When the world first heard that two legendary figures of progressive rock, ex-Yes vocalist Jon Anderson, and Roine Stolt of The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, and Kaipa, would be joining together to create an album, expectations were indeed quite high. Thankfully, the duo have more than exceeded those expectations, as their initial recording together, Invention of Knowledge, brings together all the elements of what we love about all the classic acts they have each been involved with over the years. The line-up for Invention of Knowledge includes Jon Anderson (vocals and keyboard), Roine Stolt (guitars, Dobro, percussions, keys, backing vocals), Tom Brislin (piano, organ and synthesizers), Lalle Larsson (piano and synthesizer), Jonas Reingold (bass), Michael Stolt (bass and Taurus pedals), Felix Lehrmann (drums), and Daniel Gildenlöw, Nad Sylvan, Anja Obermayer, Maria Rerych and Kistina Westas on backing vocals.
Much of the music contained on Invention of Knowledge is melodic, symphonic prog, filled with grand, sweeping arrangements that allow Anderson to drift in and out with his still enchanting vocal delivery, Stolt of course also grabbing plenty of the spotlight as well with his tasty guitar playing, at times seeming to pay tribute to the legendary Yes virtuoso Steve Howe. So, if that sounds like what you might be in store for here is a meeting of Yes and The Flower Kings, well certainly that is the case, but I don't think any of us expected anything otherwise. Much of Invention of Knowledge has an epic, long form broadness that isn't unlike Tales From Topographic Oceans or some of The Flower Kings more grandiose releases such as Unfold the Future or The Sum of No Evil. The opening three-part title suite is a perfect example of this, chock full of majestic arrangements that allow Stolt's nimble guitar lines to weave and battle with Brislin & Larsson's quirky keyboard tapestries, all while Anderson's pixie melodies grab the listener by the heart. "Knowing" has a more Going For the One feel, with a catchy melody that will instantly grab you much like "Wonderous Stories" did all those years ago, but at over 10-minutes long, of course it leaves plenty of room for alluring guitar solos, sumptuous keyboards, and a few lead bass lines courtesy of Reingold. The charming "Chase and Harmony" combines lush, pastoral sections with moments of symphonic, almost classical orchestrations, Stolt's guitar work at times capturing the majesty of Queen's Brian May, while the emotional three-part "Everybody Heals" suite contains some lovely Anderson lead vocals supported by rich backing vocals and gorgeous piano & synth, with Stolt also dropping in a few inspired lead guitar solos. If all that isn't epic enough for you, closing number "Know..." pushes past the 11-minute timeframe and is easily the most pastoral track here on Invention of Knowledge, filled with drifting keyboard washes, melodic guitar leads, and Anderson's intoxicating vocal passages.
Honestly, this is a lovely album, and proof that Jon Anderson still has plenty to offer the prog community. We all are well aware of just what Stolt would bring to the table, but his pairing up with Anderson has given us the album that we actually have craved from Yes for many years. This is grand, majestic, and epic progressive rock, hand crafted by two of the legendary masters of the genre. Seek this out at all costs!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
01. Invention of Knowledge- 1: Invention (09:41)
02. Invention of Knowledge- 2: Are Truth (06:41)
03. Invention of Knowledge- 3: Knowledge (06:30)
04. Knowing (10:31)
05. Chase and Harmony (07:17)
06. Everybody Heals- 1: Everybody Heals (07:36)
07. Everybody Heals- 2: Better by Far (02:03)
08. Everybody Heals- 3: Golden Light (03:30)
09. Know… (11:13)