November 12, 2011

Review: Jon Anderson-OPEN

Known for his time as front man for the progressive rock band Yes, Jon Anderson has been at his solo career for decades.  He has collaborated with artists such as Dream Theater, King Crimson, and Vangelis.  Open is his latest solo release and it is sure to be a classic record: “Coupled with wonderful orchestration by his neighbor and good friend Stefan Podell, messages of peace, love, light and freedom are further explored within OPEN, making listening an uplifting and joyous experience!”  This album delivers exactly what it says it is going to.

Jon Anderson’s Open is a one track musical odyssey.  All the various musical instruments come together, complemented by Anderson’s voice, to form a majestic listening experience.  “Open” is the type of song that requires multiple listens to fully appreciate.  On the first play through, you might listen to the music. Then the next time around to lyrics and, finally, you synthesize them all together to receive the full experience that the song has to offer.  The song is complex and beautiful and worth the time and effort.

The song starts with a slow melodic build-up, as if it is leading the listener to a magical place and, when the music kicks in, the music is full of awe and wonder.  It is the beginning of a 20 minute long uplifting and upbeat song.   It is the type of song that is so captivating it does not feel as long as it.  The magical feel to the music is reminiscent of a soundtrack to a fantasy movie.  The song has that grand classical sound and Anderson’s voice is strong and soothing. 

Open is a tour de force. It is a shame that it is not longer, but the good thing is that it does get better with each listen.  This is the type of music that transcends genres.  Rock fans, metal fans, pop fans, classical fans and so on will find beauty in the music.  Jon Anderson has created a phenomenal piece of work.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Open

Brian McKinnon

November 10, 2011

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