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Yes - The Ladder  CD (album) cover

THE LADDER

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.27 | 689 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

7headedchicken
5 stars Even though Yes' 1999 release isn't as technically vituostic or groundbreaking as their early 1970's albums, I think The Ladder was the best thing they'd made since Going For the One, and I can understand why they went back to Roger Dean for the album cover - it does have the expansive, nature-friendly sound of the earlier work, as well as the consistant song quality throughout. You can tell that the band put their whole heart and soul into every song on here, and in some ways the album actually has some things over their earlier works. There seems to be something different going on with each song, whether it's the leisurely paced progression of "Homeworld", the new type of ballad sound of "It Will Be a Good Day" put together with Anderson's universally encouraging lyrics, the further advancement of the pop/rock/prog hybrids they'd explored with their 80's albums on "Lightening Strikes" and "The Messenger", or the powerful a cappella over a chasm sound of "Nine Voices." "If Only You Knew" is one of the best love songs they'd recorded in a long time, as well, and who knew that Yes would have sounded so good playing to a dance beat, AND that a song with a dance beat in 7/4 ("Face To Face") would work so well? They may not be showing off quite as much as they did on Fragile or Close To the Edge, but the solos are all fine, (think the playing level of the first three albums but with a spirit connected to the subsequent ones), and Anderson's voice has started to age a little more into a very pleasing state, one that compliments the seasoned nature of the arrangements quite well. If you stopped listening to Yes in the 70's and want to pick up where they would have left off without too much of a diversion, start here, but also be prepared for some surprises.
7headedchicken | 5/5 |

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