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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2617 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars If their last album was something of a misstep, "The YES Album" is in all ways a quantum leap. Some have pointed to the addition of guitarist STEVE HOVE as the band's turning point, and their decision to reclaim production is another positive step, but it's a newfound musical "elasticity" and unbound musical imagery that distinguish this record from their earlier work. The album opens with the nine-plus minute "Yours Is No Disgrace", a forceful and vibrant epic musical journey that plumbs the limits of progressive rock like little else before it. ANDERSON's lyrics are mystical in nature, suggesting images rather than pushing along a plot line, while the band's arrangements scale imaginary walls in a sonic conflict that comes to a peaceful resolution. As if to allow the listener to recharge, STEVE HOVE's acoustic instrumental "The Clap" follows, a lighthearted but technically impressive showcase from the one member perhaps most responsible for the band's deliverance. Another epic follows, "Starship Trooper", the first example of YES' multipart works and a classic in the band's canon. Even if its relation to the HEINLEIN novel of the same name is incidental at best, "Starship Trooper" transports the listener into a science fiction/fantasy realm that few could imagine. "I've Seen All Good People" is a study in contrast between the band's founders and principal songwriters, JON ANDERSON and CHRIS SQUIRE. The first part, "Your Move" (which served as the album's obligatory single), is acoustic and spiritually informed, trademarks of ANDERSON's style. The second part, "All Good People", is much more physical in nature, with Squire's bass achieving a tangible quality that listeners could feel as well as hear. TONY KAYE's piano steps into the limelight for the off-kilter acoustic storytelling of "A Venture", offering only brief respite before the explosive finale, "Perpetual Change", which walks between the airy and material worlds of Anderson and Squire with stunning results. However, the contributions of individual songwriters are incidental to "The YES Album"'s achievements; it's the dynamic expansion of their instruments - from BRUFORD's intricate rhythms to HOWE's acrobatic guitar solos - that represents the real breakthrough. And the scary part is, the band was about to get better.
daveconn | 4/5 |


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