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Yes - Tormato CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.97 | 1426 ratings

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3 stars Eh, not the tastiest fruit to fall from the vine. The electricity and saturated sound of their last album is audibly absent, making "Tormato" feel thin and uninspired by comparison. Over time, good songs emerge, but not since "Tales From Topographic Oceans" have I had to look this hard to find them. Given the players involved, you wonder, what was the problem? Well, for starters, RICK WAKEMAN's keyboard arsenal is less than magical (perhaps some blame belongs to the short-lived Birotron) and CHRIS SQUIRE's bass sounds neutered. Thus, the sparkling at the high end and liquid rumbling at the low end are gone, resulting in what sounds to be their most muffled production since "Time And A Word" (although TULL's "Broadsword And The Beast" may be a better analogy). Now, onto the good news: the old magic does reappear (albeit briefly) on "Rejoice", "Madrigal", "Release, Release" and "On The Silent Wings of Freedom." STEVE HOVE's guitar gambols nimbly through the arrangements, whether twining itself around WAKEMAN's keyboards on "Madrigal" or skipping through "Future Times". JON ANDERSON's voice sounds blanched some of the time, a problem exacerbated by the dry medium of vinyl, but he remains the glue that holds the band together.

As a final curtain call for the fab five, "Tormato" is a disappointment, sounding at times more like a JON ANDERSON record (e.g., Song of "Seven") than a YES album. Even so, "Don't Kill The Whale" isn't a proper ambassador for this musical outpost, so fans will eventually get around to owning (and, YES, even enjoying) "Tormato". But by no means should this be one of the first five YES albums you own.

daveconn | 3/5 |


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