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Yes - Drama CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.76 | 1321 ratings

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5 stars This album stands out as being the only album to not include Jon Anderson, and one of the albums not to feature Rick Wakeman. So people immedeatly cry 'This isn't Yes!'. And i wholeheartedly agree with them, much in the same way i agree that post-waters floyd aren't the same band. Fine, no problem with that. But this album is incredible nonetheless! If you listen to this album expecting to hear the classic 70's Yes sounds, you may be dissapointed, but only perhaps for a microsecond. DRAMA forges a sound that strikes a perfect balance between 70's prog and 80's commercial polish in a way that i doubt was ever really re-captured after the Buggles split with Yes. Right from the mini-epic opener 'Machine Messiah' through to the album closer 'Temus Fugit', the newly formed quintet never lose momentum, performing tracks so tight that not one second of filler slips in (even though 'White Car' does seem a bit pointless sometimes). The sound of this album is so crisp and timeless; no doubt a result of the award winning production of then singer/songwriter Horn- and Downes, although not really a replacement for Wakeman as their styles vary considerably (Downes has more restraint for one thing), does a teriffic job filling out the sound with new keyboard sounds and effects, bringing a distinct flavour to the groups new sound. Yes, Horns' vocals are very different from Andersons, but he definatly does the album justice, seeming to be able to harmonise with other singers with favourable results. Howe's guitar work takes on a metallic edge- which appears only on this and the subsequent Asia debut and hardly anywhere else- that complements Downes modern keyboards excellently; his solo spots on Machine Messiah alone warrant purchasing of this album. The rythm section of White and Squire are as perfect as ever, with Squires' bass playing very much pushed to the fore and making memorable tracks even better with his agressive tone (the prominence of his bass in the mix may be something to do with Horn being a bass player) and skillful dilivery. All in all, an astounding album (you'll notice i've avoided describing the individual tracks in too much detail, so as not to spoil it), well worth any money, although this reviewer is unable to comment on the bonus tracks on newer CD versions available. As I said before, a balance between 70's and 80's sounds that i have never been able to find anywhere else, and an album that i've even recommended to friends who don't even like prog! Footnote: If they had managed to make another album after this one with the same lineup, and it was more successful, 90125 may never have happened. Food for thought..
retrorocker | 5/5 |


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