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Yes - Union CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.50 | 970 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars In a fascinating twist, members of YES past and present combined their efforts under a single banner for "Union". Made up of material slated for a second ABWH album and new songs from the existing YES outfit of RABIN, SQUIRE, WHITE and KAYE, the collective work of both factions yield a tour de force. Only the most jaded critics could have found "Union" a disappointment; these fourteen songs far exceed anything that the individuals involved, solo or otherwise, have recorded since "90125". The record has something for everyone: arena-scale rockers that outperform anything on Big Generator, complex arrangements that succeed where the first ABWH album failed, and individual contributions that ooze with atmosphere. Producer JONATHAN ELIAS proves to be as invaluable as TREVOR HORN once was, cowriting much of the material and adding state-of-the-art production that matches PETER GABRIEL's Us in its environmental ambience. But the real story is YES; STEVE HOVE's inspired guitar licks (including another acoustic solo piece, "Masquerade"), BILL BRUFORD's off-kilter drumming, the decision to allow TONY LEVIN's bass to fill the same space as CHRIS SQUIRE once did, TREVOR RABIN's dead-on hooks, and JON ANDERSON's voice paired once again with SQUIRE. "Union" really does represent the best of both worlds. Where "Big Generator" sounded mechanical, "Union" feels organic; where the ABWH experiment lacked direction, here it is focused like a high-powered laser. Each of the fourteen tracks is a miniature treasure for fans, but even so some moments rise to the top: "Lift Me Up", "Saving My Heart", "Miracle of Life", "Silent Talking", "I Would Have Waited Forever", "Shock to the System" and "Dangerous (Look in the Light of What You're Searching For)" belong with their best tracks from the '80s and '90s. If YES seemed to take its heritage lightly with "Drama", "Union" settles the score with fans. As a further treat, the entire lineup supported the album with a live tour.

"Union" remains the perfect postscript to the YES story. Note that the CD and cassette add "Angkor Wat", a tribute to the Cambodian landmark similar to Vangelis' "The Little Fete", and the JON ANDERSON composition, "Take the Water to the Mountain."

daveconn | 4/5 |


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