Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Yes - Yes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 1384 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Magnum Vaeltaja
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Edit: I've listened to this album a lot in the time since I wrote my first (2 star, mainly negative/lacklustre) review of this album and I've decided that it's worth a complete rewrite.

Anyhow, "Yes" is, obviously, the debut album by a band that we all know well enough to not necessitate an introduction. But is "Yes" really a "Yes" album in its truest sense? Not really, but at the same time...Yes (sorry, I'll stop now). As far as genre tagging goes, the first effort by Anderson-Squire & co. consists of often times jazzy, often times folk-y, psychedelic pop rock. So there's no symphonic grandeur to be heard here, but that isn't a bad thing, per se.

What this first Yes album lacks in sheer ambition it more than makes up for in charm and melody. Really, this is a very strong, cohesive collection of songs. Anderson and Squire's harmonies are tight throughout and, despite not singing about khatrus or topographic oceans, it's very obviously still in the style that they'd become famous for soon after. Bruford is right in his element, with plenty of jazz-heavy beats scattered throughout. Kaye and Banks, the oft-forgotten early Yes members, don't "shine" in their performances, but there really isn't any reason for them to. Their parts fit into the mould of the music perfectly and fit together into a really cohesive ensemble whole. But let's not forget about Squire's bass playing. It's no "Roundabout" here, but it's several steps above your average psychedelic pop bass lines. He really pulls off some cool licks throughout.

I've established that "Yes" is the product of five talented budding musicians who are great at working together as a unit, but how's the music that they make? Not too bad, unsurprisingly. While the album isn't particularly varied in style, and can be a tad monochromatic throughout, the melodies are top notch. I very often get lines from "Beyond and Before", "Looking Around", "Harold Land", "Sweetness" and "Survival" playing through my head, long after I've last heard the album. The vocal lines are really catchy, but not annoying in the slightest. It's an optimal balance, really. And if you're having trouble thinking of what the album's sound can actually be likened to, I very often hear sections that I feel are comparable to "Visions of Angels" off of Genesis' "Trespass".

So while "Yes" may not be the most terribly exciting album out there, it's still a very good compilation of musical ideas executed by a skillful bunch of artists. And just consider that only 2 years after this, most of them would be going on to record "Starship Trooper", and "Close To The Edge" only a year or two after that! The amount of growth that Yes has shown from this starting point is impressive, no doubt, but this one paved the way. Very good, very non-essential. 3 stars.

Magnum Vaeltaja | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this YES review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.