Jon Anderson's 1982 solo album Animation has long been in need of a re-release and remaster, and finally here it is. While for some the remaster job by Mike Petrini at Vortex Sound Studios might be a tad "loud", overall this was always an upbeat and rich sounding album, so the added sonic vibrance really doesn't distract from what is essentially a very bright solo album from the Yes vocalist. Seeing as it was the early 80's, the songs here sort of fit right in with what Yes was recording in that time period, as you can hear bits of 90125 and Tormato throughout the album. Jon gathered a stellar band for Animation, as well as a virtual "who's who" of guest players. Stefano Cerri plays bass, the great Clem Clempson is on guitar, drum legend Simon Phillips, and the always solid David Sancious is on keyboards, so you know you can expect terrific music here.
There's plenty of futuristic sounds mixed with Latin flavors and good old fashioned prog rock on tunes like "Olympia", "Animation", and "Unlearning the Dividing Line", the latter featuring some majestic keyboard work from Sacious and Cerri's elastic, Jaco Pastorius-inspired bass work. "Boundaries" is especially Yes-like, with Anderson's soaring vocals and Clempson's lush acoustic guitar work, and one of the bonus tracks, the epic "The Spell" is a complex and symphonic prog rock piece, that again recalls classic Yes, with lovely keyboard tapestries and intricate drum work. It's a shame the sound quality on this one is sub-par (Jon rescued it from a cassette tape), as the song is really good.
Jon Anderson has released quite a few solo recordings over the course of his career, many featuring foreys into pop as well as New Age and World Music. Animation though is fairly close to some of the sounds he has helped create in Yes, and an enjoyable listen that can now be enjoyed again.
1. Olympia (4:58)
2. Animation (9:07)
3. Surrender (3:53)
4. All in a Matter of Time (3:06)
5. Unlearning the Dividing Line (4:56)
6. Boundaries (3:20)
7. Pressure Point (3:20)
8. Much Better Reason (4:27)
9. All God's Children (4:25)
10. The Spell-bonus track (11:43)
11. Spider-bonus track (2:51)