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Anderson Bruford Wakeman  Howe - Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe CD (album) cover


Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe


Symphonic Prog

3.21 | 328 ratings

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3 stars The return of Yes sans Chris Squire. Just how integral Squire was to the classic Yes sound is very evident on the projects of ABW&H. What really sterilizes the sound, however, are Bruford's electronic percussion, which sound good with King Crimson; however, they have no place in any incarnation of Yes.

Without Squire, we do have the brilliant Tony Levin on bass and stick. Not a bad replacement and (in my mind) a superior bassist. That's not really an upgrade for Yes, though. As good as Tony is, you miss the dynamic present with Squire.

All is certainly not lost on ABW&H. "Brother Of Mine" is a fine epic with exquisite keyboards by Wakeman, which tend to sound a bit too 80's cheese laden on the first couple of tracks "Themes" and "Fist Of Fire". As the albums longest track at 10 minutes and a bit, it harkens back to the days of early Yes...if it weren't for the blasted electronic percussion! Still, a very good tune that has an all too abrupt ending.

"Birthright" sounds a bit Peter Gabriel-ish via Us, but we are treated with the nimble virtuosity of Steve Howe on acoustic. Probably one of my favorite songs on this disc with some nice keyboard landscapes created by Wakeman.

As beautiful as the past Yes ballads have been, "The Meeting" could easily rank up there and would've worked on Fragile or Close To The Edge. A touching song that is both vulnerable and magical in it's conception highlighted by Wakeman's brilliant piano work.

The low point (and what keeps it from achieving 4 stars) is the salsa tinged "Teakbois". It's so un-Yes that it's laughable and cannot believe it was included. A song lacking in testicular fortitude, to say the very least.

At the very least, ABW&H is not a bad album. It's a bit Yes Lite and could've used better production that could stand the test of time, as with the classic Yes albums like Close To The Edge and Relayer. Those albums still sound fresh; whereas, this sounds a bit antiquated. Somewhere between 2 and 3 stars.

E-Dub | 3/5 |


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