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Yes - Tormato CD (album) cover

TORMATO

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

2.92 | 996 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
2 stars An interesting example of what happens when talent and absurdity coalesce into a completely lop-sided miasma of complex rhythms, fine singing despite silly lyrics, sloppy guitar work despite improved experimentation, and inane keyboards despite nothing. Tormato is about as mediocre as it gets.

First, let's talk about the songs. There are a few compositional highlights to be discovered, say in the opening number and in a few places in Release Release and Silent Wings of Freedom, but the rest is like a messy whimper of what Yes music is all about. Don't Kill the Whale? Arriving UFO? Circus of Heaven? Give me a break! These are hands-down the worst tunes the band has performed up to this point. While Yes tunes always have a mystic, cryptic edge to them, these are just lyrically silly, breaking down to syllabic la-la-la's an unacceptable number of times. So, as far as songwriting goes, this is a single step above complete disaster-- the end of the album will more than confirm that to the listener and may actually be the worst ending OF ALL TIME. I was all for ending that horrible Wakeman solo early, but this sounds like they ran out of tape at the studio and said, screw it!

As if the songs weren't disappointing enough, the group's performances sound a lot like they're phoning it in. Howe's guitars are all over the place-- and not in a good way; his solos are sloppy, twangy, and as a general thing uninteresting. Jon's vocals lack energy, as does White's (as usual) unremarkable drumming. But, by far the worst offender of prog-fisted, uncreative, and TACKY playing is that saccharine stink coming from Mr. Wakeman's corner-- whose organs and synthesizer chime out what is, in my opinion, the WORST sounding keyboards ever. I hope Casio gets royalties from this album's sales, because every note the former maestro plays sounds as if it's coming from the cheesiest, cheapest, toy- store keyboard imaginable. Every moment of coolness the band begins is shattered as soon as he touches the keys. Fortunately, the incomparable Chris Squire retains some level of instrumental dignity, as he cranks out some fine bass grooves behind the scenes, especially when in the wah-wah feel of the group's early releases.

This really is the death-cry of THE classic prog-rock band, and should be listened to only to remind fans how amazing their other albums are.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 2 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Prog Leviathan | 2/5 |

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