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Yes - Yes CD (album) cover

YES

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.24 | 900 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
2 stars 2.5 Stars really

We can't expect many Prog bands to start their career with a Prog masterpiece (Unless we are talking about KING CRIMSON and a few others), a good example is GENESIS, their debut is a pretty decent POP release by a bunch of kids searching for a hit single, but at least they were coherent, they pretended to release a Pop album and released a Pop album.

In the case of the album under review, it's obvious that YES tries to make something transcendental, but I believe they fail miserably creating a hybrid that is not POP, Rock, Prog or even Psyche, what is worst, many of the tracks don't have feet or head, and that's a real problem.

The opener "Beyond and Before" is a good example of what I said in the first paragraph, not a ballad, not a frantic song, not Pop, even when it leans towards this genre, not Rock, even when Peter Banks makes a couple good Rock guitar sections and God knows what Tony Kaye pretends.

As many know, Jon Anderson's voice annoys me, but thee is always Chris Squire to support him with outstanding backing vocals, don't know if it's because Peter Banks, but the vocals in this track are simply horrendous, seem out of tone and if the vocalists would had never practiced together, because sound totally out of time, ruining the track even more.

"I See You" is a cover version of a song by THE BYRDS, nothing special either, but at least this time the jazzy interplay between Peter Banks and Bill Bruford save partially the track, because despite their efforts, the keyboards sound out of place and the vocals even worst.

"Yesterday and Today" is a soft ballad without any pretension, but at least the we know what the band pretends and they seem to achieve it, a soft poppy rack with a simple but beautiful melody, the piano at the end is delightful and even the vocals sound better.

I can't understand why a band capable of recording an excellent Prog track as "Looking Around" seems incapable of repeating the formula, lets be honest, this the first time I listen the real YES. Tony Kaye is impeccable and even advanced for 1969, and the rhythm section works perfectly......Incredibly I love the vocals, but most important, the structure is extremely interesting, with radical changes and impressive arrangements. If only the whole album was as good as this...

Please, somebody tell me what this guys were thinking about when recording Harold Land? Not only the Flower Power thing sounds outdated today, but the song is boring from start to end, what a disappointment.

"Every Little This" is a good Beatles Cover, probably the best one ever done after this track, but still not convincing, but at least it's nice to listen it for nostalgic purpose, something that doesn't happen with "Sweetness", a track that should had never been recorded, lack of transcendence and boring from start to end.

Before ending the album, YES included an excellent song, "Survival" is a good classical track by the band, not remotely the best they have done, but in the context of the self titled debut, seems like a masterpiece. Good closer.

Now, rating "Yes" is a real problem, a couple tracks are outstanding, at least enough to consider the album average, but on the other hand, I rated better debuts like ELP'S with three stars and "Yes" is not remotely in that level.

So despite "Looking Around" and "Survival" I will have to go with two stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 2/5 |

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