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Yes - Keys to Ascension CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 494 ratings

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4 stars Excellent live album, on par with yessongs in terms of overall satisfaction. While the musicians are not young anymore and some of the improvisational nature of the past is gone, they still know how to put a good show here. The sound quality is excellent and the songs are carefully played to excellence.

The standout here is "The Revealing Science of God". This song is a dramatic improvement, polished with smarter arrangements, modern sound, and great choice of sounds. However, many of the other songs are only slightly behind. The rocker "Siberian Khatru" is played with at least as much energy as in Yessongs, making it an addictive and fun listen. the symphonic ballad "Onward" features an extended acoustic guitar intro and the song overall sounds as good as the studio version. the epic "Awaken" has a better sound quality than the studio version and is more dramatic, though the modern feel hurts it a little in the middle soft section. The last song worthy of mention is "Starship Trooper" and its guitar-organ duel of fiery solos. On the other hand, "Roundabout" has been heard a trillion times live by Yes fans and "America" sounds a bit messy and unrehearsed and while it improves on the original, I never found it a very good song to begin with.

The studio songs, while it is exciting to hear the classic lineup again writing new music, are not on par with Classic Yes. "Be The One" is clearly overlong and focuses on few ideas, which were never impressive to my ears. "That, That is" is probably on par with the Tales of Topographic Ocean epics quality-wise, but it is very different. Lyrics are less ambiguous, darker, and based on urban lifestyle. The song is very diverse and has moments of brilliance: the Howe-driven first 4 minutes, and the beautiful main theme played with acoustic guitar.

Zitro | 4/5 |


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