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Yes - Drama CD (album) cover

DRAMA

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 1197 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
4 stars NOT a Drama

Drama is one of those albums which have been hated in the time of it's release, but with the transition of the years it's been getting a quite big ''fanbase'', which it really deserved it from the moment it was released. There may be no Jon Anderson nor Wakeman, but have you heard their previous, Tormato? There's nothing good of them in that album, so for me(and many others) it's the same if they aren't here, we have as replacements members from a New Wave band from the time, The Buggles, these members are Trevor Horn(vocals) and Geoffrey Downes(keyboards).

Drama is much of a change for Yes, bringing New Wave ideas set by the new members, plus some Heaviness never heard from Steve. Lead members on this album are definitely Steve and Chris, also notably on Relayer that leadership, in which makes the album guitar/bass-driven, rather than a equilibrated band which every member had time to shine, but you couldn't define which was the dominating instrument in it.

The album blasts off with the well-recognised Machine Messiah, embracing most of the characteristics mentioned before: the unexpected heaviness from Steve's guitar, and the powerful drumming from Alan, and the guitar/bass leading characteristic. The song also features a very dark climax created by Steve's heavy guitar and Geoffrey's keyboards. For those who don't know Trevor's voice, compared to Jon's, well Trevor is lacking of uniqueness, but that's it, he sings fine and suits well for the songs.

White Car is a short, semi-dramatic, gentle tune. Featuring some positive aspects of Trevor's voice, and some well suited keyboards by Mr. Downes. I generally skip it, for lack of strength, could have been better suited in Going for the One, still White Car makes a good song of itself, if only it had been longer...

Does it Really Happen breaks the semi-dramatic tension of the previous track with a killer bass line. The song is a bass-driven rock song with Prog and New Wave encounters. It has a catchy rythm and chorus, but still has a very sophisticated composition, with some instrumental passages, and musicianship, with some classic Yes keyboards(Organ ala Fragile; Moog ala Yes Album) and a bass solo at the end of the song, which definitely shows that Yes' 70's skill is still here.

Into the Lens moves the album into a melancholic mood in it's first 2 minutes which then moves forward to a more powerful rythm and at the same time catchy with it's chorus, which was intended to be a Buggles song called I'm a Camera, so you also got the New Wave influence here, but it's quite subtle. Into the Lens still shows the 70's strong musicianship characteristic as in Machine Messiah and Does It Really Happen: Geof's organ and piano playing, Chris' unpredictable bass playing, and Steve's fierceful guitar playing, reminds me of Awaken.

Run Through the Light is where the new members' ideas come in their entirety, making a sloppy Pop song, with a quite annoying drum sound, yet has some good standpoints as Chris' bass and Steve's few guitar appearances which saves the song from complete slopiness tag.

The album finishes as great as it started with Tempus Fugit, all the characteristics of Into the Lens, Machine Messiah and Does it Really Happen are here making one single song. Fabolous bass work(as always), Wakeman-ish style of playing, powerful guitar riffs and classic Steve solos. Classic 70's Yes, is once again here.

Drama all in all, is as unique as Relayer, maybe not as strong, but the unique points of these albums are there and can't be beaten by any other Yes album. Also these 2 albums, Drama and Relayer, have something in common which I already mentioned at the begining, which is the Guitar and Bass leadership on all the songs, which makes it quite different from the rest of Yes albums. All the musicians here make it feel as if the album was a classic Yes album, from the musicianship point of view, while from the compositions and style of the songs are slightly different because of the New Wave influence; this is just another point in which makes Drama so unique and great.

4 stars because all of the mentioned previously.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |

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