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Yes - Keystudio CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.56 | 480 ratings

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3 stars Two of the tracks here can be found on 'Keys One', the other five on 'Keys Two'. Here, they are jumbled up a bit.

'Mind Drive' is very progressive and interesting throughout, definitely one of the best Yes songs since Awaken. It juxtaposes a lot of loud and quiet, happy and sinister, fast and slow, etc, and to good effect. The other extended work, 'That, That Is' has some great individual moments, some of them very tribal, but feels a little too long and isn't as strong and tough as 'Mind Drive'. They are both the highlights of this album though. 'Foot Prints' is a long pop number basically, towards the end incorporating what I believe is the only harmonica ever found on a Yes recording. 'Be The One' is rocking and emotional, but lacks variation. This pair of 9-minuters are not quite as memorable as I had hoped, given Yes's skill at writing songs of this length.

'Children of Light' is an interesting mellow piece in two parts, but nothing special really. 'Bring me to the Power' has a lot of sudden changes in its rhythm and tonality, sometimes without much of a transition, but it has grown on me considerably. The shortest cut, 'Sign Language' is probably just there to fulfil the band's increasingly frequent desire to end an album with something short and forgettable. Having said that, this song has a beautiful melody to it.

It is debatable whether this is a better purchase than the two 'Keys...' albums or the super box set. Certainly, some of the live tracks on those collections are non-essential... but others have become indispensable to me! Perhaps if Keystudio were released as a proper album, and the live cuts released on a subsequent purely-live album, more people would be able to appreciate the gems from both song groups. In any case, 'Mind Drive' deserves a place beside 'The Gates of Delirium', 'Ritual', 'Close to the Edge' et al.

thehallway | 3/5 |


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