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Yes - Yes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 1383 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars YES is what a debut should be. It didn't shake the earth like 'Court of the Crimson King', yet it wasn't (immediately) disregarded as another group of hippies trying to copy the Beatles. The album is harmless and fun, but with a strange sort of presence that is at first, hard to pinpoint. Perhaps it's the flower-power vocal harmonies that don't quite mix with the famously jagged basslines, or the detuned, strictly-jazz drumming style that doesn't quite blend with the hard- edged rock organ. I believe, that what grabs the listener's attention and makes them think "hmmmm, interesting...", is the whole mis-matched diversity of the band, and the album as a result.

Yes IS a diverse record indeed, but not in a particularly impressive way. It's diversity isn't as intentional as ELP's 'Works Volume II', or as roundedly effective as Led Zep's 'Houses of the Holy'. It's simply a melting pot of styles and influences; rushed in places, quirky yet innocent, with sloppy production. But for yes fans who can now regard the band's career as a whole (with the knowledge of what was to come 3 years later), these irritations can be forgiven and put down to it being Yes's first attempt at music making. Especially as there are those shining moments which seem to predict the future of the band: the structure of 'Survival' for instance, with it's "smoky jazz club" introduction. Or the instrumentation of "Harold Land", where each verse's decoration lends itself to the story being told with a professionalism that is worlds apart from the pop sensibilities of 'Sweetness' or 'Dear Father'. What Yes does as an album, is create a beginning. It starts the climb up the progressive mountain, which, although makes it clearly inferior to the records which dominate the peak (CTTE, Tales, and Relayer), it can still be seen as having more potential than those albums on the other side of the mountain. If the "peak" lies in the middle, then the albums before it can be forgiven, but what excuse does 'Tormato' have for being so poor?

thehallway | 3/5 |


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