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Yes - Tormato CD (album) cover

TORMATO

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

2.94 | 1063 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Yes: Tormato [1978]

Rating: 6/10

Tormato: an often-maligned album, a commercial failure, and a major factor in Wakeman's - and, for a brief period, Anderson's - departure from Yes. It's difficult for me to assign a rating to this album; I like every song on it (although some much more than others), yet I recognize that it is vastly inferior to Yes's previous material and for the most part is not up to the standard of the musicians involved. It pains me to give Tormato any less than four stars, but it also disappoints me that it didn't live up to its full potential, even if I do greatly enjoy these songs.

"Future Times/Rejoice" is a strong opener with excellent guitar/keyboard interplay, and, as usual, great vocals from Anderson. "Don't Kill the Whale" is a relatively simple track that receives quite a bit of criticism; however, I've always had a soft spot for it, particularly because of the guitar lines from Howe. "Madrigal" is short song centered on vocals and harpsichord. "Release, Release" is similar to the hard-rock explored on Going for the One, with more solid guitar work. "Arriving UFO" is somewhat musically immature by Yes standards, but I find it endearing nonetheless. "Circus of Heaven" is probably the most heavily criticized song on the album; and rightly so. However, it's not a terrible song, and it has a certain whimsical charm. The love ballad "Onward" is surprisingly effective due to Anderson's wonderful singing and lyrics that manage to be heartfelt without sounding sappy. "On the Silent Wings of Freedom" is the strongest track on the album, with fantastic slide bass from Squire, string arrangements, and guitar wizardry en masse.

Tormato is a very good album that had the potential to be a classic. It was written during a tumultuous time in Yes's history, as evidenced by the fact that the classic lineup didn't record together again until the 90s. There are moments on this album that live up to Yes standards, and moments that fall far short of them. Although not a masterpiece by any means, Tormato is a good album that is unfairly disparaged.

Anthony H. | 3/5 |

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