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Yes - Time and a Word CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 1452 ratings

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5 stars Perhaps surprisingly to some, "Time And A Word" is one of my favourite Yes albums and easily worthy of a 5-star rating for me. Whilst they are still trying to find their progressive voice, it is a great advance from their self-titled debut, and contains probably the best "tunes" on any Yes album for me. The whole work has a great live quality, and each musician is a great talent and absolutely necessary to the sound on the album. I think that Tony Kaye and Peter Banks' efforts are greatly underrated and unfairly overshadowed by the great Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman who would succeed them. Nonetheless, a very consistent album (every song is at least amazing), with great melodies and the band working as a strong unit after a lot more gigging since the inferior "Yes". In my opinion, almost as good as "The Yes Album", and definitely deserves more recognition.

"No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Necessary" brings you straight into what the album's going to sound like - some rock organs, orchestral experimentation, and some sketchy yet loveable production. An excellent opener, and compared to Richie Havens' original, and outstanding cover really, with some improved melodies, harmonies, and a great classic Chris Squire shaping of the low end. "Then" is a more progressive, perhaps less soulful track than the first. One of Jon Anderson's first compositions, it shows how much he has evolved since the late 60s songs. The melodies are still there but he introduces very intriguing strings sections thrown all over the place in a sort of "organised chaos" sense. Very harmonious chorus with the whole band complementing each other beautifully! The verses are a little dull on the whole (lyrically and sonically), but has such a great contrast on that chorus. Some great offbeat rhythms over the solos towards the end and on the whole, just awesome!

"Everydays" explores some different techniques, maintaining their signature Yes sound though. Very clever songwriting, and the strings are used to great effect again (tremolos and fingerpicked glissandos everywhere), with even more harmonies. Such a relaxing song, with quite mature post-psychedelic lyrics that pop up every now and then. The track becomes more musically chaotic with great offbeats again, Bill Bruford and Chris Squire to be particularly commended here. "Sweet Dreams": one of my favourite songs on the album. So uplifting both lyrically and melodically, and the whole feel is just phenomenal! I love the return to the sort of early 60s style stuff interrupting the song, building back up the next verse with towering harmonies. "The Prophet" is probably the worst is gets. I suppose it goes on a bit too long, but becomes much more structured at about 2 and a half minutes. It does all flow into each other, but maybe in the wrong place? Bill's drumming is astounding here, as is Tony Kaye and the strings (although overplayed in a couple of places - like Genesis' debut a year before this). Without a doubt, still a brilliant song and an excellent addition to the places - just a few flaws.

"Clear Days" is quite like a more classical "Sweet Dreams", with more absolutely tremendous lyrics and melodies delivered just incredibly by Jon Anderson's high and rasping vocals. The strings and piano work together very well, although maybe a little too much going on in the back all of the time. It could have built up like some of the previous songs. Too short for my liking (they could have taken some time off "The Prophet" and put in on here), but ends so well, with that solo violin coming over the top. "Astral Traveler" is more experimental than the previous track, with more organs and drumming, upholding the standard, with an odd trembling effect on Anderson's vocals, without sci-fi lyrics and cosmic harmonies! A great Pete Banks solo backed perfectly by Chris - couldn't imagine it any better! "Time And A Word", the title track, sums up the whole album really and brings it home excellently. The chord progressions are quite progressive and unpredictable (as with the whole of the album actually), and the lyrics and melodies once again are just lovely. Such a great way to end it, with a great continuous acoustic that reminds me of Led Zep's "Tangerine". The electric keeps that great pulsing feel heard on the previous song. Overall, it all comes together and feels so complete, as with all Yes albums that were to come. The start of great things for the band!

A-: The young group beginning to broaden their horizons to more musical areas, and shows Yes presenting their signature sound to the listeners. The bare essence of the band as they reach new possibilities, with some timeless melodies laid on top!

No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed: ***** Then: ***** Everydays: **** Sweet Dreams: ***** The Prophet: **** Clear Days: **** Astral Traveler: **** Time and a Word: *****

Xonty | 5/5 |


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