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Yes - Drama CD (album) cover

DRAMA

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 1172 ratings

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febus
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
3 stars BYE BYE, WAKEMAN AND ANDERSON, WELCOME BACK ROGER DEAN!!

I am very amazed by the cult status this album is getting through the ages. Reading some critics, it's like DRAMA is up there in the nirvana of the best YES albums. While there are some good parts on it, it cannot be compared on the same level with the early 70s releases and that has nothing to do with the departure of JON ANDERSON.

The new singer, TREVOR HORN of Buggles fame does a relatively good job at replacing ANDERSON, especially on the track MACHINE MESSIAH as in some parts, you could think that it is the former singer who is on duty. This album is definitely better than TORMATO, it seems the remaining members have refocused on what is YESmusic; no attempt at getting into the top 40, Just trying to play pleasant YESmusic. I guess as soon ANDERSON left, STEVE HOWE called ROGER DEAN and asked him to bring back the YES spirit on the cover artwork. Always (almost)a good sign when you see a ROGER DEAN design on a YES cover!!!!

The main opus is of course, a 10mn epic named MACHINE MESSIAH, a kind of hard rocking HOWE showmanship; This is by no means THE GATES, but after TORMATO, believe me it's good!!and it sounds like good old YES, the YES we used to love! Sadly some signs of the future are also present like ''Does it really happen'' which could have found a space on any RABIN-era albums, not bad, great SQUIRE bass, but that's already 80s sounding. Actually my second fave of the album is the one where HORN thinks he is a camera ''Into the lens'', good hooks, good melody,not overcomplicated, but pleasant. STEVE HOWE plays old STEVE HOWE again not like on TORMATO where he is trying too hard to sound like STEVE HOWE. He is himself again on this album, i guess the tensions with ANDERSON and WAKEMAN on Tormato were gone at this time.

The album ends with 2 decent tunes ''Run through the light'' and the fast ''Tempus fugit'' with a great HOWE again. I am not mentionning CHRIS SQUIRE as he is superb as usual. GEOFFREY DOWNES (of future ASIA fame) is doing a good job as well, definitely more discreet than WAKEMAN, but he plays some tasty parts throughout the album . But STEVE HOWE is defintely the man here!

A nice decent album; not a masterpiece but a definitely great improvement over TORMATO! 3 stars means a good album, right??? so let's go with 3 stars.

febus | 3/5 |

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