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Yes - Drama CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 1576 ratings

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2 stars Soap Opera Drama

Imaging Yes without Wakeman is fairly possible. After all he wasn't there from the beginning and Moraz replaced him on Relayer, which by all means is true Yes album. Surely Yes could have coped with the loss of the keyboard wizard but when Jon, the mystical front man and visioner of Yes, left the band it is questionable wheter one can call the band Yes anymore. Jon and Rick were replaced by Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn. Trevor Horn is no doubt one of the best producers there is but back then Geoff and Horn had only made their annoying yet popular hit "Video Killed The Radio Star". Surely Yes was far too serious and professional for such pair. We can't change the past but atleast we can review it.

I really didn't have much interest to listen this album trough several times in order to get full picture. I listened it straight trough few times and I think it's enough. The album starts fairly well with Machine Messiah, which is the longest song in the album around progressive 10 minutes. When I heard this first time I was surprised. The heavy metal intro sounds something that Dream Theater could have done (for curiousity they have covered the song and even played it with Steve Howe on MTV). It sounds obvious from the beginning that Yes tried new stuff. The song sounds ok until Mr. Trevor Horn starts singing. Jon Anderson is practically impossible to replace but I think Horn fails nearly completely. I'm not saying that he is a lousy singer. He isn't too good but what most, his style and voice doesn't fit to Yes. Atleast Downes is comparatively better keyboard player, than Trevor in singing.

The style of the album is different. It is maybe slightly more aggressive and fairly more guitar and bass oriented. Chris Squire does very good work on some songs and I can't blame them too much. Playing is fair but the problems is deep in the root: songwriting.

The fair start, Machine Messiah, is one of the best songs on the album. It is no doubt progressive and partly it does remind the former glory of Yes. The disaster starts with the second song. White Car is very short song with nice instrumental playing but Horn manages to rape the song completely. I find it hard to understand how can anyone really enjoy his singing in particulary on this song. Does It Really Happen? is energetic song with good musicianship and it isn't completely ruined by Horn, but over all it sounds like a mix of prog and pop, something that Asia did few years later.

Into The Lens is overly long song with more annoying singing from Horn. When I (very rarely) listen to this song I can see a mental image of him singing with annoying smile on his face equipped with his silly looking glasses. Run Through the Light goes even lower. Horn sounds even more annoying and the song sounds mostly lousy adult oriented 80's pop. Horn sounds terrible as he tries to sing high notes and the way he repeats the words sounds even worst. I feel sorry for Steve and Squire that they ever had to play in an album like this. Tempus Fugit is fairly better song. It is mostly a Chris Squire song with some amazing bass playing. Not bad but it doesn't save this weak album.

The bonus version has ten extra song of some of which feature Jon Anderson. Reviewing all of them would be a waste of time from both of us dear reader, so I make it short. Song No.4 (Satellite) is nice jamming song between Howe and Squire. It's a nice song but bit too long. The bonus songs which feature Anderson seem to be songs that would have been released on an album Yes planned to make after Tormato, before Wakeman and Anderson left. I'm happy they never made that album, the bonus songs are enough.

Overall Drama is weak album. There are two main reasons for the this. Compositions are mostly boring 80's pop rock and they are even worst when Horn sings them. I wouldn't give it one star because of Tempus Fugit, Machine Messiah and Song No.4 (Satellite), but three stars would be way too much for an album like this. I simply bought this album becose I want to fill my Yes collection. I see that it is the only reasonalble reason to purchase this album. It is a shame that Yes did music like this. It is also a great shame that after five years of break Yes allowed Roger Dean to create very good cover art for a weak album. He should have made it for Going For The One.

gimsom | 2/5 |


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