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Yes - Fly From Here CD (album) cover

FLY FROM HERE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.46 | 774 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

nikow
4 stars I think it's rather appropriate that Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes return once again to Yes in a moment when Jon Anderson is not part of the band. Drama once again, in so many senses.

So it's Horn at the helm in production, the old firm Squire, Howe & White providing the nucleus, with Downes returning to handle the keyboards (after Oliver Wakeman either left or was made to leave, hard to say) and the newcomer Benoit David in vocals.

Big portion of the material comes straight either from the Drama era (core of Fly From Here) or from leftovers of The Buggles (Life on a Film Set), with Squire and Howe throwing in some of their solo compositions, with the closer Into The Storm being the only true band composition.

What can we get from these ingredients of internal turmoil, recycling and new beginnings? The answer is: An excellent if a bit flawed album, at least in my humble opinion.

Starting from the songs, Fly From Here is the monstrous 25-minute suite, which is really not a unified composition, but atmospheric excellent compositions strung together by a common theme. The melodies are strong, as is the instrumentation. The only bothering part is Howe's Bumpy Ride which seems out of place and is mildly irritating. Otherwise FFM is something I would call a modern Yes classic. Sounds very much like Drama, but it's no surprise as the core of the song was already composed over 30 years ago.

From the other songs, Squire pop song The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be is rather bland and doesn't really stick to your mind. It's not bad though, just not very interesting. He also sings lead vocals here. Life on a Film Set is originally made for The Buggles, and manages to be more interesting than TMYAWMTB, also sounding very much like some songs on Drama. Hour of Need is a short semi-acoustic Howe song, pleasant but nothing out of ordinary. Solitaire is a Howe solo spotlight, quality as always from here.

It's the closer Into The Storm which manages to sound most like JA Yes, and is also along with the title track the most memorable and strongest song on the album.

Playingwise, the band is superb. Howe dominates the album, and while Downes stays a bit back, his playing is vital to the overall sound. Squire is his typical great self, and the only negative point comes in the form of drumming. White just plays it safe, nothing that could indicate that it's really him there. Kind of reminds me of Deep Purple's Ian Paice who has become indistinguishable from any other drummer in the recent years. It's not a big minus though, as the drums fit to the music. Benoit David is a very pleasant surprise, he manages to retain a Yes sound to the vocals without sounding like Jon Anderson. He sounds like himself, and he has a strong, pleasant voice. Production by Horn is very polished, almost a bit too polished for its own good, but no gripes here.

All in all we are left with two future Yes classics (Fly From Here & Into the Storm), two pleasant Howe songs, one typical Drama era song and one mediocre Squire pop song.

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. Excellent addition while being nothing groundbreaking.

nikow | 4/5 |

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