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Yes - Going for the One CD (album) cover

GOING FOR THE ONE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.04 | 1368 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Going for the One" is a good successor to "Relayer", which in my view shares, with "Close to the Edge", the spot as YES' best album ever. While it doesn't reach the same peaks of excellence overall, there are a few moments when it actually towers over all the rest of the band's records.

The return of Rick Wakeman of course is a welcome event, even if Moraz was a fantastic replacement. It just feels as if Wakeman is the right keyboardist for YES. His return, though, it's of course helped by the fact that the band tried to write better songs this time around. In contrast with the three-song "Relayer" (molded after "Close to the Edge"), and even more with the fatally flawed "Tales from Topographic Oceans", "Going for the One" features 5 songs, 4 of them of rather average length (if by "average" we can also mean 8 minutes). All but the last track are quite accessible at first listen, and they aim for simplicity (if not total) and effect (even if they fail).

"Going for the One" opens the album in pure rock-fashion. More complex than the average radio track but much easier than the traditional YES puzzle. "Turn of the Century" is almost beautiful, even though Anderson's vocals never let any song reach total beauty (in YES, instrumental music has to do it all by itself, not that Anderson is a bad vocalist but his voice doesn't fit the "musical beauty" definition). "Parallels" is simple yet entertaining. "Woundrous Story" closes the first half of the album in good fashion.

Of course, the until-now better-than-mediocre disc is suddenly lifted to another level with the majestic closer, "Awaken", the first half of which, in my opinion, reaches the levels of "Close to the Edge in terms of musical excellence, and maybe even surpasses them in energy and power. The beginning and first half of the song are just magnificent, with the recurrent downward-figure adding drama and tension the likes of which YES never achieved again (or before). It feels like hard- rock. It feels like energy trapped and ready to explode. The second half is much more quiet, but the resolution is satisfying. I have to confess that this may be now my favorite YES' song.

And thanks to the amazing closer, "Going for the One" leaves 3-star territory to reach a higher status. Better than "The Yes Album" or the very bad "Tales from Topographic Oceans", it sits on the same level as "Fragile": right next to the best YES ever offered, but not quite there.

The T | 4/5 |

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