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Yes - Time and a Word CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 1450 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The time is later and the word is maybe.

Depending on the day, I may give Time and a Word a two, or maybe a four, so I'll settle on three stars. Basically the orchestra sounds nice, but I think it serves to restrain the band. Their first album was raw and energetic, but this one only displays that occasionally. Fortunately, Squire's bass is mixed nice and loud throughout, and Bruford is really starting to come into his own. Unfortunately most of the songs have boring parts that feature neither of these amazing musicians. Anderson's voice is raw and sometimes a bit out of tune...listening to this leaves no hint at his future transcendence. Here are the highlights:

No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed. Great bouncy, catchy, and energetic tune. I'm always pumped up after this one.

Then. Great chorus and middle jam, but forgettable verses and a lackluster ending.

Everydays. Similar to Then: A truly inspired instrumental break, but boring stuff surrounding it. Is that worth listening to the entire tune? Only if you're in a patient mood.

The Prophet. Another track where Bruford and Squire basically carry the tune...average contributions at best from the rest.

Astral Traveller. My favorite from the album. Finally something upbeat for the duration of the tune, the guitar is finally doing something interesting, and Anderson has some harmonies to hide his limitations at this point in his career.

Time and a Word. I wasn't expecting a hippy sing-a-long, but it's certainly catchy, and a good ending to almost any album.

No wonder the recored execs put the screws to Yes after this album. There is frustrating potential for Yes, but they don't seem to know exactly what sound they are going for. Squire and Bruford clearly established themselves, and Anderson obviously stepped up his game in later albums. This core was prescient enough to fill in their obvious inadequacies with more capable and creative musicians. A must for Yes collectors of course, but also a nice buy for people who enjoy prog/pop mash-ups. Just don't expect "classic" Yes here and you'll avoid disappointment.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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