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Yes - Fly From Here CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.41 | 1027 ratings

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4 stars I think that this album is a fine addition to the Yes canon.

10 years after the sappy and cod-spiritual magnification made me realise that the band I loved had finally caved in and become nothing more than a Jon Anderson solo project, I have this to rouse me from my slumber. I love Fly from Here. I love the fact that it isn't full of Walt Disney-esque orchestral inteludes, I love the fact that Jon's missus isn't mentioned once. I lvoe the fact that Steve Howe remembered where his distortion pedals were. I love the fact they remembered what 7/8 was. I love the fact that the harmonies aren't just stacks and stacks of Jon Anderson overdubs a la Olias of Sunhillow. They now feature Chris Squire and Steve Howe too.

Drama was the last truly great Yes album. This isn't quite Drama. But it's bloody close. It has all the hallmarks of the 'real' Yes. You know, the ones they tried to reach on Keys to Ascension but were defeated by average production and the cheesiest of cheesy Korg synth presets? Here you have piano, organ, moog, prophets, and a smattering of mellotron.

The suite peaks in the second part, with some transcendental slide guitar, the vocals - Benoit's own vocals - are just wonderful, the band playing within themselves but projecting so much heart and soul. Bumpy Ride nods to Yes rhythmic play of yore, but misses the mark slightly. Some hammond organ and a bit more on the drums, perhaps a bit more drama - for want of a better word - would have made this one fly better.

One word of warning though... the huge wedge of cheddar leading into the fifth part. It's a little bit whiffy. The 1980's were a bad idea for a reason, Geoff.

That said, the other highlights are really quite special. Life on A Film Set is, to my ears, signature Yes. Quirky and very cool, with a resolution from the dark and dramatic to the light, skippier 11/8 figure. A very cool track.

Hour of Need could have been aided with the intro and outro on the Japanese import. It's actually very good and the song itself seems so much less twee, and well.. Anderson with it in situ.

Solitaire is a very nice little Howe piece. It does what Steve Howe pieces do.

Into the Storm has an air of Yours is No Disgrace mixed with On the Silent wings of freedom. It's not as good as the first but easily better than the second. The choruses are outstanding and show off Benoit as an able singer with a character of his own.

Many will take issue with this record for it's personel before they ever hear it. The reviews will be written already. This one is a complete about face. This album SAVED Yes for me. Now, the challenge is to transcend this and make the latter-day masterpiece they owe themselves.

Skylinedrifter | 4/5 |


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