICCCATION" - wow -, an artwork with cosmic-universal style, ... but absolutely empty and almost without content. And I say "almost" because some details could survive. Among them, the voice of Jon (although it sounds more lineal than in other CDs), nice appearances of Howe with his acoustic guitar, and... well, I think that´s all.

"Magnification" (7:15), begins with the sounds of the calmest and more bucolic Yes, but it evolves until becoming something awful. And this is the main song, giving the title to the CD - a success: if you listen to this track in the radio, you already know how will be the CD. I won´t mean that it is the worst song of the CD, no..., I mean that Yes has never recorded similar mess in all its history. It´s hard to listen to it stoically until the end. Bad production -the orchestra mixes roughly with all the instruments-, repetition until the saturation,... definitely awful.

"Spirit Of Survival" (6:01) also begins with a nice intro, but is less than a minute. The rhythm of the bass and the drums take us to an atmosphere where Jon gets lost in recitals in sharp tone without any sensation. The CD doesn't improve too much with "Don´t Go" (4:27) that seems to be taken out directly from "Open Your Eyes".

"Give Love Each Day" (7:44) is better; with a pleasant orchestral beginning, we can find similarities of "It Will Be a Good Day" from "The Ladder" CD. Without being a marvel we can listen to this song with pleasure, although I had avoided the totally repetitive final minutes. The CD continues with "Can You it Imagine" (2:58) a typical Squire song in which Chris also sings. It also reminds me to "Open Your Eyes".

I have to admit that "We Agree" (6:30) is a good song. The magical guitar of Howe is supported by the enigmatic voice of Jon, giving us some moments of peace that are prolonged with "Soft As a Dove" (2:18), another simple but very interesting song.

"Dreamtime" (10:45), also begins very well with orchestra-guitar moments that go in crescendo... until.... return to the same thing: dinosaur rhythms wanting to be modern and up tempo. Interesting gleams in the interludes, but nothing interesting.

In order to deceive the fans, the following song seems like a suite!, with four parts!.
Look:
"In The Presence Of
i) Deeper
ii) Death Of Ego
iii) True Beginner
iv) Turn Around And Remember"

Too much wordiness for a ten minutes long song. Anything that to do with "Homeworld" or "Mind Drive" for not going very far in time. It begins well. Anderson recites instead of sing, and we can enjoy with some nice bits, but they are very short and there are other moments in which the listener could be embarrassed of listening the music at high volume. Everybody has some dignity inside and a social reputation and I think you won´t want your neighbors listening to such sounds from your house.

The CD ends with a extremely simple song close to the Beatles-sixties style "Time Is Time" (2:09). Not too bad and you can listen to it with a smile on your face.

Perhaps I have been very severe with this review, but I cannot avoid it. Firstly because Yes is a first level band and we must wait for first level CDs, secondly because I think that Yes won´t release many more CDs, and last (but not the least) because all yesaddicts worldwide need that dose of happiness and energy that we know they can transmit us. The departure of Koroshev has been very hard. The rest of the members have tried to substitute his void with an orchestra, but it is impossible. The same thing doesn't happen with Sherwood whose contribution to the band was not too interesting.

In conclusion a dispensable CD unless you include yourself in the forementioned group of fanatic and enjoy with those scarce but beautiful moments that I have commented. Apart from this, I would like to send a humble message to R. Trecet: Firstly I would like to thank him for allowing me to enlarge my discography with some jewels unknown for me, but I think it won´t be bad for him to stop and to take conscience that music, unfortunately, is another victim of the fashion, and he has to assume Nyman, Mertens and others have passed to a second, third or fourth level. The most important thing is to continue enjoying with what one likes and to stop missing the good old times. And never looking around for your comfort. It is already known that "a problem shared is a problem halved".

Eduardo Aragon - November 2001
rating - Eagle Records

 

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