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Yes - Fly from Here CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.42 | 1169 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars A cross between Close to the Edge and 90125?

Nah, it's just Drama part two.

This is a good thing, though. Drama was pleasant enough, with some good songs and some unmemorable ones, and this is much the same. The trio that started this project sound as good as ever, and instantly recognisable on their instruments. Downes' keyboards are well- executed but cheesey, tone-wise. This from playing in Asia for so long I expect. Meanwhile, the band's new singer is.... fine, I guess, and Horn's production is as flawless as you'd expect from the mixing-desk veteran.

The side-long epic title-track is divided into sections, with 'Madman at the Screens' being the same as the 'Overture' but with lyrics. These two and the titular section are very good. Like Drama, they have an 80s prog/AOR feel and some catchy yet interesting moments. The 'Sad Night at the Airfield' part is more moody, but I find it unmemorable and it kind of spoils the pace of the rest of the piece. 'Bumpy Ride' and a brief reprise of that catchy chorus provide closure to the piece, and overall I am left impressed. It's very typical of Yes, which is nice in a way, but also very safe, and devoid of any real risk-taking.

The other songs are just okay. Squire's pop thing is neat but adds nothing to the album, same with Howe's. The Buggle-penned 'Life on a Film Set' is in two-parts, but I get the feeling it's trying too hard to be progressive. It's quite interesting to listen to but the lyrics leave me very confused! Howe's acoustic solo piece is great though, and works really well before the final rocker, 'Into the Storm'. It is this last song that really earns Fly From Here one of its stars from me. With watery bass riffs, epic synth lines and quirky guitar, this piece is undoubtedly Yes and undoubtedly good. It has the most energy of all the album and certainly needn't be any shorter or longer. I am surprised that no one else on Prog Archives has yet noticed what the lyrics seem to be about.

Jon Anderson.

I did promise myself I wouldn't mention him in this review, but this excellent song forces him into my mind. Not only does it suffer the most from his absence, but the lyrics are actually addressing him! (I think). Listen for yourself, and you might recognise the links to the current situation between Yes and Jon. It's quite fiery in that respect, making it really edgy as a closer and taking one heck of a risk (and so undoing the non-risk-taking of the title track).

Overall, I like this album. I prefer it to most of Yes's 90s efforts, as a whole album anyway. There are some colourful things to explore but, unsurprisingly, it's hardly in the same creative realm as Relayer or Close to the Edge. Give Fly From Here some love though, because these old men have obviously tried hard and, in at least one song, they have really struck gold. I can't believe they are so harsh to Anderson though.

thehallway | 3/5 |


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