Anderson/Stolt
Invention of Knowledge


4.0
excellent

Review

by e210013 USER (107 Reviews)
January 22nd, 2019 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: One of the strongest progressive rock albums released in the last years by the classic prog generation. Better than most Anderson solo albums.

As a teenage prog fan I was privileged to have listen and buying many of the classic albums during the early 70’s. My passion for the genre waned however during the 80’s, and it wasn’t until the mid of the 90’s and the emergence of band’s like Glass Hammer, Spock’s Beard and The Flower Kings, fronted by Roine Stolt, that my interest was rekindled. Somehow they captured and revitalised the sound and the spirit of the early 70’s, whilst retaining their own identity.

However, my personal tastes have shifted towards to a darker and heavier music in the past years, in part due to the influences of my two sons. Still, I’ve always kept in constant contact with my musical roots, namely Yes, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Genesis, Camel, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant and Van Der Graaf Generator, the bands that have had the longest and greatest impact during my lifetime, since my teenage beginning until these days.

Anderson and Stolt began their musical career in the 70’s. Anderson is best known as the lead singer of Yes, which he co-founded in 1968 with Chris Squire. He was a member of the band across three tenures between 1968 and 2008. Many consider him as the soul of Yes. He is also noted for his solo career and collaborations with artists, like Vangelis, Roine Stolt and Jean-Luc Ponty. He also appeared on albums of King Crimson, Tangerine Dream, Iron Butterfly, Mike Oldfield and Glass Hammer. Stolt is a Swedish guitarist, vocalist and composer. He is a major figure in the Swedish prog. Many consider him as the father of the Swedish prog. He led two of his country’s most successful prog bands, Kaipa in the 70’s and The Flower Kings in the 90’s. He collaborated with other prog artists, participating in many other prog projects.

It was in that context that “Invention Of Knowledge” falls. Still and despite so many years of career of both, Anderson and Stolt were never together in the studio. In fact, the two met only twice. Anderson sent music to Stolt, including those he had worked with some of his other musical contacts years before. Anderson and Stolt continued to develop the original ideas via Internet, and in 2015, Stolt then put together a high class ensemble that recorded the music.

When we heard that two legendary figures of prog rock, the ex-Yes vocalist Anderson, and Stolt of The Flower Kings, Transatlantic, and Kaipa, would be joining together to create an album, expectations were indeed quite high. Thankfully, the duo didn’t frustrated all 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 music contained on “Invention Of Knowledge” is melodic symphonic prog rock music, filled with grand sweeping arrangements that allow Anderson his still enchanting vocal delivery. Stolt with his tasty guitar playing is great, at times seeming to pay tribute to the legendary Steve Howe. The album sounds like a meeting of Yes and The Flower Kings, but I don’t think any of us expected anything otherwise, really. 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 that, chock full of majestic arrangements that allow Stolt’s nimble guitar lines to weave and battle with 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 some few lead seductive bass lines. The charming “Chase And Harmony” combines lush, pastoral sections with moments of symphonic, almost classical orchestrations, Stolt’s guitar work at times captures the majesty of Brian May, while the emotional three part “Everybody Heals” suite contains some lovely Anderson’s lead vocals supported by rich backing vocals and gorgeous piano and synthesizer works, with Stolt also dropping in a few inspired lead guitar solos. The closing number “Know...” pushes past the 11minute timeframe and is easily the most pastoral track here on “Invention Of Knowledge”, filled with drifting keyboard washes, melodic guitar leads, and some Anderson’s great vocal passages.


Conclusion: If you are a bit disappointed by the most recent Yes’ offering, I urge you to give “Invention Of Knowledge” a try. You might be pleasantly surprised. “Invention Of Knowledge” maybe falls short of perfection, but this is prog personified and it’s easily one of the strongest progressive rock albums released in the last years by the classic prog generation. It might sounds to you too much close to “Tales From Topographic Oceans” or to “Olias Of Sunhillow”, but I don’t care. I still love both albums. This is a majestic epic prog album, hand crafted by two of the legendary masters of the genre. Check this beautiful piece of music and thank you Anderson and Stolt for sharing this great music with us.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
January 22nd 2019


2180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Continuing with the collaborative projects of Jon Anderson, I decided to bring here another one. But unlike the previous one, "Short Stories" with Vangelis which was a project with almost four decades, this is almost a new one, a project of 2016 with Roine Stolt.

Maybe can be interesting to see that both projects are very different, not only in time but also in style, but that despite almost 40 yeras would have passed, Anderson continue able to do great things. I think only the great artists can do such things.

I hope the prog lovers can enjoy it as I do.

Jethro42
January 23rd 2019


15608 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

That collaboration is not surprising since Stolt is a progressive rock icone hugely influenced by Yes. I find that Stolt is taking the back seat here, but he still manages to offer the better parts. I also find that Anderson takes too much room, as if Stolt would have said ''Go ahead, Jon!'', but Jon's vocals are so omnipresent that it gives the impression he tries to hide the lack of creativity. The vocal lines are often annoying and linear, with no variations. It would be the same with any other singer instead of Jon, I guess. Music sounds too much like some fake anthem or like Christmas songs, and I particularly hate the opener for this reason. The duo tries - not hard enough - to do majestic music, but at the end of the day, it doesn't fly high, and it's too samey from start to finish.

Despite all the respect I have for Jon's career, I really think he is on his last lap. Album has its moments, but I wish it had more orchestral arrangements and less of Jon's forced and half-baked melodies. Good job my friend. You put on a bit of music nostalgia and it's good.



Where have all the progheads gone?... Ah they gone to the other siiiiide, Sail away, awayyyyy, Ripples never come baaaaack.



e210013
January 24th 2019


2180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe you're right my friend. Maybe Stolt take the back seat on this album, as a kind of a reverence to the great artist, Anderson. But I'm still thinking that this is a great album, a great surprise for me. I must confess that I had never heard the album before I would have decided include it in my prog journey through the Yes world.

"Where have all the progheads gone?..."

You're absolutelly right. I myself do the same question for some time. And if I'm not wrong, I felt that you lost some of your usual enthusiasm of participating on this site, too. I even dare to say, that sometimes, it comes to my mind the question if it's worth to continue reviewing albums on this site, and above all, if it's worth bring to here reviews about obscure and less known albums. Are people too much busy to check them or very few are interested in them, really? My confort is to think that there are many persons that aren't members of this site and those reviews are, perhaps, very useful to them, as happened with me before to be member of Sputnik.

So, thanks and cheers my friend. Let's wait for better prog days. We'll see it.

Jethro42
January 24th 2019


15608 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The prog community here on Sputnik considerably and gradually declined since 5 years. Sadly, it's like just when you became a member, it started to decline. There were a time when prog rivalized with metal and Indie music for being the most popular genre on Sputnik. Maybe you've already observed that there are not many or almost none prog reviews anymore - you are the official prog provider of the site, fortunately. No more prog lists either. It's like a deserted village. There are still prog lovers left, but they are totally discreet or partially discreet. It's a shame that your work goes kinda unnoticed, but it's not exactly in vein, because like you said, there always will be readers for your massive quantity of quality reviews. After all, prog is there to stay worldwide, so a revival is probably near.

As for me being kinda absent of the site, you got it right. It's not because of a lack of interest, it's more because of health issues. Among others, I have an audition trouble, and I can't listen to music properly. No worries, I'm on my way to find a remedy.



Cheers man, and keep progging!





e210013
January 25th 2019


2180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, my friend. Prog is here to stay, undoubtedly. And as you said, a revival maybe to come in the next future, here on Sputnik. I hope so. At least I hope that Friday continues with his great prog tourneys, as usual. Then, if that happens, we both can discuss our favourite music with some other prog pals.

About your health problems, I'm very sad to know that. As you know, I knew already of that because once we already had talk about it. Still, I didn't know about your audition problems. Beside all the other disadvantages, for some one who loves music like you, that is really a huge problem, indeed. But I'm gald that you said that you're trying to solve that problem.

So, once again my thanks for your big support anf for your kind words about my reviews.

Cheers, and I sincerelly hope to have good news about your health. Sputnik needs of your huge and wise knowledge about music, especially about its prog side.

TheIntruder
February 5th 2019


403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I did not know the existence of this album before. Thanks to bring it to me. I am going to listen it. It may be an interesting checking.

e210013
February 5th 2019


2180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice Intruder. I'm happy that my review made you check another prog album.

TheIntruder
February 6th 2019


403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice album. I loved it since the first minute. It is an underrated piece very few known which is a pity. Great review. Have a pos.

e210013
February 6th 2019


2180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"It is an underrated piece very few known which is a pity."

I completely agree with you dude. Unfortunately, in general, people prefer to talk about the classic prog that they already know very well, and don't pay to much attention to the new things wich are made in our days, even if they are made by the classic prog musicians that they know very well.

Thanks, pal.

By the way, welcome again to my reviews. I felt your absence.

TheIntruder
February 6th 2019


403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I have been very busy in the last months. You know, my studies. As long as I can, I will be present surely.

e210013
February 6th 2019


2180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok, dude. No problem. Good luck to your studies. Maybe you can be present again in the summer when Friday do his new prog tourney.

TheIntruder
February 6th 2019


403 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks. We will see.

Divaman
February 18th 2019


3315 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I somehow missed this review when you first posted it. Good job.

Digging: Rachael Sage - Choreographic

e210013
February 18th 2019


2180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No problem. It happens. Thanks.

Divaman
February 20th 2019


3315 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Actually, I do know why I missed this one. Went away with my family that weekend, and my wife and I got snowed in at a casino while my kids were at their aunt's and uncle's place. Was offline all weekend, and by the time I got home, the review was probably already moved off of the front page.

e210013
February 20th 2019


2180 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As I said, no problem. Usually I'm always offline all weekends too. My weekends are always spent with my family. That's very important thing to me.



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