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LIVE FROM LA LA LAND

Jon Anderson

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Slartibartfast
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars If you like Jon Anderson, you will have heaven. If you don't you'll probably need to run away screaming in terror. Almost a hour an half of music in a single concert, all Jon all alone, though not just solo vocal. One of the things I do respect about Jon is that he isn't just a pretty singer but he can also play musical instruments quite well. MIDI guitar and piano in this case. The show was performed in Los Angeles, hence the La La Land title.

It's a nice selection of better known Yes tunes as well as material from Jon's solo albums with even a Jon and Vangelis piece, I'll Find My Way Home, thrown in for good measure. The omission of anything from Jon's best solo album, Olias of Sunhillow, is a bit of a disappointment. Heavy on the Yes stuff though. Last I heard Jon might not be performing live too much more. Not a bad showcase of his musical talent. On a funny note, the set wraps up with Roundabout, a song I've probably heard enough times in my life already, he sounds like he's about to break into Smoke On The Water.

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Send comments to Slartibartfast (BETA) | Report this review (#204665)
Posted Saturday, February 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars The show begins with an abbreviated version of "Long Distance Runaround," with just Anderson and his acoustic guitar. "Yours is No Disgrace" is unrecognizable, as Anderson turns it into an alternative acoustic rock song, which has its own sense of urgency and takes a classic Yes song that he's done who knows how many times, and turns it on its head- a very interesting cover of his own work. "Reggae Song" is of course a goofy novelty, and "Buddha Song" is a confusing lumping of the world's major religions into this syrupy spiritual song with bulky and slapdash music. "Piano Songs" is apparently humorous initially (we don't know why with the audio only, but the audience cracks up). He tells a story about breaking his back and taking time during his recovery to learn the piano some. He sneaks in a soft bit of "Close to the Edge" with a completely different melody. He sings the introduction to "The Revealing Science of God" and amusingly drops the lyric at first, laughs it off, and moves on. It's intriguing to hear these progressive rock masterpieces treated in such a minimalistic, airy way. "Owner of a Lonely Heart" is about as drab as one might expect, but "Wonderous Stories" is quite the opposite. "Turn of the Century" loses its somber grace since Anderson substitutes major chords for the minor chords- lovely anyway. Expect an awful lot of camp from the Yes front man, not just in the course of his songs, but in between verses and in between tracks. The octave-dropping on "And You and I" is the most pathetic- the excerpt sounds like it was included for the sake of inclusiveness. "Soon" is lovely of course, and "Your Move" is a logical addition to the set list. "Roundabout" is a weak excerpt that clocks in at under three minutes, and instead of showing Anderson's talents, only serve to demonstrate his weaknesses as a guitarist (and vocalizing Steve Howe's cadenza at the end? Oh dear). This live album may only work for fans of Jon Anderson, but it has its own easygoing charm and some delightful renditions of Yes classics.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#269312)
Posted Tuesday, March 02, 2010 | Review Permalink

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