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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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ThomasMcGill
4 stars A pleasant trip down memory lane with tons of well known sounds, well crafted compositions and beautiful female vocals, this is the new Yesterdays album Saint-Exupéry álma.

The concept of Le Petit Prince is a longtime prog favorite, MIKE RUTHERFORD wanted to compose a concept album on this topic instead/before of THE LAMB LIES DOWN ON BROADWAY. Fast forward four decades, here's a Hungarian band making their mark in symphonic prog land with a full CD length concept album in the good old progrock tradition: with tons of MELLOTRONS, with a vintage sound that will remind you to YES and GENESIS immediately.

As a sucker for prog with female voice I started to be aware of Stéphanie Semeniuc's amazing vocal range with the previous Yesterdays album Senki madara. Now she is really showing off her skills on this album, helped by backing vocalist Tarsoly Csenge and Bogáti-Bokor Ákos by using multiple layers of vocals, a la PINK FLOYD, YES, QUEEN and even JELLYFISH.

Lyrics are in Hungarian, which is a good thing, I like these sonic adventures in different cultures, plus I got tired of the fact that almost every non-English band uses English for prog. Remember? Italian, Spanish, French, Belgian, German, Romanian, Hungarian, even made up languages were a thing in the seventies? And it was great! I'd bring back other languages into the genre... Hungarian prog is alive and Yesterdays represents a nice continuity after EAST, SOLARIS, AFTER CRYING, YOU AND I, who were using (mostly) their native language on their records.

Saint-Exupéry's Dream starts off with a powerful YES-like riff with the first chapter called Rajzolj át. Guitars in the style of STEVE HOWE (especially the first solo) with a wide stereo effect (exactly like on ROUNDABOUT) and I think it's definitely intentional. The ending is like a part from a never written YES tune. Seriously!

Úgy Várj Majd Rám is a symphonic prog gem. Well crafted melody, a catchy driving chorus, symphonic middle part with some Italian taste and the second part is a progrock instrumental highlight... moog, bass and talkbox guitar solo. My favorite moment on the album.

Esőtánc and Ma Minden Érdekel are linked with a musical theme and together are more than 30 minutes long. The first one is a very intense prog epic with very strong moments. Can't avoid mentioning GENTLE GIANT and GENESIS here, those sounds are very obvious. The chapters of the composition are well crafted songs on their own, they could easily use them as radio edits, the one around the 8th minute is so catchy! A nice example of a well crafted epic with a nice climax. Essential!

The next two moments (a solo piano piece with symphonic arrangements and flute solo) and a song with heavy drums and synth pads are the band's tribute to Enyedi Zsolt, YeDi, the band's keyboard player who sadly passed away in 2020, They have used his synth chords from a previous demo and built a song around it, so he can be present on this new albums too. A heartfelt gesture as allegory of the Little Prince's death/passing. Such a beautiful and heartbreaking moment.

Engedj El (Release Me) is the perfect ending of a nearly perfect album. GENESIS style sounds from the DUKE era are obvious: Yamaha CP, drum machine loop (from DUCHESS), little hints showing their influences. In the middle part there's a HOWE-ish guitar solo followed by a GILMOUR-ish solo (with fantastic backing vocals in the background). A symphonic prog delight.

I had a fantastic time with this album in the last few days. A very strong release, probably the best Yesterdays album so far, so I am already curious about their next one. But until that comes, this one will have lots of spins in my player. A true 4 star album, one of 2022's best albums for me.

ThomasMcGill | 4/5 |

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