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Yes - Heaven & Earth CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.36 | 580 ratings

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5 stars I find very astonishing to read so many negative reviews about this new album. I refuse to fall in this kind of collective condemnation. So many notes between 1 and 2 stars, how can we explain this ? Maybe a lot of people thought Yes could produce, in 2014, a masterpiece of modern prog music ?

I did not. We had to be aware Yes will never create a new "Close to the edge" or a new "Awken", not even a new "Mind drive". We just had to expect an agreable record and that's what it is : a nice collection of very pretty melodies full of beautiful harmonies in the typical Yes' manner. Probably, "Heaven and earth" is the most melodic record Yes has ever made.

The writing is quite good, the musicianship is skilled, more especially the guitar (though Howe's "it was all we knew" is the only weak moment of the album), Davison's voice is very close to Anderson's (in spite of some clumsiness, more especially in "Subway walls"). The entire disk reflects a great musical sensitivity and a perfect homogeneity. Surely, this is also the softer record Yes has ever made.

Ah ! I think I understand now why so many reviewers are disappointed : there is no heavy riff. Yes did not make any contractual reference to heavy prog, that's it ! Indeed. I could not say the contrary. No saturated guitars, no inflamed keyboard solo, no acute shouting, no thundering drums ; just soft and beautiful melodies.

In the mid 1990's, when they were reborn ("Keys to the ascension"), these musicians would have transcend the wise "Light of the ages". But this time is over. "Believe again" and "The game" are very decent true Yes songs, "To ascend" flows serenely and we nearly recover the great past some short moments in the bass parts and the keys/guitar bridge of"Subway walls".

I would have given 4 stars to this record, their best one since the Keys to the ascension. But I will give it 5 stars to balance a little bit the impressive flood of severe criticisms. "Heaven and earth" is quite an appropriate title for this record. But "Hell and flood" could reflect the predominant evaluation it gets here ! Unhappily...

Kjarks | 5/5 |


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