Yes: Symphonic Live

Yes and all their pompous self-love usually produce fabulous music because they aim so high, to continue a legendary presence, none more exalting than the ones in their own minds. However, as good of an idea as it sounds, Symphonic Live is kind of a dull and flat effort. Jon Anderson’s energy level sounds a bit low and the band at times doesn’t sound all that inspired; in fact, they sound as if they’re mailing it in. Contrast this with the Magnification album (2001), a record written specifically to be accompanied by an orchestra, and this album doesn’t measure up. I am sure that Yes-o-philes will lap this up, because let’s face it, there are some people who will never tire of hearing “Roundabout.” They do manage to play three tracks off of Magnification which still sound very good, and the Steve Howe guitar solo is well worth the listen. He is an eloquent and underrated player and chooses material like “Lute Concerto in D Major, Second Movement” as a part of it instead of wanking on and on like some of the young turks do. They have put out some good material in the last 10 years or so (Essentially Yes), but this one is fair at best and one you can skip. (Eagle Rock, 2009)

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