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Yes - The Ladder CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 934 ratings

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3 stars I wasn't sure I wanted to purchase The Ladder after listening to the awful Open Your Eyes, but I couldn't help myself and did. Sometimes loyalty can be rewarding, sometimes painful. The Ladder leans more towards being rewarding. In fact, when I first heard this I thought Yes was on their way to another masterpiece. Now some years later I have to wonder what was going on in my brain that month I was enthralled with this release. My guess is that it didn't age well.

Wakeman of course left the group after the Keys to Ascension CDs. On The Ladder, Russian keyboard wizard Igor Khoroshev took his place in the group. Billy Sherwood was still with the group, but took more of a limited role (which was probably a good thing since many thought he ruined the group in much the same way Trevor Rabin did), making this Yes lineup a sextet.

So, why hasn't it aged well? In recent listens I'd have to say because the group was once again attempting to gain radio exposure or maybe making long extended songs like Mind Drive or Close to the Edge was too much for these old rockers. The Ladder really has the feel of a 21st century Tormato, which means the group has once again lapsed into a lack of inspiration. Not that everything is bad. Some of these songs are refreshing. It's just that there isn't enough of them to excel this album to a higher rating. Another mixed bag. The Ladder is probably worthwhile for Yes fans, but for other listeners, this band has many better albums worth your attention than this one. Three stars. Good, somewhat boring, totally non-essential.

progaardvark | 3/5 |


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