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Yes - Drama CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 1543 ratings

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Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars It's very sad to see how this excellent album is misunderstood and underrated by the Jon Anderson fans, yes it's true that Trevor Horn is not Jon...But what about that?

I always believed that the weakest link in YES was Jon's voice, well in Drama we have the chance to listen the band after the infamous Tormato and with a new vocalist, the results couldn't had been better, Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes gave YES another life after almost every reasonable fan believed the band was dead and buried, sadly this new breeze lasted only one album.

Drama begins with the outstanding Machine Messiah, in my opinion the best track the band released since the last classic era album (Relayer). It has everything, solid vocals, fresh keyboards. excellent guitar, impeccable rhythm section and dramatic changes. For more than 10 minutes, the bands proves that they can play fantastic music without Anderson and Wakeman.

From the powerful introduction we can notice this guys are giving a fantastic performance, everything is in it's place and when they reach the first climax, a sudden change makes the song flow with a natural sound, enhanced by Horn and perfectly backed by Chris Squire, at last we are in front of a solid band and not only a group of talented musicians with huge egos trying to prove how great they are in comparison with the rest.

At this point the changes happen almost every minute, from fantastic guitar sections to an unexpected Baroque keyboard passage, don't need to say more, an underrated gem.

White Car is a very short but pompous filler between two powerful tracks, despite this fact, not bad either.

Does it Really Happen is another highlight, again from the vibrant start, the band proves they are better than ever, despite the Popish vocal sections, the song presents almost every element required for a good Prog track, not as strong as the opener, but good enough.

Into the Lens (I Am a Camera) is another excellent track that received harsh comments because it had airplay and even an MTV video, and something an average Proghead doesn't forgive is commercial success. I won't say it's a masterpiece, but it's an excellent track that has a much more complex structure than expected for a song in the 80's.

The interplay between White, Squire, White and Downes is perfectly natural, as if they were playing together for decades, what really surprised me because I thought they wouldn't survive Tormato, but here they are, giving an excellent performance.

No YES album would be complete without a softer track, and Run Through the Light provides this necessary relax, even in the faster sections, this soft atmosphere and paused tempo is prevalent, nice track even when a bit too simple in comparison with most of the material in Drama.

Tempus Fugit is simply brilliant, Geoff Downes does an amazing organ intro and carries the weight of the song, while an unusually strong Alan White makes the perfect companion. Even when the track is frantic from start to end, there's time for every member of the band to give it's best.

Even when my CD has several bonus tracks, my review will be limited to the original material, because that's how the band released the album to be listened, and they did such great job, that I don't feel necessary to change it.

The only thing I regret is that this project was so short, this lineup should had released more albums, probably would had save us from the Rabin years, but that's just guessing.

Four stars without any doubt.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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