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


Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe


Symphonic Prog

3.21 | 329 ratings

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Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Who needs a bass player a anyways? (Okay, that's a lie, they did have a bass player, but his name isn't in the title!)

Okay, here we go, the "lost yes album". Some people say "Yay!", many say "Ney!", I say, "whatever, it rocks either way" (That rhyming was unintentional... forgive me). This is definitely a breath of fresh air in 1989, and shows Yes wanting to emerge from their 80s guise. It is, however, unfortunate that Squire didn't want to add himself to the mix, now that would have been a great album (or another "union", who knows). Anyways, he didn't want to put his name in there, and since he owns Yes it had to be called something else, leading to the formation of this band.

enough about nothing, onto the review.

What's the music like? It's a great mix of soft and loud, bizarre and normal, Wakeman and Howe. Just listen to the piano intro leading into THEMES. Softly winding aroud until it is then kickstarted by the frantic drumbeat of Bruford which puts the song into true motion, characterized by Wakeman's boards and.... that guy on Bass. Okay okay, he has a name, Tony Levin, maybe you've heard of him? Anyways, Levin plays some great parts on here, but I would prefer Squire anyways. THEMES ends and so begins the Wakeman-riff drive FIST OF FIRE, which is a short powerhouse that would have felt right at home in the "Going For the One" era, and has even landed itself on a Yes compilation. Great song if you like synths. BIRTHRIGHT is a cool song that takes a direct stab at the USA ("this place ain't big enough/for red and white/this place aint big enough/for stars and stripes") and for that I like it. However, the instumentation and melodies aren't too shabby either, making it one of the album's better tracks. THE MEETING is an alright song that's well sung and characterized by Anderson's vocals. Nothing to complain about, yet nothing to remark too greatly about. QUARTET is an interesting little ditty with a fairly random pacing that's one of the first indicators that, hey, were still in the 80s here. Good song, bordering a bit too much on AOR for my liking at parts, but still noteworthy none the less. LET'S PRETEND is a forgettable outro, but THE ORDER OF THE UNIVERSE is a wonderful lost Yes song thats one of the album's highlights. It's heavy, it rocks, its progressive. All around good stuff.

Isn't there a few songs I've missed? Ah yes there is, but that's because they get their own paragraphs...

The album's centerpiece and the main focal point is the epic BROTHER OF MINE. Oh my what a track, but let me warn you, you will not like it the first time around. The Big Dream is a great segment that starts out the song with some low paced work that's brought to life by Anderson's delivery and Howe's floating riffs, this moves on until the song picks up and we eventually reach Long lost Brother Of Mine, a beatarific segment reminiscent of an 80s version of the breakdown on Seen All Good People. This may throw off the hardcore proggers first time around, but believe me, it grows on you.

(Time to take out the trash...) TEAKBOIS is a track I simply cannot stomach. The Hawaii-esque intro to "I'm Running" (Big Generator) was bad enough, but this is awful! The vocal melodies are really all that save this song from making me throw up, and I suppose it does have maybe a minute worth of good music in there. But the track is also seven and a half minutes long! That's way too long for a Hawaiian pop song! I suppose this song is an aquired taste and is love it-or hate it. I, for one, hate it. However, this is the only weak song on the album, so I'll forgive it.

Toss on some sweet Dean artwork and you're ready to go! This is an album I definitely recommend to any Yes fan, just don't expect Yes per se. A great piece of progressive music, and a great addition to anyone's collection. 3.5 stars, not a masterpiece, it has it's flaws, but it also houses some exceptional music. Give it a shot.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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