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Yes - Yes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 1384 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Yes started out with a very good album that gave very few hints of where they were going to go. Squire's prominent bass and the emphasis on vocal harmonies are about the only things that Yes would take forward with them into their epic career. (Strangely enough, the much worse Time and a Word had far more elements of Yes music. They just didn't get them to work until the The Yes Album.) The music is firmly stamped in the psychedelic genre and there is a jazzy feel to several of the tracks that Yes abandoned early on. Bruford's work is more conventional than you would be used to, Kaye adds much less to the mix than he would on later albums and Peter Banks's guitar parts are rough and raw compared to what he would put out after leaving Yes. Still, this is a very likeable work. I quite enjoy the first six tracks (although be aware that some have a very different opinion of Harold Land.) My only quibble is with the last two. Sweetness is an early and awful example of what happens when Yes lets Jon dominate a track. This is still in the '60's, so Jon is singing about love instead of harmonic convergence (the reference here is to Holy Lamb off of Big Generator), but it sucks at least as badly. Survivor gets a lot of good press and I've never understood why. The lyrics are pretty good, and Kaye is awake and at the wheel on this one (heck he and Banks do some shadowing work in the opening that foreshadows what Howe and Wakeman would do so brilliantly on tracks like Roundabout [but in reverse, as Banks is shadowing Kaye, not the other way around]). But when you get to the meat of it, it's another syrupy vocal extravaganza like Sweetness, although this time with good harmonies and an edge. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that Survivor is an ok track but not really my cup of tea.

Anyhow, I'll give this 3 stars. Nearly all of this is good, but there is nothing stellar, almost nothing progressive and a rough edge that Yes would need time to refine.

ghost_of_morphy | 3/5 |


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