Produced by Roine Stolt & Jon Anderson
It would be very easy to say that the album by Anderson/Stolt is the best Yes album since Relayer. Invention of Knowledge is simply a thing of beauty, stunning and creative as well as homely as a pair of old shoes. That is to say that it has that sound that fans of Yes love but with modern technology and sound. Not to downplay the wonderful playing of guitarist Roine Stolt of Flower Kings and Transatlantic fame, which compliments the vocals and words perfectly. This pairing is just made for each other.
There are nine songs as such, but eight of them are in three suites, which on the double vinyl version divide neatly on to sides one, two, and three, with side four being the one song not attached as such to the others. The album simply flows like a long twisting river with so much to enjoy all round in the scenery/musicianship as it travels into interesting and unknown territories. The lyrics are as uplifting as anything Jon Anderson has written too. Some call his writings "twee" but they are folk who do not understand his wonderful use of words and imagery along with his love of the universe. Where say Transatlantic tend to be "spiritual" in a religious sense, this is a "world/universe" kind of spiritual, and all the better for it.
Each instrument seems to enhance and embellish the moments. Nothing is wasted. The production is exquisite, meaning everything is so clear, helping to make the listening experience all the more pleasurable. When the vocals declare that we are truth, made in heaven and are glorious it's entirely believable. In fact this could almost describe the music as well. The guitar outro of We Are Truth is one of the most uplifting and elegant solos heard for a long time. Knowing has some very impressive drum work from Felix Lehrmann (Flower Kings), and even although there is a lot of technical playing and time changes, it still has an easy on the ear feel, with a very jaunty chorus and delightful vocal harmonies. Everybody Heals urges us to be the best we can and never to fail to dream, and the music starts as a classical orchestral piece but moves with the lyrics into something having that ethereal quality that is almost like floating in a dreamlike state before heading into jazz piano. Stunning.
This is one of the finest progressive albums in many years. Everyone plays their parts, even the backing choir, the music is varied with so many styles interweaving throughout, and all of it fits together to create something special. Yes had a song called Wondrous Stories (written by Jon Anderson) and this is certainly something wondrous. Album of the year already.
“ This pairing is just made for each other ”
Tracklist: Invention / We Are Truth / Knowledge / Knowing / Chase And Harmony / Everybody Heals / Better By Far / Golden Light / Know
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