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YES

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.24 | 916 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
2 stars Would I consider this a "good" album if they weren't YES ? Or is it a good album regardless the fact that they are the YES? This is often the problem with a debut album, specially when the listener (me) buys it AFTER having loved things like The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge. Keeping the absolute value of the music separate from the feelings is not easy.

Well, after thinking a lot, this album has some goods inside. Jon's voice is already Jon's voice. If you like his voice and this kind of choirs and vocal arrangements this is a YES album and it's better than most of Jon Anderson's solo works.

The use of the volumes on the guitar is NOT an invention of Steve Howe. I have the impression that Peter Banks has invented a guitar style and when Howe came to replace him he had to play in that way. And he liked it. So now when I listen to him I think to Howe's guitar even if it contains a lot of Banks.

Tony Kaye pays a tribute to the period. His keyboard playing is not very original. The jazzy part of "I See You" sounds like the Doors for example.

Squire is already the Fish and Bruford is and will ever be Bruford.

About the songs, I'm not sure of what is a cover and what is not. "Yesterday and Today" is something that I'm used to skip, even if I have to say that some passages are not so bad and the acoustic guitar work has something of early Genesis.

"Looking Around" could be a "Nice" song, in the sense that it reminds to the NICE. Great guitar and bass work on this track.

There are forgettable moments here and there. The intro of Harold Hand is one of them. The rest of the song is not so bad, but neither good. Jon seems to be in search of a tecnique. There's too much "vibrato" in his singing, like he's trying to sing like Demis Roussos. Later he will be Jon Anderson and nobody else.

"Every Little Thing" has an anticipation of what the YES will become. One of the few tracks that have already the YES trademark. It's a pity that the reminder to the Beatles and the melodic line jeopardize a so good intro. Specially because the guitar solo is surely not bad.

"Sweetness" is the only song that I knew before buying the album. Why did you buy it? You may ask... well it's not a masterpiece, but this is YES music and I like it. Of course I don't pay attention to the lyrics..."She knows what to say to make a sunny day..." it's not Shakespeare for sure.

"Survival" it's a good closer. Finally the Fish can "swim" and there's room for all the band. 1:20 minutes of YES music before the fadeout/fadein gives start to a different song. I suspect it was a long track that has been cut in this way to make it fit in the album's length. Only in this way I can see a sense.

Now it's time to answer to the initial question. Is it a good album? I don't know how many times I have listened to it and my feelings are still controversial. It's non-essential for sure. I think it's mainly a collector item with some spare good moments. I would round it up to 3 stars, but I prefer to keep the rating low and address potential new listeners to the most rated YES albums. I don't regret for the money spent, but there are better albums to start with YES.

octopus-4 | 2/5 |

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