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Yes - Time and a Word CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 1449 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Time and a Word saw Yes attempting to use an orchestra, something that, in a sense, made perfect sense for a symphonic prog band, but at this point, Yes were still more of a psychedelic band than a prog band. The orchestra still fits well enough, and they are perhaps the most compelling reason to listen to this album - to hear what Yes could sound like with an orchestra. (This is something you could alternatively hear on their later album, Magnification, or on their Symphonic Live CD or DVD).

In terms of the songs, Yes had not yet reached the era where their epics would define them - the longest song on this album isn't quite 7 minutes (even with the bonus tracks).

It starts strongly enough with No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed - a cover, but one with enough energy to have the listener feeling appropriately upbeat. It is not hugely memorable afterwards, I find, but nonetheless a fine opening. The following song, Then, is perhaps stronger, as Yes were really starting to master their songwriting, even if they weren't quite the masters that they would become with their next album.

Everydays is yet another cover, and not a hugely strong one; it is followed by Sweet Dreams, another upbeat tune that is more memorable than the opener. Other than that, there is not much to be said about it.

The next two songs, The Prophet and Clear Days, both have nice soundscapes but are as forgettable as almost everything else on the album. The only reason to keep listening through them is to reach the end of the album, which includes two highlights, and the strongest songs off the album - Astral Traveller and Time and a Word (the title track).

Astral Traveller is a catchy guitar-driven song, one of the two on the album without the orchestra. This song would not receive a lot of live play, however, although it has been featured in their most recent (2008-2009) tour, with Chris Squire being the only member of the band who was around at the time of this albums recording. It really is a gem, and while perhaps not as much of a masterpiece as anything from Yes' golden era, definitely a great track.

Time and a Word is idyllic in the way that many future Yes tracks would be, under the lyrical guidance of Jon Anderson. While not quite as much of a flight of fancy as future tracks, the chorus:

"There's a time, and the time is now and it's right for me, it's right for me, and the time is now. There's a word, and the word is love and it's right for me, it's right for me, and the word is love."

Is appropriately upbeat and catchy enough.

Overall, however, those two songs are the only ones truly memorable. For people who are not into the band, this album is little more than a curiosity - they would have stronger tracks on future albums, and Symphonic Live is probably the best way to go to hear Yes with an orchestra, as you can hear some of the best songs from their entire catalogue on that disc.

TheGazzardian | 2/5 |


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