REVIEW: ANDERSON/STOLT – “Invention Of Knowledge”
If you find yourself reading this review, you are probably quite excited and hopeful. If you aren’t, then you should be. Imagine taking two giants of music who created trends in music back in their time and continue to make pathways even today. A universe by themselves and masters in every way, Jon Anderson and Roine Stolt have come together to create the unimaginable and beautiful- ‘Invention of Knowledge’. As a fan of Yes, Transatlantic, The Flower Kings and respective solo projects of Anderson and Stolt, I was expecting something magical out of this new album. Funnily, there was no way to objectively describe my expectations and that might be the case with you as well and that’s great. You are in for a treat.
‘Invention of Knowledge’ comprises of three suits and one individual song. The record opens up with a three part “Invention of Knowledge” suit. The serene intro brings the album to life. A feeling as though one wakes up to a great day. Anderson’s voice adds so much colour to the songs. The textures created by the progressive godfathers is mesmerising. The tension in the music is tight and gripping and lets go at the right times. As soon as you begin to grasp the lyrics, a whole new world of meaning opens up. There is these strong sense of grandeur to the music. It is the better of the two unfolding for the rest of the album to follow. The next to follow is a two part suit “Knowing”.
Building on the previous suit, “knowing” continues to build up where former left. There are some similarities to the first suit in terms of how the songs feel. Despite this, there is so much that is unique. Anderson continues to fascinate the soul with his wonderful singing. Personally I think that the second suit places the vocals in the limelight over the other parts of the song even though the instrumental side of things essentially make the song tasteful, they end up working around the singing and thereby giving it much space and definition.
“Everybody Heals” is the third and final suit on the record. This three part suit is where the album reaches a climax of some sort. There are a ton of surprises and unexpected twists on this one. There are times on this suit where it seems like a combination of the first two suits and when you think that might me the case, it surprises you with something awesome and perhaps crazy. By now, you would be swaying, dancing, jumping and singing to the album. Your ideas about contemporary progressive music are certainly captured here. While rest of the album so far has been a mix of times and tradition, there is definite modernity here.
“Knowing” marks the end of the album. This lovely eleven minute song brims with positivity and is a reflection of the better person you always thought you could be. The singing and the instrumental parts lock into each other to create moments of suspense in the music and let’s go easily into more tranquil sections. The more you end up listening to this song, the more it satisfies the senses. This song is a mix of classical and modern progressive arrangements. To simply put it, this song captures the entire album in a gist.
‘Invention of Knowledge’ is priceless and intimate. With so much depth, colour and meaning, it might be pointless to merely call this a record for it builds such a strong relationship with any listener. It is as personal as someone dear to you might me. Timeless and magical is what ‘The Invention of Knowledge’ really is. Jon Anderson and Roine Stolt have taken the best out the days of musical nostalgia and contemporary jives. The lyrics are wonderful. More than simply being a theme by itself, the lyrics seem to be messages that one could hold on to. This part makes the music quite human. It simply isn’t about some idea being sung but a person speaking to you. You can’t simply call the music organic anymore here, the music is alive and best understood as being human. Roine Stolt has once again set a standard with his composition and guitar sections. Hearing the instruments blend in some sort of a perfect relationship is simply surreal and divine. The guitar solos carry a strong retro vibe to them with the occasional modern touch. These parts show how Anderson and Stolt can effortlessly switch between times in their music and come out with something awe inspiring. The record was given a lease of life with a strong line up working with Stolt and Anderson on a ton of roles with an interesting line-up! The line-up for this record features 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.
‘Invention of Knowledge’ is made up of timeless elements and will be a standard for all time to come. One could say that there is something for everyone on the album but more importantly, there is something that we all could take from the album. This could be musically, lyrically, in essence or meaning. Let the album grow on you, it can be your therapist and your best friend.