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Yes - Tormato CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.98 | 1393 ratings

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3 stars It is widely acknowledged by the prog intelligentsia that this was a downturn for a beloved band. But when you listen to fools, the mob rules, and if heard as simply an album of fresh new music (in 1978) by a gifted group, a quality selection of songs is revealed. The big difference between this and previous Yes offerings is that the songs are shorter and more concise, trimmed of the flavorful fat a growing Prog fan craves, leaving only the lean and easily- digested parts. And perhaps that's what commercial music does so well, but it doesn't mean Yes ceased to be a symphonic rock group.

'Future Times' starts things strong with the band sounding in top form; a familiar Jon Anderson lyric, Alan White's military snare drum, Rick Wakeman shining bright as always and sporting his wide variety of synths, organs and other weapons of mass construction, Steve Howe harmonizing with everyone masterfully and showing his versitile skills, and the irrepressible Chris Squire doing what he does better than anyone on the planet. 'Rejoice' is equally fit, full of strong melodies. 'Don't Kill the Whale' is silly and dated but held together by good music, blistering noodles from Howe and a bubblegum Biotron part by Wakeman. A move toward the pop market? An unforseen coup brought about by worried men in suits? Or maybe just an uncharacteristic ditty by a band expected to always support a tradition of Prog excess. Wakeman's harpsichord carries 'Madrigal' which has Howe's Flamenco dabbles and Anderson's nu-religious rantings, and 'Release, Realease' is old-time rockin' Yes awkwardly connecting symphonic with early rock 'n roll. 'Circus of Heaven' has queasy sentiment but also some carnival oddities from Rick. The very pretty 'Onward' is led by Howe's bright staccato and Anderson's sweet vocal, and is one of the few genuinely touching love songs by this legendary ensemble. And 'On the Silent Wings of Freedom' features Squire's classic harmonized Rickenbacker, White's tighter-than-tight beats, and a great arrangement showing off the years together and natural instincts this outfit boasts. All in all this record is just fine, even good, and in hindsight doesn't deserve the cold shoulder it got from both the prog and pop camps. Three solid stars.

Atavachron | 3/5 |


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