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Yes - Drama CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 1544 ratings

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5 stars I can't help but think it was this record that brought Jon Anderson back to the band. C'mon Jon, admit it, the boys did an amazing job and popped out one of the best things in Yes' catalog. The fact that it was not as musically intricate as previous Yes outings didn't mean it wasn't a kick-ass release, and one of the best things to emerge from the comatose progressive rock scene in 1980. The group had revitalized itself with a fresh attitude and new take on their style of symphonic rock, even forecasting the bubblegum pop of 90125 but with much stronger material, heavier arrangements, a brighter studio sound and less high school romance than that album, making Drama an exceptional work that was far more consistent than anything they had done going as far back as 1974's Relayer.

This new energy is heard immediately on 'Machine Messiah', shining power-prog with a near-perfect arrangement and studio timbre. Steve Howe is brilliant, liberated from his usually restrained style with a welcome rock bravado. Chris Squire, clearly the leader here, turns in perhaps his best single performance on record, Alan White sounds like Heaven, keyboardist Geoff Downes and vocalist Trevor Horn fine replacements for former members. Squire's baby 'Does it Really Happen?' is great fun with a kickin' bass line, reverberating vocals and nifty guitar work, and love song 'Into the Lens' charms, has Howe's blistering lead and Downes' fine keyboards. The mix and fidelity again impress on the striking 'Run Through the Light', White's drums never sounding fuller, a solitary mandolin underneath holding it all together, followed by the spectacular 'Tempus Fugit' of which not enough good things can be said.

The fact is that Drama holds more power and resolve in one track than most records have in ten, and with more great moments than many seem willing to admit, it is a must for any respectable collection.

Atavachron | 5/5 |


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