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Yes - The Yes Album CD (album) cover

THE YES ALBUM

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.30 | 2985 ratings

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mr.cub
4 stars

From the onset, this album stands out as one of Yes' finest. The powerful 'Yours Is No Disgrace' opens with Steve Howe establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with, he gracefully transitions from a crunching opening riff into a delicate and fluid section while the band is in full prog swing. A true tour de force with the group repeating the same theme twice before going into this lovely section with Chris laying down a superb bassline while Jon shines. And then they return to the opening riff...ahh isn't it lovely when Kaye's organ comes in alongside this main riff. Howe does some interesting guitar work as the band explores some remarkable instrumental sections, building gradually in power before returning to more mellow mood as a spacey Howe highlights the instrumental. Jon returns again with acoustic guitar and bass providing nice texture to his vocals, again the piece builds slowly with Bill entering and electric guitar lines from Howe. The piece closes with the main instrumental break that opens the piece.

'The Clap' is a strong classical acoustic guitar piece by Steve Howe, a great example of his range and skill as a guitarist. 'Starship Trooper' is a very dynamic piece of music going from electric sections to an acoustic driven section in the middle of the song. Another piece that exhibits a splendid combination of simplistic riffs and more compex parts layered around. And then the ending: Wurm features a hypnotic repitition of this jazz like riff that only Howe could conjure up (its not exactly jazzy). Chris and Bill develop their ideas around this same theme, the band gradually building to an electrifying coda solo by Howe.

'Ive Seen All Good People' is the hit from this album, and with good reason: beautiful melody, vocals and instrumentation. (Don't surround yourself with yourself) The harmonies and multi-tracking of Jon's vocals is the highlight of the first part with Kaye's organ entering midway through the piece, bridging the piece into a brief pause and then part two. The band enters a nice groove behind the chorus and Howe ventures off into multiple solo sections. Overall, a strong piece of music that deserves the recognition it gets.

If one were to merge Yes and Genesis, I believe they would get 'A Venture'. It is an good piece but does not stand up to sheer ingenuity of the rest of the album. However, it does provide a nice break before the finale 'Perpetual Change', which is the definitive statement from this album, merging the styles and sounds that would become undeniably Yes. Again, a powerful riff- this time supplied by Kaye's piano with Chris' bass just exploding out of the speakers. Howe isn't far behind, layering the song with incredibly well placed fills and solos on guitar. A new theme is introduced midway through the song, notice how underneath Kaye's organ is returning to the main theme. Howe's distant guitar and Kaye's moog bring the song back to the main vocal section. The song goes through another tempo change, a variation of the chorus, before heading for the end with Jon's vocal harmonies taking the music upward...a fitting end to a daring album.

The only reason I consider this album a 4 star album is that I feel the production on the proceeding albums captures their sound much better, meaning the ambitious nature of those works is captured in all its glory. In terms of raw intensity, this album is unique in the Yes catalouge as it is much more rock oriented in its attack than [I]Relayer[/I] is, which is more fusion oriented. Ultimately, a worthwhile album to explore for those familiar with Yes or fans of Symphonic Prog. It rewards with every listen. Enjoy!

mr.cub | 4/5 |

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