Magnification [Audio CD] YES

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Who'd have thought it? Magnification is the strongest, freshest set of new Yes material in a long time. Having thoroughly exhausted the world's supply of classically inclined rock keyboard players, the four remaining members of Yes have dispensed with that perennially bothersome ivory-tickling slot altogether. And so Messrs Jon Anderson, Alan White, Chris Squire, and Steve Howe have enlisted the temporary services of soundtrack composer Larry Groupe, whose cinematic orchestrations lend a thoroughly modern aura to the band's sonic palette. Anyone expecting smugly complacent, stagnant, stuck-in-the-1970s prog rock will be thoroughly disappointed by the emotionally engaging ambition, revised logic, and sensibly channeled material. "We Agree," "Dreamtime," and, particularly, the melodic "Give Love Each Day" are standout tracks on an album that--as the title suggests--really does hold up well to close scrutiny. --Kevin Maidment