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Yesterdays - Saint​-​Exup​é​ry álma CD (album) cover

SAINT​-​EXUP​É​RY ÁLMA

Yesterdays

 

Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 41 ratings

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DenisZhukov
5 stars (Spoiler alert: I'll mention YES too many times in this review!!!)

I need to say this right away: Yesterdays finally made the album we've been expecting from them from the very start. We needed a concept album and we got it. 73+ minutes, all around the topic of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and The Little Prince. A story about the writer's plane crash in the Libyan Desert and of course the birth story of the beloved French classic: Le Petit Prince.

The band this time not only hinted the process of the album, they've shared every little step with photos, making of video all through 2021 and 2022, so they've took their followers to a colorful journey through space and time. And it was worth the wait.

Great power, great sound and all the symphonic prog goodness you should expect if you are a YES, GENESIS or GENTLE GIANT fan. No pop music this time, just pure progressive rock. And they went really wild with the STEVE HOWE and CHRIS SQUIRE influences. Ákos Bogáti-Bokor, the leader of the project has a very good sensitivity toward these two musicians we all love. He made his mark on many SAMURAI OF PROG albums and projects in the past. With these influences on their shirts we all know where this album is stylistically.

Long songs. 8, 9, 11, 20 minutes... all made with rich musical ideas, no fillers or boring long solos: straight to the point all the time.

"Rajzolj át" is a fantastic opening tune. ROUNDABOUT came to my mind thanks to the sounds of the guitar and bass. Upbeat prog. HOWE and SQUIRE sounds all the way, but it's not a simple copy. The style, the mood and despite the influences, it's very original. The middle part is simply amazing, Stephanie Semeniuc shines through with her beautiful vocals, this part is like a love child between HEART OF THE SUNRISE and GATES OF DELIRIUM. The ending is like a lost musical piece from YES's FRAGILE. Beautiful!

"Úgy várj majd rám" was the first single, revealed in the Bandcamp Presale stage. Wise choice! Essential prog, catchy chorus, stellar instrumental parts. The song itself quotes AND YOU AND I in the intro. The middle part made me think of ENNIO MORRICONE and HARMONIUM at the same time. Italian bass player Francesco Faiulo (from THE COSMIC REMEDY) gives this part justice. The second part of the composition has the essence of Symphonic Prog (with capital letters). Hats off: this keyboard solo is an imaginary duet of Patrick MORAZ with CHRIS SQUIRE. Just amazing! One of the highlights of this album. Zsigó László (from TABULA SMARAGDINA) is a fantastic drummer, gives power to this segment (and to the whole album).

"Estekék" is like a back story of the album, you can imagine yourself in the middle of the desert, you can feel the thirsty struggle for life in the heat. Exotic sounds and once again, Stéphanie's powerful vocal performance. The backing vocals reminded me of DAVID CROSBY's rich arrangements. You don't hear these things anymore anywhere else too often. The theme of the song is a powerful unison melody, haunting, worrying and dark.

"Esőtánc" is a 20 minute long epic and oh boy, it is a big one. This song would need a separate review by itself. It's the best song on the album. Period. Mellotron extravaganza, Stéphanie's beauty, many many flutes, virtuoso guitars, distorted bass. What can I say? I was speechless when out of nowhere a 5 part vocal fugue appears GENTLE GIANT / KEVIN GILBERT / J. S. BACH style... completely blown away by Yesterdays' composition skills. You can put your hands on the HOWE, SQUIRE and GENESIS influenced parts, again, in a very original way. I just couldn't stop smiling. A very well built structure with rich musical colors, sounds, amazing lead vocals and dynamic drumming. Prog rock masterpiece!

"Ma minden érdekel" is a healing moment after the very intense 20 minute epic. It's like a THE BEACH BOYS / SUPERTRAMP song in the beginning, crazy solos in the middle, gentle seventies soundtrack-like music at the end to give the listener a calming release... the symphonic orchestra plays a few bars from STRAVINSKI's FIREBIRD SUITE and a few bars later (underneath the flute melody) there comes the melody of CLOSE TO THE EDGE... isn't this a heartfelt YES tribute moment? YES it is!

"Méreg" and "Panoptikum" are linked, these are the songs about the death of the Little Prince, a tribute to ENYEDI ZSOLT, Yesterdays' keyboard player who has tragically passed away in 2020. They have used his synth sounds from an unfinished early demo, so he can be heard one last time on a Yesterdays album. A crazy, haunting drum sound with unusual time-signature in loop. Gated drums á lá PHIL COLLINS, roto toms, radio noises. The Little Prince is gone...

"Engedj el" (Let me go) is the most beautiful and sad moment of the album. It sums up the whole story from the pilot's point of view. Sorry, I'm not sorry: I need to say that this is a fantastic GENESIS tribute moment. Yamaha CP sounds with harmonies from a never written TONY BANKS song, sensitive and yet powerful vocals, rich backing vocal harmonies, haunting middle part sung by Ákos, painful and heartfelt guitar solos in the style of HOWE and GILMOUR. And there's the drum sound from DUCHESS (of course from GENESIS' DUKE album).

"Rajzolj újra át" is a calming, cute little acoustic tune giving a gentle, playful, BEATLES-like releasing mood from all that progressive goodness we've experienced before, giving back the hope for the future.

To conclude this already long review, I'd like to say that I am very happy Yesterdays returned to true symphonic prog territories again, I think we'll be talking about this album a lot in the future. The album is a must for fans of Hungarian prog but lovers of this genre can't go wrong with this CD. Putting aside my heartfelt appreciation for Yesterdays, I am very confidently give strong four and a half stars, closer to five. Highly recommended!

DenisZhukov | 5/5 |

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