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Jon Anderson - Olias Of Sunhillow CD (album) cover


Jon Anderson


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3.94 | 377 ratings

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3 stars This is a rather unique album with a sound and feeling I have not heard anywhere else. Some say this is a lost Yes album, but I cannot see that at all, this music is very, very different from Yes music. There are no rock drums, no electric guitars and no loud and elaborated bass guitar lines. Apart from atmospheric electronic keyboards (which are very different from Wakeman or Moraz type of playing), the album is basically all acoustic. Jon impress by playing all the instruments himself. Sadly, the booklet doesn't offer a complete list of the instruments involved. But I suppose that there are some "exotic" ones in the mix that would be entirely foreign to Yes music. The fact that Jon plays everything himself is evident; Jon is surely no Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Chris Squire or Patrick Moraz.

The tempo is also rather slow, atmospheric and "dreamy" throughout, and listening to this album will transport you to another world - a fantasy world. Maybe this is the world Rick referred too when he said that Jon is the only person trying to save this world while living in another? There is, indeed, a fantasy story about Olias, but I have not yet been able to decipher it. Hopefully, the booklet will be expanded with a re-release so that the story can be read in full.

Given the acoustic nature of the music, this could be associated with ethnic Folk or World Music, some would say New Age. But given what I said above, World Music in this case must be not music of this world, but of another. Other-World Music maybe?

Anyway, this is well worth a listen since it is different from any other Jon Anderson album (with the possible exception of Toltec) and very different from the music of Yes. If you want a more Yes-like solo album by a Yes member, I would recommend Chris Squire's Fish Out Of Water, or maybe Jon's Animation (though, the latter is not that good, really).

I can somehow understand those who think Olias Of Sunhillow is a great album, but for me it isn't. It is interesting enough though, and special, but not great. It is progressive in a sense, but not really Prog Rock.

Recommended more as an enjoyable curiosity!

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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