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Yes - The Ladder  CD (album) cover

THE LADDER

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.27 | 672 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
2 stars I have started and restarted this review several times in the last months, but this album inspires very controversial feelings to me that I've not been able to finalize it until now.

The opener "Homeworld" reminds to the times of "Going For The One", that means that's a very good track even when it's closer to ABWH, probably because Chris Squire makes the difference. On ABWH they had Tony Levin at the bass, but even this great bassist can't sound like Squire on a Yes album. Who doesn't like the melodic newage of Jon Anderson may be disappointed by the last minutes of the song. I like them, instead and it's closer to the Jon and Vangelis songs than to his solo works.

"It Will Be A Good Day" is in line with songs like "Brother Of Mine" (ABWH), who has liked that album like me will like this song as well.

"Lightning Strikes" belongs to the kind of Anderson's songs that I dislike. He sometimes indulges with south American rhythms since from Song of Seven. They can be fun but nothing more. Nothing to do with Yes, anyway.

Anderson's influence is strong also on "Can I". It's like the return of Olias of Sunhillow. Clearly Jon's stuff.

Still in the Caribbean with "Face to Face". At this point I start getting bored. I like Jon's solo works, but this is labeled YES and this is not what expect.

"If Only You Knew" is still on the newage side of Anderson, not too dissimilar from most of ABWH contents but it's quite a good song if you don't think to Close to the Edge.

"To Be Alive" makes me raise a doubt about the lineup: are we sure that Trevor Rabin is not in he band? This looks like a song from Big Generator, but it's also similar to some of the GTR stuff so Howe may be responsible for it.

"Finally" can be the esclamation of the listener when it starts. They are the YES after all. Ok, this song too seems coming from the 80s, but the trademark is clear. If one is survived until this song can enjoy it.

It's always a pleasure when Chris Squire's bass is in evidence, but the start of "The Messenger" sounds like Greg Lake on "Works". The song is nothing special. Well played but I would define it "blank".

A Wakeman's like Organ opens "New Language". This is for me the best song of the album. There are the unusual signatures and the mood of the good old times. It's not Close to the Edge but the first 2 minutes are the YES at their best. Unfortunately after those 2 minutes we fall back into the Anderson's poppy Universal love songs. There are various moments so sometimes the old YES come back, at least those of Drama. It could have been better.

The closer is driven by Howe and Anderson. Not bad but still below average.

Now my dilemma. It's not totally bad and I don't think it's worse than Big Generator but I'm not able to rate it as "good". I have bought it because I'm a fan, so 2 stars.

octopus-4 | 2/5 |

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