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Yes - Tormato CD (album) cover

TORMATO

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.00 | 1630 ratings

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Cheesehoven
3 stars I would say this album is slightly worse than the previous (which I do not hold in high regard) ,mainly because it does not have anything to match "Awaken". Like that, this had one good and one dodgy side.

SIDE ONE

The album starts in fine style with "future times/ rejoice" which I consider an overlooked gem in their catalogue. It seems to be refreshingly in more of an authentic Yes soundworld than side one on "Going for the one". This pair of tracks actually has some proper progressive moments but it perhaps seems unnaturally foreshortened. Certain parts sound if they needed to be expanded for fullest impact.

"Don't kill the whale" is an enjoyable little song; inventive in its own way. It continues Anderson's obsession with the marine mammals but on a greatly different scale to TFTO!

"Madrigal" is a beautiful miniature, similar to, but better than "turn of the century" unfortunately too brief.

"Release, release" revives the rock radio-friendly sound of the previous album. Its not a bad song, with song ideas but has some blandness about it partially production, partially performance.

SIDE TWO

This is where the problems start. "Arriving UFO" is a 6 minute oddity. The vocal melody is attractive but the accompaniment is awful. There are contrasting harder instrumental passages that do not really cohere. Then a strange romantic tune on electric guitar. Just when we had thought this had finished, it returns. For another 2 minutes.

This UFO appears to have brought "The circus of heaven" with it. This track is even worse, one of the lowlights of Yes's career. About this embarrassment, little needs to be said.

"Onward" is better, a decent song albeit with a show-tune feel about it. Unfortunately the performance is insipid and the song had to wait decades for a good live version. The addition of sentimental violins and french horn does not help.

So far side two has been by far the worse cut of any Yes album to date. However this side does have one redeeming feature. "On the silent wings of freedom" begins with a lengthy jam (not the best and rather tinnily recorded) before resolving into a big guitar tune. Then Anderson arrives and sings a powerful vocal tune. So far so good. Then the chorus hits. This has the Buggles-like banality which is a foretaste of their next album "Drama". The chorus simply does not fit the rest.

OTSWOF is the best track on side two, but far from being a YES classic. I certainly remember that it was not sufficient to make my listen to the side two stinker of this album.

rating for original album 2.5 (4 for side one, 1 for side two)

BONUS TRACKS

"Abilene" is lacklustre, with the faintly aspirational lyrics of the coming decade. "Money" is a lively rockabilly number but with an annoying voice over by British chancellor Dennis Healey (voiced by Rick Wakeman) in the background over the whole track. "Picasso" sounds like a solo Jon Anderson track. These three tracks if anything, decrease the rating of the album, since they add up to 10 minutes of boredom. "Some are born" also sounds like a Jon Anderson solo, but with memorable vocal line, a bit like his work with Vangelis. But the song sounds unfinished. "You can be saved" is much the same, Anderson singing over a lush synth 'halo' behind him. It sounds unfinished, but the song is a good one. Either of this two songs deserved more a place on the album than the execrable "circus of heaven". The following "high" is a lacklustre rocker, distantly recorded. "Days" is simply Anderson alone singing a vocal line which seems vaguely familiar. It lasts 1 minute. "Countryside" is an attractive song which begins interestingly with slowly strummed guitar chords. Badly recorded again. So far nothing remotely progressive but "everybody's song" starts with a wandering bass before going into "does it really happen" (sung by Jon Anderson) which appears on the next album (not sung by Anderson). This 6 minutes appears to be a run though of ideas without being fully formed. "Hidden track". The gimmick of having a 'hidden track' at the end of bonus material added to a 30 year old album is very tiresome. In this case it is sentimental orchestral arrangement of "Onward" which bring this album to an unsatisfactory close. There is nothing among this bonus material which is worth owning.

Cheesehoven | 3/5 |

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