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Yes - Heaven & Earth CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.34 | 602 ratings

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3 stars I have enjoyed this album more than I thought I would. At first blush it reminded me of Open Your Eyes, tuneful but ultimately forgettable. And while the tracks have an easygoing relaxed approach, I feel that is the maturity of a band that doesn't have to prove something. And yet there are some particularly musically challenging parts, particularly in "Subway Walls," a piece that combines sweet chord progressions (and some very Classical/Baroque riffing from keyboardist Geoff Downes) with various asymmetrical meter sections and tasteful playing from Howe, Squire and White. That mix of "sweet" and "challenging" works for me in the large on this album even if it is not on the epic scale of "Close to the Edge" or "Gates of Delirium." That was Yes then; young and brash staking their claim in the music world. Heaven and Earth is Yes now; calmer, more relaxed and contented.

Jon Davison ably fills the vocal duties previously filled by Benoit David and Jon Anderson. He sounds like his own man although his range is similar (and Benoit sounded like himself on Fly From Here as well). His songwriting credits are of course the strongest on this album and he has given Yes a slightly new direction; quite different from the last album.

Back in the day I would be upset with a band when they didn't break new ground or stretch things as far as they could in the prog arena. Perhaps my mellowing with age is commensurate with Yes doing the same.

bdenim | 3/5 |


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