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Yes - Tormato CD (album) cover

TORMATO

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

2.94 | 1057 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is probably the most criticized album out of the ones YES released in the 70's. While I can see where most of those criticisms are coming from, I think the album is much better than it is given credit for.

The main problem with "Tormato" is in my opinion the lack of a coherent style in the songs, especially comparing the record with all the previous albums, even including the more-boring "Tales From Topographic Oceans". It's like the band members didn't know where they wanted to take the group now. At moments, it would look like they still wanted to continue on the progressive-rock path; there are other passages where the direction is clearly different. The band was at a breaking point, and it reflects on the music.

Not only does the disc lack a coherent style but the songs are of different, uneven quality. On one side of the spectrum we have good tracks like "Arriving UFO"," Future Time/Rejoice" or "On the Silent Wings of Freedom." On the other, we have mediocre songs like the ultimately baffling "Onward" or the pop-oriented but not-catchy-or-memorable "Don't Kill the Whale". And even in the good tracks there's no consistency. The one that opens the album is the best example: a short-epic split in two parts where the normal flow and musical connection between both is difficult to grasp.

The performances are, as always, very effective. Anderson's may be the weakest one, especially in "Don't Kill the Whale" (which also has poor lyrics that don't do the mammal any favor) and "Release Release" (a good song otherwise). Wakeman and Howe seem to lack chemistry in this album. Squire plays by the book. White delivers efficiently but unimpressively.

In the end, we're left with a flawed album that is actually enjoyable if listened to with low expectations. For fans of "Close to the Edge" or "Relayer" this record will be a disappointment. The right rating would be 2.5, and without that option I'll round up this time and give it three stars for the entertainment factor and the generally-satisfying performances.

The T | 3/5 |

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