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Yes - Drama CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 1543 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Wheeeeeee!!! Listen to those bass lines go!

Yes must have known they were in a big predicament in the wake of this record. And I sort of use the word ''wake'' as an accidental pun because Wakeman is who Yes lost...again between TORMATO and DRAMA. While Yes have and could survive without Wakeman, losing Jon Anderson had to have been a low blow to Yes fans circa 1980, as the voice and creative mind was cospicuously absent for DRAMA. But, lo and behold, the Buggles are here to save the day and give Yes one last prog hurrah!

There are plenty of progheads who don't like the idea of an MTV pop band merging with Yes, or for that matter, any Yes album without Jon. And I'll be honest, it has lost a bit of luster over time, but the sound here is very fresh compared to what TORMATO spewed out. Downes's keyboards don't sound too strange or out-of-place, and the bass has this great phased(?) sound that is brought to the forefront; I'm not an acoustics expert, but I like the DRAMA bass under phase(?) as opposed to the TORMATO swamp water bass.

''Machine Messiah'' is the track of which Yes are trying to win prog fans back with; a heavy guitar thing in the beginning leads to spirals of grandiose keyboard-led passages, sombre acoustic moments, jumpy basslines and the great vocal harmonies Yes is well known for. I must say Trevor Horn does a good job of fitting in, but meshing with Squire's voice so well is something I didn't expect but am glad happened. At ten plus minutes, it should already whet your prog appetite.

The other songs aren't too shabby either, particularly showcasing Downes and Squire. Bass lines are the name of the game on ''Tempus Fugit'' and ''Does It Really Happen'' as both are propelled by them and everything on top is just bonus to me. ''Into the Lens'' has a very theatrical type of sound if ''theatrical'' can be used to describe music. Even as short of a track as ''White Car'' has a little magic to it (courtesy of Steve Howe guitars). Only ''Run Through the Light'' sounds weak as I hear the limitations of Trevor Horn's voice; Horn also plays bass here and it's noticeable as it sounds more like a trombone rather than a typical Squire bass.

Eddie Offord taking engineering range is a huge benefit for Yes as I have recently come to realise how important he was into bringing out the best in the instrumentation, especially the bass guitar. And hey, Roger Dean does the cover for this album, so there's plenty of Yes elements here. The lineup might not be classic, but the sound is; a rare example of how new wave and prog rock can go side by side effectively.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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