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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.29 | 2623 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is generally heralded as YES first masterpiece. As much as I hear some very interesting things going on here, I don't agree with that statement.

For me there are two big problems with "The Yes Album" that stops me from judging it as highly as I would its successors. The first has to do with the music itself. Even though some tracks are definitely captivating (especially the excellent "Yours is no Disgrace"), some are weak and, in general, they lack that symphonic feel and treatment that their later albums would have. Many songs here are pretty simple in essence, with strong familiarities with plain rock n' roll. And some are actually disappointing.

The second issue that somewhat reduces my enjoyment of this record is Jon Anderson's increasingly annoying vocals. Curiously, that problem is not so evident in future releases like "Close to the Edge" or "Relayer", maybe because those albums feature more instrumental sections, or perhaps because his voice was actually treated in a different way. But here in "The Yes Album" his high pitch really sounds awkward, and, mixed with the sometimes-uninspired music, helps give the record a deranged- psychedelia flavor. The music is slightly psychedelic, and Anderson's voice adds to the feeling of weirdness, of a bad "trip" so to speak.

Your is no Disgrace (9/10) opens the album with brilliance. Squire's bass is the driving force in this very interesting song with great textures and a fantastic performance by Howe, one of his best ever.

Clap (7.5/10) A live acoustic-guitar jam by Howe, it's attractive once or twice. It loses interest after a few listens. His playing is very good, though.

Starship Trooper (8/10) The longest song in the record is good but nowhere near their future masterpieces. It tends to drag a little in the later sections.

I've Seen All Good People (6/10) An OK song that is ruined by Anderson's voice. If his vocals were ever annoying, nowhere were they more so than in this song. The poor melody and the mediocre hard- rock sections are brought down even more by the continuous annoyance of Anderson's high-pitched vocal harmonies.

A Venture (8/10) this one starts pretty well, mostly thanks to Howe, Kaye and Squire creating excellent textures. The song is rather short and simple, but it's enjoyable.

Perpetual Change (7.5/10) After a brilliant start the verse just can't maintain the same level, with terrible clichéd lyrics sung by Anderson. The song seems to gain stem again, mainly propelled by Kaye's energetic keyboard, but it ultimately fails. The second half is much better, with an excellent instrumental section, until Anderson's "inside out outside in" vocals return. A decent closer.

The good points about this album are, without question, Howe's excellent performance and some great textures by Kaye and Squire. But the average songs hurt the experience, and make me give this album a 3-star rating.

The T | 3/5 |


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