Published on July 20th, 2016 | by AlexandreG.0
New Prog From a Couple of Old Pros
Jon Anderson is synonymous with Yes, as he should be. But Mr. Anderson has had a lot of success on his own and with collaborations with other musicians over the years. For us fans that wished he had been a part of the last Yes album a couple of years ago, an album that I feel got more criticism than it deserved, we can all can let out a collective sigh of relief as his new album, Invention Of Knowledge, is pretty darn good.
Heaven and Earth, the last Yes album probably wouldn’t have gotten as much criticism if they hadn’t released it under the Yes moniker. I think that is what made fans upset, and even though Jon Davison did a good job overall, and I happen to be a fan of his from his other collaboration with a band called Glass Hammer, I really missed Jon Anderson. I, along with many fans am overjoyed that he was in good enough health to record this album and the results are surprisingly good.
This collaboration is between Jon Anderson of course and Roine Stolt of Flower Kings fame. It seems as if they worked on the album separately, emailing and sending the work back and forth, with Jon writing the lyrics and Roine arranging the songs. And though, spending time in the studio together might have made a difference, the end result is still pretty exciting for long time fans.
This music isn’t groundbreaking like classic Yes or as meandering and inventive as some of the Flower Kings best material, but it is enjoyable and Jon sounds very good to my ears. His voice is stronger than it’s sounded in a long time and there are plenty of progressive passages to enjoy when the lyrics aren’t front and center. And that might be my only criticism of the album. It sounds more like a Jon Anderson solo project, with Stolt sitting back a little bit and giving Jon the reigns. It’s hard to argue that there can ever be too much Jon Anderson, I would buy an album of him singing television commercial jingles, but it would have been nice to stretch the boundaries a little more and have Roine’s writing and playing a little more upfront.
That being said, this album is still a wonderful, mystical journey with the patented Jon Anderson far out lyrics and a tapestry of sounds that take you to another place. I find the vinyl to be my preferred method of listening, turning off the lights and plugging in the Selby headphones and taking a journey to a time when we all had a little more time to enjoy the finer things in life.