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Yes - Fly From Here CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.41 | 1022 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars A new album from Yes is always something to be celebrated among the prog community. These British legends have released countless undisputed classics in their 43-year history, spawning much critical acclaim and fantastic international sales. Yes simply cannot be ignored, and Fly From Here proves that they are still a force to be reckoned with in 2011. Though it may not rival masterpieces like The Yes Album or Close to the Edge, Fly From Here shows that Yes still knows how to create excellent progressive rock over forty years into their career. Although this may be a tad too commercial for some fans, I'd have a tough time calling Fly From Here anything but a high-quality effort. Newcomers to Yes will want to start with the band's classic albums from the 1970's, but any Yes veteran will want to make sure this ends up in their collection. Fly From Here has really impressed me, and it's very inspiring to see that these 70's juggernauts still can create one of the year's best prog albums!

Anyone familiar with Yes will immediately recognize that the lineup for Fly From Here is nearly identical to that of 1980's Drama. I am quite a fan of that album so it's great to hear that lineup (plus new singer Benoit David) making another album. Fly From Here doesn't quite stand up to Drama in my opinion, but it's still a very strong release. The "Fly From Here" epic that dominates nearly 24 minutes of the album is fantastic, and undoubtedly the highlight of the album. The themes are interwoven perfectly throughout the song's duration, and every individual section is unforgettable. "Sad Night at the Airfield" is probably the best section of this extended track, with its melancholic feeling rivaling some of Yes' best material. The second half of the album is a bit more pop-oriented than the rather non-commercial first half. After kicking off with the rather disposable pop/rock track "The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be", the album only gets stronger with "Life on a Film Set" - a truly remarkable prog rock song that manages to cover a wide variety of emotions in a mere five minutes. "Hour of Need" is a mildly enjoyable pop/rock tune featuring some great keyboard playing from Geoff Downes, and "Solitaire" is a great acoustic guitar instrumental from Steve Howe. "Into the Storm" closes out the album with a very strong prog tune, surely among the best on Fly From Here.

As always from Yes, expect quality when it comes to musicianship. These guys certainly know how to play, and although Fly From Here isn't as technically demanding as some of their earlier works, every note played here is professional and tasteful. My only complaint when it comes to musicianship is the fairly uninspired drumming from Alan White - obviously he is a very good drummer, but he doesn't show this nearly enough on Fly From Here. This may be partially due to the fact that he's 62 years old, but I still feel that it's a bit too "play-by-numbers" to sound truly impressive. Despite that minor complaint, the production is (as expected) great. Trevor Horn is a spectacular producer, and Fly From Here sounds crisp and professional.

Fly From Here may not be the greatest thing Yes has ever done in their long and winding career, but it's a high-quality release that satisfies from beginning to end. People who were skeptical about this Yes comeback album may rest assured - I have a tough time picturing any Yes fan who doesn't at least enjoy this album. I personally love Fly From Here, though, and find it constantly in my rotation. Though a tad inconsistent at times, Fly From Here has more than enough quality material to leave me more than satisfied. 4 stars are well-deserved for yet another stellar Yes album!

J-Man | 4/5 |


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