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Yes - Yes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.25 | 1026 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars On their eponymous debut, the band's brand of muscular psychedelia is already distinctive. ANDERSON's precious voice, the sinewy rhythms of Squire and BRUFORD, BANKS' dexterous guitar and KAYE's austere keyboards offer clear indicators of a style that would evolve into their subsequent masterworks. However, there are some growing pains in evidence: the harmonies are occasionally strained and some of the softer tracks ("Sweetness", "Yesterday and Today") sound dated. Despite arriving at a unique style that mixes airiness with explosive playing, Yes didn't create this music in a vacuum. Bits of PINK FLOYD (particularly in their cover of THE BEATLES' "Every Little Thing") and other sci-fi rockers pop up in their music, tempered by the psychedelic harmonies of CS&N and THE BYRDS (whose "I See You" gets a terrific treatment here). While their first album didn't chart or generate a hit, some of the songs are well worth hearing: "Beyond and Before" and "Looking Around" are dynamic and inventive, "Harold Land" is a fine piece of musical storytelling (an early example of ANDERSON's lyrics before he abandoned form), and "Survival" offers a taste of the impressive arrangements to come.

Viewed from the vantage point of their later music, "Yes" is still rough around the edges, but the band's enthusiasm and artistic aspirations already set them apart as something special.

daveconn | 3/5 |


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