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Yes - YesSymphonic CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.82 | 71 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars This is actually something of a hybrid: a skeletal version of YES plays live in the studio alongside orchestral accompaniment, so the final product feels like a live YES album scaled back for a smaller venue and fleshed out with an orchestra. Those who expected a serious musical discussion based on the band's clever and complex motifs will be disappointed with what amounts to YES in Pepperland. Granted, most of these songs would sound good played on a kazoo, but extended works like "Close to the Edge" and "Heart of the Sunrise" are ripe for a serious reinterpretation, and the decision to merely add strings to the originals is a missed opportunity. On the quieter tracks, however, DAVID PALMER and the London Philharmonic become equal partners in the musical dialogue, which provides a somewhat fresh perspective to old nuggets like "Mood for a Day", "Soon" (which is given a MOODY BLUES treatment here), "Survival" and "Wonderous Stories." It's on the latter track especially that you realize YES has contributed some timeless melodies to the musical canon. On the rock side of the equation, STEVE HOVE is his usual brilliant self, Tim Harries is impressive replacing the seemingly irreplaceable CHRIS SQUIRE, and Jon Anderson reprises his role on a handful of songs. The presence of BILL BRUFORD, which would ordinarily be a cause for celebration, is instead a distraction here, since his original drum parts simply don't mesh with the orchestra. In fact, despite the presence of a qualified cast on both "Sides" of the boards and a legitimate label (RCA Victor), it's unclear if the parties involved had a shared final vision for what this would sound like. What remains is an unnecessary exercise that recycles their back catalog yet again.
daveconn | 2/5 |


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