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Yes Heaven & Earth album cover
2.30 | 759 ratings | 70 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Believe Again (8:02)
2. The Game (6:51)
3. Step Beyond (5:34)
4. To Ascend (4:43)
5. In a World of Our Own (5:20)
6. Light of the Ages (7:41)
7. It Was All We Knew (4:13)
8. Subway Walls (9:03)

Total Time 51:27

Bonus track on 2014 Avalon / Evolution Music releases:
9. To Ascend (acoustic version) (4:34)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jon Davison / lead & backing vocals, acoustic guitar (1,4,6)
- Steve Howe / Portuguese (4), electric, acoustic & steel guitars, backing vocals
- Geoff Downes / keyboards, computer programming
- Chris Squire / bass, backing vocals
- Alan White / drums & percussion

- Billy Sherwood / mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Roger Dean with Kate Haynes (design)

CD Frontiers Records ‎- FR CD 651 (2014, Europe)
CD Avalon - MICP-30060 (Japan, 2014) with a bonus track
CD Evolution Music - EMCD 0301 (South Korea, 2014) with a bonus track

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Prog Network & projeKct for the last updates
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YES Heaven & Earth ratings distribution

(759 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(10%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (34%)
Poor. Only for completionists (27%)

YES Heaven & Earth reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by admireArt
2 stars Close to Las Vegas, faraway from home...

After the masterful "Relayer" 1976 , in between 1977 "Going for the One" and 1978 "Tormato", Yes made a 180 degree market-wise strategic move in their image and music direction. The new Yes image was no longer an "out of this world" cosmic one, they turned around the Roger Dean masterful imagery and "Hipgnosisided" their art covers (not the logo,yet). They polished up their image to look more like modern "this world citizens" into the upcoming and shining 80's . All rock, prog and jazz musicians, legends or not, fell prey, for the new temptations this new technology and markets offered. As far as image, clothing, art covers or even lyrics, I could not care less!

But what started as a joke, became a self-parody with its inherent damage also to the music they composed. Yes became a self imposed parody of themselves and worst of all, this started this horrendous decline in their artistic direction and musical goals. What once was a self demanding quest for musical perfection, turned into overly indulgent songwriting (or the compulsive need to fit mainstream markets).

But whatever I think, there were huges amounts of people, who could not care less for the bio and were completely caught up with this new Yes "model". And Yes, always so positive, realized this and started to focus solely on these less demanding, easy to please and eager to pay audiences. (You know, a kid's education costs a fortune!)

Anyway, if it was not for the constant "we are YES, don't forget", gentle reminders (flashbacks included), "HEAVEN & EARTH", 2014, composition wise, sounds like a band of top-notch mature music teachers/composers, playing some kind of sterilized and humorless Steely Dan's like L.A.'s life music, versus some kind of extra corny (which is like way too much) "Bread" (a 70's pop band), clean-cut love songs, performed in some super luxurious and glittering (like Wakeman's 70's red-orange cape) West Coast's Hotel,(in fact it was recorded in L.A.!) to a bunch of people who pay good money for this kind of "chat if you like", "bring me my drinks !", environments (not that far from elevator music, to set things straight!).

With some masterful decorations along the way by Squire and Howe, even though virtuously performed, composition-wise nothing stands out, no news under the YES, once refulgent, sun!

Half Yes is not Yes, without Anderson is very un-YES, and then again, even if Anderson shows up again and dresses like Elvis and Wakeman returns dressed as himself, (or Moraz by the way), they will never, and there is no real monetary need to be, that "classic" YES again. But you and I know, that what was once the undisputable epitome of a prog all-stars band, is no longer among us (well, since 1976, in fact!).

**2 "Another uninspired, close to boring (instead of to the edge), top performers (hats off to Steve Howe!),YES project " , PA stars!

For the "die-hard" DRAMA or Fly from Here or Asia followers.

Review by Conor Fynes
2 stars 'Heaven and Earth' - Yes (34/100)

The following review is based on a digital promo copy, distributed via promotional platform.

For whatever reason, I got the weird idea in my head that a good album cover was a promising indicator of a good album. It seems weird to think I've had that misconception; after all, most of the time the musicians don't have all that much to do with their album's visual art. Still, in the case of Yes' career, the covers usually say a lot about the records themselves. Roger Dean has provided a visual feast for all but a handful of the band's best works, and created a lavish counterpart to Yes' equally elaborate music. Fragile and Relayer are two of my favourite covers for two of my favourite albums- even the deceptively plain cover for Close to the Edge has become iconic. Then, as the band began to turn sour, the beautiful artwork began to disappear- the uninventive covers for Talk and Open Your Eyes said all they needed to.

Roger Dean returned to the band a few more times over the years, but none seemed so momentous as Fly From Here, an album I met with eager anticipation. Even if that album's long since lost its favour with me, I couldn't help but feel the same sense of excitement when Heaven and Earth was announced. Once again, Roger Dean unveiled an incredible cover that sought to capture my imagination. The skyscape felt liberating just to look at, and from the way the band members would talk about it in promotional materials, part of me was expecting a true return to form for Yes. This was going to be the album myself and others had been waiting for.

Was I right? No. No. No. No. No. No. I think it would be unfair to call Heaven and Earth a 'terrible' album- it's melodic, appropriately performed and doesn't turn its back on the band's prog rock history like the worst of their discography did. Yet, there isn't a single thing about the album that stirs or excites me. We see plenty of films where a brilliant 'outside the box' madman is reduced to a docile wreck in a mental institution, be it a result of medication or a lobotomy. If Yes' classic material was that brilliant madman, Heaven and Earth has seen the dreaded lobotomy come to pass. I'm sure the album was a well-intentioned effort to bring progressive rock back into the fold, but it completely lacks the energy and sense of adventure that would have made it work.

It wouldn't be fair to call Heaven and Earth a pop rock album, although part of me would like to. Yes (or whatever you'd like to call 'em nowadays) have created merely a shadow of progressive rock, one with all of the toys and trinkets of the genre, but none of the sophistication we would normally look for in it. Even the album's most ambitious piece- the nine minute would-be epic "Subway Walls"- colours within the lines so much so as to induce a coma. When they're ambitious enough to emerge beyond the fold of adult-oriented rock (a trend their hosts in Frontiers Records are dreadfully synonymous with), the orchestrations are tired and predictable.

If there's anyone in the band who could potentially save or revitalize Yes, it's Jon Davison. I've long-been a vocal (pun intended) fan of Jon Anderson, and for a time couldn't bear to think of Yes without their classic vocalist. While Trevor Horn and Benoit David felt awkwardly placed, Jon Davison fits Anderson's shoes like they were made for him. His work in Glass Hammer- particularly 2014's Ode to Echo- has impressed me, and I can't think of another vocalist in progressive rock who would do such a good job of filling the vacancy. On Heaven and Earth, his vocal gifts are apparent, but his performance feels equally as safe and tame as the rest of the band's mid-tempo tedium. "Subway Walls" and the single "To Ascend" have some genuinely nice melodies, but more often than not the memorable hooks are only so because I find them saccharine and irritating.

I guess 'length extension' is an indicator that Yes were truly aiming for a proggier approach this time around, but it's honestly squandered what may have otherwise been mediocre pop tracks. I'll admit that some of these tracks had more potential than the finished product. "Believe Again", "The Game" and "Light of the Ages" feel minutes overdrawn. The constant mid-tempo, cheer and shallowness runs throughout the entire album. There's a sense of individual identity for each song while you're listening to them, but by the end of it, I cannot help but feel everything except "Subway Walls" flows together into a single, sterile blur.

I don't like Heaven and Earth, I don't even necessarily dislike it. It doesn't provoke or stir me in the slightest, save for the gross feeling of disappointment that's come with the knowledge that one of my favourite bands has truly 'lost it' creatively. The nasty part of me wants to say that Yes have gotten too old, but that's not true at all. Artists never get too old, but they do get tired. Like the god-awfully disappointing Dream Theater album from this past year, I get the sense that Yes feel like they have to prove themselves anymore. Their career is legendary in the canon of rock music, and a bad post '70s album isn't going to change that. However, for the sake of Heaven and Earth, I'd suggest you keep your hopes down for this one. Even if Jon Davison proves to be a great fit for their existing work, you can be rest assured that the creative days are indeed over for Yes.

Fortunately, Yes' largely wonderful career can still be heard in a host of countless other progressive bands. If you're looking for music like the glory days of Yes, there are some amazing newer bands to check out- I'd personally recommend Wobbler from Norway. Heaven and Earth rests among the greatest musical disappointments of the year, and as the years go by, I predict it will be reduced to a footnote in the band's history. Yes will forever remain one of my favourite ever bands, but if Heaven and Earth is any indicator, it may be time to give things a rest permanently.

Don't let the album cover fool you... this album is almost completely lifeless.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Ok, the cover is superb and it surely brings back memories of old. However, the music inside the CD has very little to do with classic Yes. Having said that I must admit I liked this album a lot. Because it fits my taste. There is almost none of the symphonic progressive rock they used to deliver so supreme during the 70´s. The songs are light, melodic, very well done and performed. Surprisingly inspired sometimes, specially considering their rather insipid previous studio output, Fly From Here.

The first thing I noticed is that Jon Davidson was an excellent choice to replace Jon Anderson, He sound a lot like Anderson without sounding like an imitation of him. His timbre is very natural and it fits so well you hardly miss Yes former singer at all. The instrumental part is another story entirely: they don´t sound like Yes. Or at least the Yes sound we expect from the likes of Howe, Squire and White. The guitar parts especially are very subdue, it looks like someone influenced by Howe than Howe himself. Squire is ok, I guess,. but still he does not do much noodling here. Downes keys are also good, but not as majestic and powerful as Wakeman or even Kaye. I guess they just did their best with the songs they had.

And the songs are as far away from symphonic Yes as they could be. They´re good, but comparatively simpler, melodic stuff. Almost prog pop if you will. Still, they are good and some parts are very classy.. Sometimes bordering the excellent mark like the last and longest track of the CD, Subway Walls. The lyrics are what one would expect if Anderson was still in the band. No better, nor worse. The production is top notch. No real bad track to be found, surprise!

I was not going to listen to this CD if a friend would not lend it to me. I thought I had enough of today´s Yes. And it surprised me in a good way. different, ok. Not close to their 70´s stuff, yes. But still better than much of their latter tunes. That´s something.

Rating: 3 stars. To listen without prejudice.

Review by lucas
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With an artwork by Roger Dean and the hire of Jon Davison, from Glass Hammer, people had great expectations about the last Yes album, entitled 'Heaven & Earth'. However, Yes evolved with time, and the time they played progressive rock is long gone. After listening to the whole album, I quite understood people's disappointment as the elements earlier mentioned let predict a return to form that finally never come. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the material. In fact, melodies are well crafted, Jon's voice is very convincing and as moving as the original Jon's voice, with trademark Yes vocal harmonies and the support of Chris Squire in backing vocals, and Geoff and Steve adding some soothing colors to the whole. Geoff even proposes a broad range of sounds with piano, rhodes and Hammond besides synths. I read many critics on Alan White's drumming, it's true that they are not very creative on the album, but they fit quite well to the format of the music proposed, which leans more towards mainstream pop than progressive rock. Some highlights include the onomatopeic vocals on "The Game", the mischievous swirling keyboards on "Step Beyond", the marching rhythm rising from verse to chorus on the very Roger Glover's Butterfly Ball-esque "In A World Of Our Own" and its humble guitar, the dubious bass on "Light Of The Ages" and the Enid-like orchestral overture to "Subway Walls" and its further dancing drums. The sunny "It Was All We Know" is more forgettable than the other tracks and spoils a bit the whole. Overall, an album quite pleasant to listen to, on the softer side of Yes (think "Wonderous stories").
Review by FragileKings
3 stars Like so many others, I eagerly anticipated the release of this album. I only became a Yes fan in June of 2011 (I knew of Yes ever since "Owner of a Lonely Heart" was a hit) but how rapidly my interest in their music took on. My Amazon order history shows that I ordered "Fragile" and "Close to the Edge" in mid-June as my first purchases of Yes albums, and before August was done I had wrapped up purchasing all the studio albums, including a five-disc digipak of "Keys to Ascension" and the non-Yes album by Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe. Ever since then, Yes have been my favourite band second only to Rush.

Unlike so many others who have followed Yes' career since their glory days in the 70's, or at least since the 80's, I acquired their entire studio catalogue in two and a half months and not only read the Wikipedia article on them, but also read reviews of each album and purchased Chris Welch's "Close to the Edge: The Story of Yes". So as I listened to all this "new" music, I also gained an understanding of the band's history and the general opinions of each album. I knew there were some like "Open Your Eyes", "Big Generator" and "Union" that were going to test my music enjoyment boundaries. Nevertheless, each album always had a couple of songs that I felt like listening to frequently enough.

I was disappointed but perhaps not surprised really to read all the negative reviews that "Heaven and Earth" had garnered. Yes fans tend to be extremely critical of Yes music, and where other lesser bands may receive more favourable reviews for more mediocre material, Yes are unforgivable for producing anything that doesn't live up to the "The Yes Album" to "Going for the One" period. So once again, disaster!

But I don't think so. "Heaven and Earth" is less "prog" than much of their previous releases, including "Fly from Here". It's gentler and softer than many songs in their catalogue, and the musicians rarely seem interested in showing off their skills as masters of progressive music. However, I find myself enjoying the songs for what they are, in spite of the fact that this album is overall more cheery and light that what I usually choose to listen to ("Heart of the Sunrise" is more like my style).

The focus on this album would seem to be melody and that supported wonderfully by Yes' trademark vocal harmonies. From the first track of the debut, Yes established themselves not as a band with a lead vocalist and backing vocals but as a band with a lead vocalist and harmony vocals. Three voices sharing the lead to create some wonderful harmonies to complement the melodies of the songs. This can be heard throughout much of "Heaven and Earth" with "Believe Again" being my favourite of the lot.

I had some concern about Jon Davison as the lead vocalist because on Glass Hammer's "If" I felt he lacked the emotion and depth of Jon Anderson (who it seemed he was intentionally trying to emulate). But I haven't felt that here, though that may be thanks to the strong harmony vocals provided by Squire and Howe. As non-Anderson line-ups tend to last for only one album, I would welcome a second album with Davison on the lead mic.

Addressing the issues of lack of prog or rock, it's true that traditional Yes moments are found only here and there and not up to full potential at that. The "prog" instrumental section in "Believe Again" sounds promising at first, but Steve Howe only repeats the same runs on his fretboard and Geoff Downes sounds ready for a wild keyboard solo but only lets of a couple of finger flashes across the keys. There's a bit of a rock section in the first half of "Step Beyond" which sounds great as the song's opening is very candy floss, and two of the most out-of-place-for-Yes songs "In a World of Our Own" and "It Was All We Knew" actually let Steve Howe play something that sounds almost like he's still got it. As almost everyone has pointed out, "Subway Walls" is where the music gets a proper prog treatment, and one wonders if Yes hadn't done that on at least two other tracks then would this album have scored a star or two higher.

I agree that this album is softer, more cheery, and makes the great musicians in this band sound a little tired. At times, especially Steve Howe seems to have run out of ideas, and Chris Squire doesn't really start moving until "Subway Walls". However, I also know very well that Yes albums from "Tormato" onward tend to disappoint before they reward. Many people who didn't like "Drama" at first now praise it and even "Fly from Here", which received so many unkind words upon its release is now seen more favourably by some.

Perhaps all the negative reviews helped brace me for what was to come, but I am enjoying this album so far. True, like with Deep Purple's "Now What?!" and Rush's "Clockwork Angels" the initial honeymoon feeling will wear off and only a few songs will be invited for regular additions to daily playlists. But for now I like it and I accept it as the latest chapter in Yes' history. As if to affirm this, I went ahead and ordered a ticket to see Yes in November. I hope they play a few songs from the new album. It would be a shame to have it brushed under the mat and replaced entirely by the nostalgic classics.

Review by richardh
3 stars It seems the whole earth and his wife has already posted an opinion on this album even though it was only released yesterday. Jon Davison from American Symph prog outfit Glass Hammer replaces David Benoit with hopes of a return to classic YES that clearly was never going to materialise. This is 'OAP YES' and some have said that its just a sad pastiche or tribute. I wouldn't go along with that. The songs have a lot of warmth and I like the richness of melody that pervades throughout. There are even some nice hooks here and there. This makes a refreshing change to my ears to the deathly dark sound of so much modern prog. A touch of light goes along way. I would say this is actually a classy pop album and if it had been marketed as something other than Yes and no Roger Dean album cover maybe some would have been more forgiving and not posted hysterical 1 star reviews. OK Alan White is a bit ploddy but its not that worrying while I like Downes contribution , not too showy but you can hear the odd hammond/piano bits in the backgound and some good synth parts. Howe plays in and out of the music adding some lovely guitar licks while Squire is just solid but his bass is always clean and on the mark. Davison does an uncanny Anderson impression , probably a bit too much at times, but I think he's written a decent set of lyrics.

On the whole this is pleasant slab of 'easy listening prog' or even 'Dad prog'. WIth all the hot weather in the UK this laid back approach is not totally unwelcome. Leave the heavy dark stuff alone for a while and enjoy some warmth!

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Heavy, RPI, Symph, JR/F Canterbury Teams
2 stars Is our beloved band from the 70's is starting to show their ages? Listening to this new CD, I was picturing the band playing in a small club with small speakers at a rather slow pace. There's no more big symphonic soundscape from Rick Wakeman, no more big bass's sound of Chris Squire, in the latter, it's unacceptable, because he hasn't been replaced here... Steve Howe is still carrying the song as much as he can with is unique style of playing. Also the drums of Alan White are so quiet. One positive thing is the voice of John Davidson that doesn't make me miss Jon Anderson.

Was I expecting too much after the average "Fly from Here"? The fact is there are no terrible songs on this CD, the songs contain some delicate and forgettable melodies and the entire release has 2 progressive songs; "Light of the Ages" and "Subway Walls". These are the only ones with cool breaks and more symphonic structures. The music is soft as the production compare to the Yes sound. We have to wait to the song "It was all We Knew" to hear some heavier guitars parts from Howe, and Squire is shaking his bass for the first time on the song "Subway Walls", which is the closer the band gets from the style of the past. There are some nice breaks with the drums and the bass along with some nice keyboards parts.

I can't rate this more than 2.5 stars. It's a disappointment for me, but I have to admit that I didn't know what to expect. In interviews, the band said that they did this album in a hurry and it shows. Probably that the band was satisfied for at least making a CD to support another tour that fans will follow for the classics.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars OK, so those expecting the new Yes album `Heaven and Earth' to be a prog-rock blowout are in for a disappointment. Great. Now that's out of the way, let's move on and see if this album does anything right or worth bothering with, which of course the answer is yes! What we have here is the most gentle work from the band to date. Oh sure, some smart-ass listeners will gleefully rip this album apart, happy to dig the knives into a defining progressive band that have mostly been irrelevant for the better part of...many years now (add your own timeframe to when Yes lost you as a fan!) and look on them as an easy target. Yes' time as a cutting-edge, experimental and artistic band may be long gone, but that doesn't mean they are incapable of releasing something worth listening to. At least they're writing original material all their own, not useless cover versions most older pop/rock artists are forced to rely on, and that even includes some dismal efforts from prog bands that should know better.

Accusations that this is more soft rock/pop than true prog are absolutely correct, but look back, poppier softer tracks have appeared on Yes albums right back when they started in the late 60's, and have maintained through just about every one of their albums since then. The band now works in a fancy AOR style, but thankfully they're still offering music that sounds better and more intricate than anything a band like Asia have done recently. The key to any enjoyment listeners will gain from this disc will come from how much they can stomach pleasing, melodic and tastefully played adult rock music. It's frequently polished and perhaps a little overproduced to within an inch of it's life in many spots (early Queen maestro Roy Thomas Baker ensures this is a very lavish sounding release, much more `full' sounding that previous album `Fly From Here'), but to it's credit, almost every track on `Heaven and Earth' has a strong chorus with clever layers of group harmonies, melodies that really grow after several spins, and subtle playing with many moments of true Yes characteristics on display. Glass Hammer ring-in Jon Davison also comes out more successfully and with more personality intact with his Yes involvement than previous singer Benoit David did (a usually great singer in Mystery who got to display none of his real character at all on the previous disc), so let's hope he gets another chance to prove his worth in further studio efforts.

First track `Believe Again' is a little too sedate for an opener, a slow-tempo tune with a slightly drippy vocal, bland unmemorable verses and only the briefest of instrumental passages in the middle that is more of a tease because it never really launches, but thankfully on repeated plays the positive chorus harmonies prove very catchy and hummable. `The Game' is a stronger overall tune, a foot-tapping melody emerging throughout silky smoth verses with a positive chorus, Steve Howe's constant little electric guitar fills very joyful. With a looped Moog pattern that may drive listeners crazy, the jaunty `Step Beyond' is probably a little too cute and very repetitive. Some nice jazzy flavours and fiery licks from Howe almost save `In A World of Our Own', a fairly annoying `political statement/protest' song with some truly cringe-worthy lyrics, but the groaning stop/start keyboard crunch in the middle is pathetic and uninspired. Despite some of the melody drifting a little close to the Beatles `Eight Days A week', `It Was All We Knew' is kept simple and therefore easily the best of the poppier pieces, nice fiery guitar bursts from Howe throughout, a sun-kissed reflective lyric and an upbeat chorus that is hopelessly romantic in the Jon Anderson/classic Yes tradition.

The fourth track `To Ascend' is the first sign of greatness on the disc, a lush and thoughtful acoustic ballad that works best when it remains a little darker, and there's a nice heightened drama that gradually builds throughout around exquisite and varied group harmonies. `Light of the Ages' then thankfully dials up the prog, an intricate and dazzling arrangement that slowly unfolds through grand orchestral rises, ethereal guitar strains, gentle piano movements from Geoff Downes and a stirring vocal from Jon, making it a real triumph for the album. The album then concludes on the dazzling `Subway Walls', the proggiest piece with plenty of open spaces for the band to privide their own unique instrumental flourishes. Nice drum tension and build from Alan White, Chris Squire's chunky bass weaving forwards and backwards throughout, rippling Hammond organ runs from Geoff Downes and slow-burn guitar ugency full of flare from Steve. It frequently hints at the inspiration and potential that this current formation of the band could offer so much more than nice Dad-rock, and is possibly better than anything on the previous studio album.

Here's the thing...Yes have nothing more left to prove. They're one of the innovators of the first wave of progressive music that got the ball rolling, and they're responsible for some of the defining releases of the genre as well as a bunch of other solid albums. Their importance to prog rock is cemented, and they no longer need to try to challenge themselves or listeners with anything truly groundbreaking. But, if you have a lot of love for the different eras of the band, you may enjoy what is simply easy to listen to music from a band that is slowly starting to wind down. It's now looking like `Magnification' was their last truly impressive swansong, but it doesn't mean forgiving and understanding fans can't enjoy a set of undemanding and pleasing adult rock that makes for a decent background listen, and if you listen closely...there's still little tiny traces of that classic Yes magic waiting to be discovered.

Three stars.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars All bets are off, believe the hype? Yes opt for pure pop and AOR!

Nothing wrong with a bit of nice pleasant music, with nice pleasant harmonies, nice pleasant lyrics with a nice pleasant album cover. Nothing wrong at all. This is an album to throw on after a hard day's work, with your feet up and a cuppa Hazelnut Coffee. Aaah yes, this is so relaxing, so peaceful. Not much Prog to wade through, no complex musicianship to adjust the ears to, easy to comprehend lyrics, just a pleasant mind relaxing album that lulls you into a dream. Only problem is this is Yes we are talking about; the band that brought us complex Progressive classic albums such as "Fragile", "Relayer" and "The Yes Album" (Starship Trooper is still my all time fave Yes masterpiece), the band that brought us masterful conceptual treasures like "Tales From Topographic Oceans" (one of the most revered or maligned Prog excess albums, depending on your tastes), and epic music such as Close to the Edge. Even the last effort "Fly From Here" at least embraced some prog and had one colossal epic to indulge in (a great track heard live by the way, a genuine highlight of the 2012 Melbourne concert I attended).

Let's look at the content of this music that kind of blends in as one huge syrupy dreamy AOR excursion (even my wife who shuns Prog would love most of this and it would sit proudly in her collection alongside her other easy listening music such as Michael Buble, and Guy Sebastian, rather than all that "dreadful King Crimson, Hawkwind and Van der Graaf Generator rubbish that you always listen to!")

There are some highlights on "Heaven and Hell... er... Earth" amidst all the commercial music, but you have to open your ears wide to find them. Light of the Ages stays with me in a good way and Howe showcases some skilful guitar work, and the melody is a grower. The opener Believe Again definitely stands out as a gem with a gorgeous melody and lovely keyboards from Downes and excellent lyrics that are uplifting but still leave room for intelligent reflection. Yes, Yes, this is a great song, and one worth hearing for sure, so the album opens with a killer track; although not progressive I love the keyboard sweeps, Howe's awesome riffing, and Jon Davison's vocals are supreme.

Subway Walls is one of the definitive highlights with a touch of innovation in the time sig and Squire's bassline is totally cool. It sounds like the band have a spark of creative ideas shining through here with a wonderful instrumental break, and Jon's voice is excellent and the switch into half time feel works perfectly. Howe even shines with some really great guitar licks, and it has the feel of a majestic atmosphere in the likes of And You And I (though not a shadow of that masterpiece, mind you). But this diversion into innovative musicianship is actually an annoyance as it shows what the band could have produced on the whole album, yet the album closes with this track and it is too late to salvage the album with a mere three decent tracks.

The lowlights are many, oh so many, but they still grow on the listener, like fungus on a toadstool. I speak of dainty ditties such as the maddeningly sugar sweet saccharine strains of It Was All We Knew, sounding like a Summer drive down to The Partridge Family's mansion. It languishes lyrically in lala land with "Sweet were the fruits, long were the Summer days, it was all we knew" then the harmonised "all we knew" chimes in on cue; surely the band are capable of better than this. I could envisage this being played on the radio and competing nicely with anything by The Eagles, or Air Supply, except they have better songs. Heck, Asia came up with better than this, and I can envisage all the pretty ladies in the crowd dancing to these boilers. White's drumming is so restrained he sounds like a session musician, he hardly strays from a straight 4/4 beat from the get go. I know you can play White, I heard you once in concert.

Let's talk about The Game, so lovely yet so dull, I think if Rick Wakeman heard this he might laugh and say "these old codgers have really lost the plot". Yes can play no doubt, nobody can take that away from them, but here they have abandoned everything that made them stand apart as innovators and shakers of prog rock. The lyrics offer very little worth pondering, "I am standing here at your door with all my defences down, we all know the rules the game must fools still we play the same as if our days remain" and "the love we gave along the way, along the waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay". Cue the nice guitar music and harmonised dadadas and lalalalas. Oh, by the way bot fades out; can you believe it, a Yes song that fades out, how droll.

Next is Step Beyond with a torturous synth line that is akin to the 80s synthpop sound at its absolute worst. The lyrics are sung in a corny rhythmic time to the music "you told me so, if I don't let go, I'll never know, what freedom brings" then there's the cheesy chorus "beg, steal, run, and hide." Oh this is so sing songy its ghastly, and it has a dance feel; I can see the band bopping to this. I guess it is a happy song, but oh so hackneyed. Howe tries to save it with a cool guitar lick but it's not enough. It was at this stage on the album that I looked over at my HiFi system and saw globules of honey dripping down out of the speakers.

As To Acend began to play I swear I saw sugar raining down from the ceiling. This is the song to raise up the lighter to, or these days it would be an iphone, and we wave it as we all sing in unison. Ahhhhh isn't this lovely, so peaceful, so interminably clichéd and saccharine. Where is the innovative ground breaking thought provoking lyrics we have come to expect? On Starship Trooper it was "Sister bluebird flying high above, Shine your wings forward to the sun, Hide the mysteries of life on your way", but now on To Ascend it's "taking the time, on a wing and a prayer, a wounded bird in the hand, with the eyes of a child come to understand, I will open the book, raise the pen, let it reinvent my life again, take me from where I am, as a free bird flies from the hand to ascend, to asceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeend". Of course a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, I get it. In that section alone there are at least 3 clichés and it just comes across as lazy song writing. In A World Of Our Own is not much better with "right back where we began, why can't we be like we were then, living in a world of our own, living in a world of our own, living in a world of our own, living in a world of our own". You get the picture, and it pretty much just locks onto that idea and the band seem content with that. Okay, that's' another one in the can, boys, next!

It is such a safe album, nothing innovative really to speak of, no power. It doesn't have enough power to knock the fluff off a peanut. Howe plays it safe, Squire plays it safe, White plays it safe, Downes is always safe so no surprises there, actually everybody plays it safe, and it has the unmitigated effect of alienating us old Yesaholics, and I am not sure how it will affect those newcomers to the band. If they heard "Topographic" after this their brain might go into meltdown. So Yes have gone the way that Genesis did in their final stages and it is not an experience that will please the older Yes fanbase.

Don't compare Yes to their past glories? Why not? They are Yes! Not some band rising up from the overcrowded AOR scene. Yes! Well, that's my take on this and the album will sit very nicely alongside other mediocre Yes projects such as "Union", "Talk" and "Big Generator". At this stage I had to think is it actually the worst Yes album? Let's see. Is it worse than "Big Generator"? On that album I had heard Rabin saying on the documentary that this was the most difficult album he had worked on, with a foot note to the fact that Anderson hated the changes in direction and musical differences were creating tension in the ranks. Okay, "Heaven and Earth" is not quite THAT bad. Is it then as appalling as "Union"? That album was a catastrophe, and album producer Jonathan Elias should be lynched by the prog community for deliberately replacing Wakeman and Howe's solo prowess with inferior so called session musicians, creating a hyper soundscape of saturated noise. Is it then as bad as "Talk"? No, cos at least Trevor Rabin is not on "Heaven and Earth". So it's perhaps the 4th worst Yes album, but that is no consolation. Nor is the awesome Roger Dean cover; which is false advertising; a promise of the great Yes of old which simply doesn't deliver the goods. 3 songs save it from a complete disgrace, but as an old Yes fan I was bitterly disappointed and I did not have high expectations after reading the reviews. However I expected something better than this. If I want to hear syrupy commercial easy listening music I will put this on, and it will remain in pristine condition as the CD will rarely leave its cover.

Ah well, it's only music. So let my passionate opinions rest at that, after all it's only an opinion, and I don't have to listen to this album again. I can always put on the 70s classics such as "Fragile" and revisit the glory days when Yes blew my mind and were the ground breaking movers and shakers of the Prog scene. Despite their pitfalls, Yes will remain in my heart as an essential brilliant band that I will always cherish.

Review by Guillermo
3 stars No. This album is not like "Relayer", "Close to the Edge", "Going for the One".... No. It is not entirely Progressive Rock in musical style. Does it mean it is a bad album? No.

No. There is not Jon Anderson singing and composing the songs. No. There is not Rick Wakeman playing the keyboards. Does it sound like YES? Yes. This line-up still sounds like YES. And more than in their "Fly From Here" album which in my opinion sounded more influenced by THE BUGGLES (Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn).

The most characteristic sound from the "old" YES in this album comes from Steve Howe`s guitar playing, in my opinion. Geoff Downes` keyboards playing and arrangements sound a bit more in the background in comparison to his role in ASIA and more particularly in comparison to the "Fly from Here" album, on which he was one of the main songwriters with producer Trevor Horn. Maybe he has a more prominent role in his song called "Subway Walls", a song which he co-wrote with Jon Davison. Alan White also plays good drums, but the drum parts are not very complicated. Chris Squire plays bass but in a more relaxed way, but his backing vocals still are very good and very characteristic from him for the general sound of YES. The recording and mixing of this album is good, and the production in general sounds more "simple" and "light" than in their previous album.

Jon Davison sings very well, and he is the main songwriter in this album. He sounds more closer to Jon Anderson in the sound of his vocals than Horn or Benoit David, but he still retains his own style. He does a very good job in this album as YES`s lead singer

In general, this album is really "very relaxed" in musical moods, maybe too much for some fans, and maybe it lacks some of the "old" "power" and "heaviness". Maybe the most Progressive song is "Subway Walls", with some changes in rhythms and good solos by Downes and Howe. But maybe the general "sweet musical atmospheres" are the main troubles for some fans to really like this album as an album from YES. I really expected worst things from this album. But I like this album, not a lot, but it is good anyway.

The cover design by Roger Dean is very good.

Review by Second Life Syndrome
3 stars I confess. I'm not a huge Yes fan at all. Sure, their classic output is good, and I especially like Relayer. Yet, their sound and their wankery never really jived with me. I especially never really liked Jon's voice. Yet, for some reason, I do somehow like this unnecessary new release from the classic band, "Heaven & Earth". With the amazing cover art, I was actually expecting something even better, but an average, enjoyable album from a band that is over 40 years old is nothing to sneer at anyways.

Yes, I enjoyed this new Yes album. It isn't revolutionary. It isn't even that complex or technical. Indeed, the guys sort of just strum their way through some ballads, for the most part. I was actually impressed with some of the inventive bass lines from Squire, but that's to be expected, right? Yet, the melodies are there. And the songs sound nice enough. There aren't any pretentious, ridiculously long epics. There is, however, plenty of cheese.

Cheese abounds, from some of the sickeningly sweet melodies to the grimace-worthy lyrics in the first half. The album is definitely centered on ballads, and poppy ones, at that. Honestly, they all kinda blur into one soupy, sappy mess of lovesick frivolities. Jon's vocals are so hokey sometimes that I have to grit my teeth a bit. And, yet, there are memorable tracks, like "Light of the Ages". Finally, "Subway Walls" is actually a wonderful track. It's almost like the band wanted to give a nod to their stalwart progressive fans, as it is indeed an epic of sorts with wonderful instrumentals and real structure. Honestly, this track is awesome.

So, if we step back for a moment, this album isn't anything bad at all. It's not great, or even good, but to slap abysmal ratings on it is probably quite close-minded. It's an easy-going album with some highs and lows. That's it.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In my estimation, Heaven & Earth sits comfortably alongside Tormato and Yes's eponymous debut. If you find little off-putting about Anderson's deliberately uplifting songs from The Ladder or Magnification ("It Will Be a Good Day (The River)," "If Only You Knew," "To Be Alive (Hep Yadda)," "Don't Go," "Give Love Each Day," "Soft as a Dove"), this album will be fresh and buoyant, any flaws notwithstanding. If, however, you cannot abide clichés or limitless optimism, then you can justifiably pass this one by. While it is not my custom to comment on the rating of a given album or compare it to the ratings of other albums, I'll gladly make an exception this time: Prior to the time of this review's publication, Heaven & Earth had a rating equal to Big Generator and had a lower rating than Union. Uncharitable expectations are no doubt the main culprit. Objections that Heaven & Earth is not a return to Close to the Edge don't do the objector any credit. If you insert this disc for the first time hoping to be transported back to 1973, then you have already condemned it. Such condemnation is harder to summon if you were to load the album into your mp3 player (or portable vinyl record unit for you purists), set foot outside under a gorgeous sky, and go for a walk. And for goodness' sake, smile! It will be a good day.

"Believe Again" The first listen, not of this song but of the album, was still disappointing to me. I remember thinking in the car, "Yes is playing music you can shag to!" (Note the East Carolina usage of the term, dear Brits!) Even my wife, who was with me at the time and despises Yes, made the comment that this was "nice music." Oh dear, indeed. For starters, "Believe Again" does not feel like an eight-minute track. It has a lighthearted quality that breezes by, a perfect match for the graceful and stirring vocal harmonies. Maybe calling it "progressive beach music" will be a bit much for some people (I was, after all, in St. Petersburg, Florida when I first heard it), but for me, that designation in no way lessens my enjoyment of a simple and attractive Yes song that has become my favorite one from the album.

"The Game" Although the second song threatens to bring on a darker mood musically, it stops short of doing so, elevating the listener back into the relaxed mood of before. With delightfully catchy vocal passages and unpretentious musicianship all around, this is a charming song that showcases Yes' ability to dial back on the instrumentation and allow the song to breathe and move as a lissome body.

"Step Beyond" A bubbly synthesizer and a bouncing beat reminiscent of early 1990s pop music makes "Step Beyond" sound like it crept out of a twenty-year-old time capsule, stained with the multicolored artwork of Peter Max.

"To Ascend" The lyrics manage to score a point with every other Yes-like cliché imaginable: "Eyes of a child" and "Wing and a prayer" are but two. Befitting these words are gentle acoustic major seventh chords drifting by like a cloud.

"In A World of Our Own" An unusual one in the Yes directory, this song is a cross between gritty blues and symphonic pop, something a Yes fan might find unpalatable, but really it's like a close cousin to the Electric Light Orchestra, particularly the material from Zoom.

"Light of the Ages" A series of long notes from the electrified slide guitar leads into another acoustic-based song, making this a close relation to the darker songs featured on the previous album, Fly from Here.

"It Was All We Knew" With a main melody that is sweet beyond measure and mundane musicianship (one fine guitar solo excepted), I can understand the distaste for "It Was All We Knew." It's another one that I would label beach music, a label which, may I remind the reader, is not derisive).

"Subway Walls" With a pseudo-classical introduction and an lengthy instrumental passage in an odd time signature, it would seem that Yes was attempting to court fans of their progressive rock classics with their closing number. But at its essence, this is another lighthearted song full of bright melodies and smooth harmonies. The guttural bass riff forming the structure of the verses is the main unusual element, almost not belonging. Speaking of not belonging, the segment in 15/8 feels contrived and tacked-on, even if the organ and guitar solos sound terrific, as though to lend the album some progressive "street cred." But in the year 2014, Yes does not need to demonstrate progressive rock credentials, no matter what the naysayers keep saying.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Typically, I have always written my review while playing the music of the album being reviewed. But not this time. I do it intentionally for one chief reason: I don't want to listen to the album again and I don't want to force myself to have a listen for the sake of writing the review. And ...probably I only played the album three times with the third one was actually I forced myself to have it spun but ... I could not afford to continue it. Big apology for Chris, Steve and Alan as I have admitted myself being a big fan of YES but in fact I am not a loyal fans. I put my self as loyal prog music fans irrespective who is the band. If the music I consider it as prog and good quality, then I am on it. But if it's not .....whoever plays it I don't really care if I can not enjoy the music.

The only good thing about this album is its fabulous artwork. Oh there is also another thing: the legendary prog band Yes is still producing an album after decades of their existence in the music industry. The other good thing also is that John Davison voice is quite good and quite close to Anderson in some ways. But the music ...which is the most important one is not the one that I expected to be. First, it's quite weak on composition as the main structure lies on the kind of ambient flow with all soft sounds of almost everything: keyboard, guitar, drums and even voice. The dominating sound is really Chris' bass sounds that represent on how he played with The Sync. I can still find the nuances of Rickenbaker in his playing.

Second, melody line is quite weak even though it sounds OK at the beginning of the album, the opening and second track. But on the third track and later I feel so sleepy and get bored with the music that to me does not sound like it moves. It's so flat to my ears as I can not any beauty in its subtleties. I then start to blame on the limited capability of Geoffrey Downes on keyboard innovation. He only chooses simple notes and not really catchy to my ears. If he does play excellent, I think he can provide such inventive keyboard sound being a melody line. Unfortunately, it's not happening at all. There are only mediocre keyboard sounds throughout the entire album - or at least I fail to identify it as he plays so mediocre.

Third, there is basically no changes of styles or I would say the music is less dynamic than typical Yes music in the past. All flow from start to end so flat with no significant changes of style or tempo that truly represent standard progressive music. There is no inventive keyboard sounds like Awaken or energetic guitar work like in Perpetual Change or dynamic drumming like in Roundabout. Nothing that sounds significant in terms of changes.

Fourth, you might consider the structural integrity is quite good as all songs are alike. But this creates problems, obviously, as it becomes sooo boring listen to the music with basically no movement or very little movement from start to end. What structural integrity of an album serves you if at first you don't enjoy any piece of song in the album?

So ...

What should I say? Of course I am not going to give a one star for this lackluster. And I think two-star rating is a good one and I am quite happy to give two stars, meaning's for the die hard fans of Yes. But remember ...there are many excellent prog albums from younger generation that deserve more attention too .... Keep on proggin' ...!

Note: In fact, I like Glass Hamer "Perilous" much more than this album by Yes. Mr Davison should come back or focus with making Glass Hamer better and better... I think.. Yes is history.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars One benefit of this album was that it made me appreciate what Yes was attempting on "Fly From Here", which at the time I found to be a dissapointment. Hearing what these old guys (the core band members are all approaching 70) do here makes me understand the previous album a lot more.

The traditional Yes sound does still exist, but much more understated than ever before. For example, Believe Again is mostly a pop-based song, like much of the Trevor Rabin Yes lineup, but has a much more prog styled break section, that brings the entire track to life. Most of the pieces are performed in this way, sometimes using guitar, sometimes bass or keybaords to spice up the music. It also helps that Jon Davison's voice sounds very much like a young Jon Anderson, giving the music a more familiar tone than when Benoit David was in front. While not as lush and exciting as classic Yes, is does provide for a nice relaxing listening experience.

There are two standout tracks, Light Of The Ages and Subway Walls. The first, written by Davison, has a very Anderson-like sense of rhythm, and would have fit well on a classic albim like "Going For The One". The second, the closing track written by Geoff Downs and Davison, is a powerhouse of a track, that more closely resembles the strong pieces on "Drama".

While I can't say this is a masterpiece, with the toning down of the majority of tracks, I do enjoy it immensely. I still miss Jon Anderson in the band, but I feel this lineup is not as weak as I initially thought.

3.5 stars, rounded up.

Review by tarkus1980
1 stars "I don't want to end up like grandmaster Max Roach, the American living legend, he of the MacArthur Foundation Grant. Last time I heard him, and it was shortly before he passed away, there was daylight between him and the bass player. Not even close. How are the mighty fallen. You don't want to see Muhammad Ali in the ring again, do you? Get outta here."

- Bill Bruford, The Autobiography, 2009

Two major changes happened to Yes in the time between Fly From Here and this one. First: in one of the all-time great ironies, Benoit David came down with a serious respiratory illness, needed to be replaced for a tour in 2012, and learned through a magazine interview Squire gave that he was out of the band for good. For his replacement, Yes turned to one Jon Davison, another high-pitched vocalist in the Anderson mold, and somebody who had spent a couple of years as the lead singer of Glass Hammer. I've only heard a pretty small amount of Glass Hammer, a Tennessee-based prog band that started in the 90s and was still going strong when Davison joined, but based on what I've heard (some scattered YouTube clips, plus Davison's first album with the band, If, which seems to be the best-regarded of the albums he did with Glass Hammer), it would be hard for me to come up with a band that would appeal to me less. While Davison didn't have much to do with the actual music that I've heard from Glass Hammer (his contributions were mostly limited to his singing and to some lyrics), he is nonetheless the front man of those performances, and if his Anderson-knockoff vocal approach doesn't hurt the music he sings over, it doesn't help things either.

The second change was much more important, however, and it not only ended up amplifying whatever fundamental problems the band had at this point, it also helped make the new inclusion of Davison much more important than it should have been. Trevor Horn, who had produced Fly From Here and had provided a great deal of direction in the process of making that album, decided to leave and do other things. Well, the band had to find somebody to produce them, and they ended up settling on Roy Thomas Baker, a choice that seems innocent but should have sent a shiver of horror down the spine of every serious Yes fan when it was revealed. Baker's production credits are pretty decent on the whole, but I'd far prefer that Yes had hooked up with somebody with no history with the band rather than the person who had been in charge for the aborted Paris Sessions back in 1979. The selection of Baker (not to mention the inclusion of Billy Sherwood, who had some mixing responsibilities) makes it seem like the band had tried to get on board with anybody who had worked with the band in some capacity at some point, and I can't help but think of a lonely drunk flipping through his contacts on a Friday night and trying to find an old girlfriend to hook up with. The only choice that could have horrified me more would have been Jonathan Elias.

So why is it that replacing Horn with Baker would horrify me so much? There are a couple of main reasons. The first: back in 1979, the sessions with Baker heading things up essentially left the band for dead, and it was only when Horn and Downes came to replace Anderson and Wakeman (with Eddie Offord in tow) that the band was able to revive itself and make another pretty strong album (which I still insist Drama is). That the situation reversed course, with Horn leaving after helping to revive the band and squeezing a pretty good album out of them, then bringing in Baker to replace him, strikes me as rife with symbolic badness. The second: with Horn heading things up on Fly From Here, the album could be summarized in ways that would make it seem promising despite the sketchy circumstances that led up to its creation. It was a chance for something like the Drama sequel that never happened, with Howe/Squire/White tapping into a version of themselves from long ago! It didn't matter that they didn't have a bunch of new material ready, because there was a whole bunch of interesting old Buggles material, waiting to be updated and given a Yes sheen! Geoff Downes could tap into his interesting younger self, the interesting Buggles keyboardist who did such a good job on Drama, and ease the nausea of everybody who didn't really like what he'd become with Asia! With Horn's departure, all of this fell apart. Whereas the Fly From Here group+producer combo be spun as "the Drama band, together again, plus an acceptable Anderson/Horn proxy," the lineup suddenly became half of Asia plus the somewhat ideas-bereft Squire and the rapidly declining White (who puts on one of the all-time great "keep getting dem checks" performances here), plus an Anderson-wannabe from a Yes-wannabe band. Whereas it had been ok for Squire and Howe to not contribute a great deal of new material, since so much of Fly From Here was reworked older material, suddenly there was no older material to rework, and the band had to call on Davison to contribute a lot to the songwriting (he has a full or partial credit on 7 of the 8 tracks, while none of the other members are credited on more than 3). Whereas Downes had shown a good balance between the approaches of his younger self and his current self on Fly From Here, this album has Downes reverting entirely to his current self, and unfortunately his current self is nothing like the vibrant but restrained player that made me like The Age of Plastic and Drama so much. The point is, Horn's departure, without being compensated by the arrival of an equally strong hand that could provide clear leadership, set off a significant chain reaction that created a circumstance that would lead to a bad album unless all of the parties involved stepped up their game significantly ... which they didn't.

I've listened to this album several times, hoping (though with rapidly dwindling faith) that my propensity towards finding more to like in a given Yes album than many people typically do would prompt me to like it more than others tend to. What ultimately ends up dooming my feelings towards this album is that I can't figure out what this album generally does well (or, at the least, what this album generally does well that would fall within the bounds of what I tend to value in rock music, prog included). There are some instrumental passages that I like: I enjoy the brief stretches at the beginning of "Believe Again" and "The Game" with Howe's sustained notes on electric guitar; I enjoy the majestic Howe-driven passage that occupies the first minute of "Light of the Ages"; I like the out-of-nowhere "don't worry we're still prog" bit jammed into the middle of "It Was All We Knew." Of course, the passage at the beginning of "Believe Again" is immediately swallowed up by a chintzy rising synth line that inexplicably functions as a crucial element of a middling pop song that has the audacity to last 8 minutes when it can barely sustain 4. There's a "we've got to do some Yes stuff here" lengthy instrumental passage in the middle, a "dark" break to contrast with the cheery banality of the rest, but it's one of the least interesting Howe passages ever on a Yes album, with one of the dinkiest guitar tones I can think of, and I'm fairly amazed that this passage made it into release.

"The Game" is one of Squire's two contributions to the album, and it's essentially a sequel to "The Man You Always Wanted Me to be" in that it contains a co-writing credit from former Syn-mate Gerard Johnson, though this one does not have Squire singing. It's also significantly less interesting to my ears than its predecessor, which may have been my least favorite track on Fly From Here but at least was pretty memorable throughout and had a nice combination of Squire/David harmonies up against decent Howe soloing. This one does itself no favors by lasting nearly seven minutes when it could get by with four or five, but I quite like the combination of Downes' keyboards with the decent vocal melody and that fun hook in the backing vocals. The "climax" sections at the end of each verse section seem a little overwrought to me, and Howe's guitar parts seem to get weirdly tangled up in knots in some spots, but I basically like most of his parts, and I like the song more than I don't. Meanwhile, if "The Game" is more or less the counterpart to "The Man You Always Wanted Me to be," then "It Was All We Knew" is more or less the counterpart to "Hour of Need" (it's another mid-tempo Howe semi-ballad, though without any "Your Move" throwback guitars), and while I kinda like the guitar line that drives the song forward and the mid-section instrumental passage (even if it sounds like something the 70s version of the band would have done if on tranquilizers), it also has the same issues as "Hour" with lyrics that don't quite mesh with the meter of their attached tune (I seriously cannot be the only person who hears this problem in these two songs), and the song ends up seeming a bit clunky.

All of the rest of the songs feature Davison as one of the credited songwriters, and all of them are problematic in their own way. The aforementioned "Light of the Ages," at the very least, has that nice opening stretch, but it completely disappears without an explicit reprise after the opening minute (there's probably a cannibalization of elements of this introduction found somewhere else in the song, but it hasn't jumped out at me), and it gives way to a song that alternates decently atmospheric balladry with awkward melodrama over the next six-plus minutes. I do like the ending repeated "I will follow" near the end, though. The Davison/Howe collaborations are the aforementioned "Believe Again" (bleh) and "Step Beyond," a clunky shuffling pop-rock song built around a pedestrian guitar line over a pedestrian beat and a silly keyboard line that amused me the first couple of times I heard it but started annoying the crap out of me by the third listen, and I just don't like it at all. The Davison/White collaboration is "To Ascend," which is five minutes of go-nowhere fluffery with lyrics like "Taking the time/On the weekend of prayer/A wounded bird in the hand/With the eyes of a child come to understand" and "Take me from where I am/As a freed bird flies from the hand." Listening to this is like stuffing yourself full of marshmallows; right after you're done, you're hungry again and your stomach hurts, and a few hours later you regret it all over again. This is on the short list of Yes songs that provoke a feeling of rabid irritation within me, and I'm the guy who will defend "Wonderlove" and "Love Shine" to anybody who wants to throw down.

The album's other Davison/Squire collaboration, "In a World of Our Own," is a sort of jazzy/music-hall shuffle, and I like the idea of the song more than I like the final product. I can actually very easily envision this having been featured on a (completely hypothetical) Squackett follow-up project to A Life Within a Day, with Steve Hackett and Roger King finding some way to take the core idea and either give it a darker edge or go the other way and accentuate the music hall aspects for all they're worth. Amanda Lehmann could have taken lead vocals, Gary O'Toole or Jeremy Stacey could have messed around with the drum part a bit, Hackett could done something a little more adventurous with the guitars ... alas, it was not to be, and a decent melody and framework is largely wasted.

Finally, the album concludes with a nine-minute Davison/Downes collaboration in "Subway Walls," which is somewhat in the "New Languages" mold (remember that one?) in that it has a long dramatic introduction that eventually gives way into a herky-jerky pop song with a meant-to-be-rousing chorus interspersed with noodling instrumental passages to boost its prog cred. Now, I'm not an enormous fan of "New Languages" (which I still consider to be a good 4:30 pop song unnecessarily bloated into a prog epic), but it has this one beat in every way; the opening instrumental passage of "Subway Walls" is filled with bombastic keyboard and xylophone parts that should be beneath Yes, the verses of the pop section are nowhere near as memorable as the "New Languages" one, the chorus doesn't even come close to the one in "NL" (which doesn't just have the chorus but also has that great transition from the herky-jerky verses), and the instrumental passages are much duller here than there. This one also has a big bombastic coda (not just instrumental, but also featuring Davison/Squire singing lines that culminate in a big "TRANSCEND!!!!!!" over the instrumental parts) that breaks the mold, but while Howe's soloing is actually pretty decent in this part, it comes across as too little too late.

The knee-jerk defense from somebody who wants to defend this album (I'm definitely not saying this is the only possible defense, but it seems like it's a common one) could likely take the form of something like "It's unreasonable to expect something like Fragile or Close to the Edge, just accept it for what it is!!!" The problem I have with this album is not that there isn't anything that lives up to the standard of "Roundabout" or "South Side of the Sky" or "Siberian Khatru"; this would be a completely unreasonable expectation if somebody held reaching this level as a pre-requisite of enjoyment, and I certainly do not have this expectation. The problem I have is that I don't believe anything on this album lives up to the standard of "Into the Storm" or (if we're dipping into the list of reworked older material) "Sad Night at the Airfield" or "Life on a Film Set," and there's little on here that I would perceive as living up to the standards of perfectly decent Life Within a Day material like "Aliens" or "Perfect Love Song." Furthermore, as much as the material on the album strikes me as falling in the range of middling to bad, there's also very little in the way of a diversification effect in tempo and style to boost it up at least a little bit. Ok, there's a smidge of variation in presentation (boring pop vs boring prog-pop hybrids, I guess), but only a smidge; if ever a Yes album absolutely needed a Howe acoustic guitar instrumental or three, it's this one. Or, for instance, couldn't Squire's songs have been reworked to give him a more prominent place in the vocal mix, maybe making him the clear lead in spots? Again, this comes back to the question of leadership; the band really needed to have somebody around to throw out a bunch of goofy ideas that might be unworkable on their own but could spur the band to try something unusual, instead of settling for the path of least resistance in so many cases. As for the "accept it for what it is" argument: there's too much good music in the world for me to force feed myself something like this, even if it's from one of my very favorite bands.

Now, with all of these downsides, a once unthinkable question had to be considered as I listened to this repeatedly: could it be that Yes had finally made an album that I could consider worse than Union? After all, as awful as it might be, Union does have three songs I genuinely enjoy ("Masquerade," "Lift Me Up," "The More We Live - Let Go"), whereas this album doesn't have any songs that I like even as much as those. So, I broke my long-ago vow, popped the entirety of Union onto my iPod, gave it a full listen for the first time in many years ... and holy hell, that album is awful and definitely worse than this one. No, this album may not live up to the best material of Union, but it also doesn't have anything as astoundingly soul-sucking as the three-song "Angkor Wat"/"Dangerous"/Holding On" sequence, not to mention other low points like "Shock to the System" or "Silent Talking." Honestly, this makes sense to me: as bad as much of this album might be, it's still the genuine product of a past-its-prime version of Yes, whereas so much of Union was the product of Jon Anderson, Jonathan Elias, and the bowels of Hell. With that perspective in mind, I can rank this album a nudge above Union, which is something, I guess.

It's presumptuous to insist that anybody should retire from recording new music if they don't want to; Yes really wanted to keep touring at this point, and (best as I've been able to gather, though it's possible I'm misinterpreting what I've read) they had an obligation to have an album out before the 2014 tour where they'd be playing Fragile and Close to the Edge in full in addition to material from a new album, so this album pretty much had to happen. I will say this instead: if this is genuinely the kind of music that the various members of Yes (especially Howe/Squire/White) wanted to make at this time, and if they were genuinely satisfied with the final product, then this means that they had, by this point, lost all connection to the younger versions of themselves, the ones who made so much music that has made my life and the lives of others so much better. Fly From Here retained that connection, and so did Magnification, and so did The Ladder (Open Your Eyes didn't really, but I still like it for other reasons), but this album suggests that it was gone for good. As hardcore as my fandom might be, and as much as I've tended to find some level of enjoyment in pretty much anything Yes has done in its old age (or, for that matter, in the bulk of its career), I just can't get behind this album when it sounds like the product of a listless, directionless, old version of the band. Yes, it charted respectably, but it came out in 2014, when so few albums were being sold that charting numbers basically became pointless, and it's hard to envision a scenario where, 50 years after release, the album would be regarded as anything but an embarrassment.

Review by russellk
1 stars No. My goodness, no.

Beautifully written songs put through an industrial-grade production blender to produce porridge. Fodder. Cotton wool for the ears. Music that begs to be played as the background to something else. Music that never, not for a second, commands attention. No feathers ruffled. Nothing out of place. Music so scared to offend it misses any chance it had to delight. Unambitious. Safe.


If this were food it'd be the stuff they feed you after a major operation while you're waiting to resume your life. Which is exactly how you feel waiting for this album to end. Waiting. Waiting...

Look, if you don't want to be compared to your years of greatness, don't hire a soundalike vocalist. Don't come up with a Roger Dean album cover. Don't pad your AOR songs out to prog length. I cannot tell you how much I prefer the risks you took when you made 90125 (yes, risks) than the deathbed music you've come up with here - six terrifyingly meaningless black holes of suck sandwiched between two marginally acceptable sub-YES numbers.

Here's a plan: stick 'Believe Again' and 'Subway Walls' together with the 'Fly From Here' suite and you've got a decent three-star album.

Anything rather than this soggy, samey exercise in limp banality.

YES. Does it blend? Yes it does.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars The previous Yes album "Fly From Here" was pretty much a disgrace. So a new lead singer joins the line up for "Heaven & Earth" who is supposed to sound like Jon Anderson. Ok, so everyone knows what Jon Anderson sounds like right? Imagine his voice being washed out of all emotion and feeling, and you will have an idea of what Jon Davison sounds like, the new lead singer. Anderson didn't really have the strongest voice in the world, but at least he had emotion and feeling. Davison has a weak voice and sounds like he is singing songs for a children's show like Sesame Street. Bleah!

If that's not bad or embarrassing enough, the rest of the band sounds like they are as washed out as the singer. And most of them are long time vetrans of the band. This is watered down pop music and that's all it is. It is even worse than a lot of pop music. Madonna has more grittiness than this album.

What a sad thing to happen to what was one of the most important and best progressive bands ever. Now they are hardly even a shadow of themselves. This is not Yes. It isn't even a bad copy of Yes. What it is, is a bad progressive band that sounds like they hardly even knew the first thing about prog, and that just can't be Yes, right? Tell me that it's true that the Yes name was hijacked and is now being held for ransom. This is just terrible and it makes me sad. Where is Chris Squire? It says he is in the band, but I hardly hear any bass, and this is definitely not the trademark bass sound that he is so famous for. What is Steve Howe trying to do here? It's like he is mimicking himself and doing a poor job of it. I don't even want to talk about Geoff Downes, who only shined on "Drama" because of the awesome material he had to work with. Other than that, he is famous for making terrible choices with band line ups.

This album is bad, bad, bad. There is no prog and there is no emotion and everything is bland. I can't take it anymore....Arghhhhhhhhhh! Quick someone put on "Relayer" or "Close to the Edge" before my eardrums decide to revolt and shut down all together. 1 star. Drivel!

Review by lazland
2 stars This review is being written some 14 months after the release of Heaven And Earth, the album which would prove to be the studio swan song of the great Chris Squire, who sadly passed away about a year following its release.

This, it is tempting (very tempting) to write a review that tells all that this is a fantastic way for the great man to have left his imprint upon the world.

Tempting, yes, but it would be wholly inappropriate. For said imprint, I am afraid you need to go back a far while in history.

As others have commented, this is not an album of epics. It is a song based album, and, as regular readers of my reviews know, I do not regard this as a bad thing. It basically depends upon the songs. If they are great, the album is. Pretty simple concept, really.

The songs are not terrible. They are, in the main, pleasant. Surprisingly, given his antipathy in the past to anything resembling a song based album as far as Yes are concerned (although not, of course, with Asia), the main man whose mark is all over the album is Steve Howe. His playing is sublime. On Subway Walls, he tries his best to pick the tempo up at the end to something resembling a rock album, and almost succeeds.

Downes contributes suitably well played light keys (I say this as someone who greatly admires his work with Asia), Squire is, well, Squire without the bombast, whilst White is barely noticeable, as if he completely disappeared during the mix.

And what of Mr Davison, then? He is, well, erm, pleasant. He has a pleasant voice. He has a voice which can pass in tone for a certain Mr Anderson. But, Mr Anderson he ain't. Sorry, he just isn't. Probably the most striking album of Yes with Jon which this bears resemblance to in both approach and tone is The Ladder, an album I loved. That had a lot of songs, and when Anderson belted out If Only We Knew, a paean to his wife, he sounded as if he meant it, and he didn't half belt it out. Davison does not belt anything. I am sorry, but it sounds for all the world as if he is merely going through the motions, pleasantly.

And therein lies the rub. The Game is, perhaps, the best example of a track on this album which, with an Anderson contributing, could have been a classic Yes commercial track. As it is, it is unutterably bland. Nice enough, yes, but just damned bland, and those who know me well know full well that I adore good commercial progressive pop rock. This just doesn't cut the mustard.

To Ascend really stands out for me on this theme. A track which has Squire written all over it, with his characteristic (gorgeous) voice, a melodic bass line, backed by soft acoustic guitar (there is a drum somewhere, but not so that you would really notice), this could, and should, have been something exceptional, special, beautiful. As it is, it is just....oh dear, damned pleasant. Never has such a nice word been used to such ill effect.

Light Of The Ages is an attempt at good old fashioned Yes cosmic grandiosity, Howe slide guitar wonderfully wailing, with some very good Downes tinkling. It is, perhaps, the closest this album comes to being enjoyable, but is, ultimately, ordinary, without the atmosphere we, rightly, come to expect from such a group of virtuosos.

This is not a turkey of an album. It was touted as being a statement of intent by the band, a record of Yes in 2014, with the past banished forever (excepting, of course, in the live shows, because it is, naturally, the classics which keep the punters rolling in). Well, I defended, rightly, Genesis right throughout the so-called sellout phase, because, you know, they produced some staggeringly good music, stuff I play with pleasure regularly, and music that will live in my mind forever.

This is nothing like that. It is not an Open Your Eyes. It is not a turkey.

It is, like, pleasant. It is a nice album. And it is fantastically unforgettable.

I did not expect a classic album from the band who released Relayer, CTTE, Fragile, or even Tormato and The Ladder. I did, though, expect better than this. Even Fly From Here had a marvellous suite, beautifully produced and performed, to recommend it. This has no such thing, and, as such, is, in my opinion, an album only for us diehard collectors who have to have all that the band released.

Two stars. Simply not good enough, a statement I take no pleasure in writing at all.

Review by Prog Leviathan
1 stars Within the first minute of Heaven & Earth you will know that something very, very bad is going to happen. When the second song begins your heart will start to sink. By the third song... the reality that this schmaltzy, torpid, bland, gutless, uncreative, tepid, sentimental, down-tempo, anemic, and magnificently disappointing album is the last thing Chris Squire will ever perform just sort of makes you want to cry.

Heaven & Earth is irredeemably bad; as in, probably the worst album that Yes has ever produced.

The songwriting is a flat-line of meandering melodies that wander through the songs' unfortunately long running times. "Step Beyond" literally sounds like music from a children's TV show. The band's instrumental performances are actually kind of insulting. Howe noodles in the background as if he's so bored with the compositions that he's just going to practice in the background. White's drumming is pedestrian and unexciting on every level. Chris Squire sounds like he's mostly just helping keep time. And Downes keyboards... I just don't have words to describe how ineffective they are.

And let's talk about the band's new singer, Jon Davison. Do you know what happens when you make a copy of a copy? He's just awful, and the lyrics he's singing are so bad that they will probably induce nausea in most listeners.

Yes' performance here barely has a pulse. This is the worst album Yes has ever made, yes it's even worse than "Union" and probably "Open Your Eyes." The band seems to be falling asleep to songs that are lazy, boring, plodding, and unambitious, and it hurts my heart.

Songwriting: 1 - Instrumental Performances: 1 - Lyrics/Vocals: 1 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 1

Review by patrickq
1 stars A truly bad album, made worse by the fact that this is Yes, who in my opinion are, by 1.6 kilometers, the best prog rock band of all time. And I don't buy the argument that this isn't really Yes. In addition to Alan White, who'd been in the band for forty years, you have Steve Howe and Chris Squire! It's true that vocalist Jon Davison cannot fill the shoes of Jon Anderson, but who can? He's a good enough singer. That's not the problem.

This is, give or take, about my hundredth review on Prog Archives, and it'll be my first song-by-song review. It's not something I expected to do, but Heaven and Earth is an unusual album. Each song sounds like a Yes or Yes-related song.

For example, the album opener "Believe Again" sounds like a Tormato cast-off dusted off and re-recorded by 2014 Yes. The fact that Jon Anderson is absent is kind of amazing; not only does it sound almost like his singing, the diction of the lyrics is pure Anderson. And is it just me, or is guitarist Steve Howe playing the main motif from "Top Gun Anthem" throughout the song?

"The Game" and "Step Beyond" are inane numbers that could've come from an Anderson solo album. Nice guitar solo at the end of "The Game," by the way, but after "Believe Again," these songs seem to be confirmation that quality control was seriously lacking this time around. And "To Ascend," I'm sad to say, is a distillation of the worst elements of the first three songs. Davison's phrasing on this one is somehow even more of an Anderson imitation (listen to his delivery of "with the eyes of a child, come to understand" at 3:18).

It doesn't sound anything like Asia, but with a different arrangement, "In a World of Our Own" might've been an Asia song; at a minimum, I was sure Howe had written this one, probably with keyboardist (and Asia leader) Geoff Downes. Nope. Honestly I think "In a World of Our Own" would be a contender for Worst Asia Song.

"Light of the Ages" starts off sounding like another "To Ascend," but finally, at 2:18, a Yes groove, maybe from Keys to Ascension 2 (that's the good KTA) kicks in. But less than a minute later, Davison is back with more spot-on Anderson mimicry. I don't think it's Davison's fault; he's just doing his job. The song then devolves further into something that might've come from the cotton-candy underbelly of Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe. More nice guitar work from Howe, but not nice enough to save this one. Speaking of Howe, "It Was All We Knew" is a Howe song from top to bottom, and could've been on one of his 1990s solo albums, although I'm glad it wasn't. Amazingly, and sadly, it's actually one of the best songs on Heaven and Earth.

And then there's "Subway Walls." The first minute and a half is pretty good, and for a little while I thought this was going to be the sole redeeming track here. The jaunty guitar part connecting the intro to the verse-one lead-in bothers me a little, but it's really no worse than "Bumpy Ride." But by the time Davison's singing about "graffiti on subway walls," the song has already deteriorated into Andersonesque social commentary along the lines of "That That Is" (from the first Keys to Ascension - - the bad KTA) or "Lightning Strikes" (from The Ladder). Later there's some keyboard improv over a non-4/4 beat, and a recapitulation of the cool intro, and yet another nice guitar solo, but in all, it sounds like a band trying hard to sound like Yes (again, like the first Keys to Ascension album).

My initial impression of Heaven and Earth was "man, this is a bad album!" Unfortunately, further listens over the past five years haven't changed that much. The issue, I believe, is substandard material, but it goes beyond this. Certain past members of Yes have never been on a bad Yes album; Bill Bruford and Trevor Horn come to mind. I get the sense that they exerted some sort of quality control, but it could just be coincidence, and it doesn't explain why Relayer would be Yes's best. Anyway, it seems like the band should've realized the quality of the material they were writing and rehearsing for Heaven and Earth; indeed Steve Howe seems to have realized it later. Maybe they did realize it after the studio time was booked and the cover was painted, and they just hoped that it wasn't as bad as it seemed.

Anyway, Heaven and Earth is truly for completists only. I'd say that a serious Yes fan should be able to sleep soundly without this in his or her collection. If you want to expand your Yes collection beyond Fragile or 90125, I'd say you couldn't do too much worse that Heaven and Earth.

Latest members reviews

1 stars 2014's Heaven & Earth is so flat. It's so soulless. It's bland, pedestrian, sleep-inducing, insipid, and every other synonym for "boring" there is. It's like if Air Supply or some other soft rock act decided to try to make a Yes album. Steve Howe's guitar never really takes the lead, and it usually ... (read more)

Report this review (#2903113) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Friday, March 31, 2023 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Having listened to this album a few days back, I can say without a doubt that the problem with this album lies moreso on the production than on the (admittedly middling) quality of the songs. There's quite a few moments where it sounds like the music is getting heavier, and one would think that the ... (read more)

Report this review (#2273489) | Posted by Wise_Person | Saturday, October 26, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars As a hardcore prog and YES fan, I am surprised they released a decidedly non-prog album. I can empathize with the disappointment voiced by many long time fans of Yes- the archetype of Prog. And that's where my criticism ends. After my initial WTF experience hearing this mostly sedate and deci ... (read more)

Report this review (#1723009) | Posted by dosware | Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Who is this band and what have they done with Yes? In response to their opening song, I desperately want to Believe Again. But when I listen to H&E and then play some of their previous material (even as recent as Magnification), I can only pine for what used to be. There is nothing worse ... (read more)

Report this review (#1398243) | Posted by fredblue | Monday, April 13, 2015 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Heaven & Earth has some good moments, but it is definitely not a good album. Some highlights of this album include an interesting instrumental break in the middle of "Believe Again" with the guitar notes going up while the keyboard notes are going down and the fun, exciting 7/4 ending to "Subway Wal ... (read more)

Report this review (#1389995) | Posted by Stiyekton | Sunday, March 29, 2015 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Good Steve Howe starts this off with a nice introduction of notes fading in, just fine so far. Then it gets bubbly. Really bubbly. I mean frothy soap bubble bubbly, as if producer Roy Thomas Baker had scrubbed any and all edge out of the music. The sound is bright and clean, even sumptuous. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1354912) | Posted by Progosopher | Tuesday, January 27, 2015 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I really like Subway Walls! It is one of my favorite songs from 2014! Now for the bad news... Pretty much the rest of the album. Is it the lead singer? I say no. A lot of people complain about Jon Davison as the lead singer. I like the choice, personally. I liked his work with Glass Hamme ... (read more)

Report this review (#1353001) | Posted by branchranch | Sunday, January 25, 2015 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Had I taken a Blindfold Test on this work, I would have thought that it was a moderately promising, young Neo-Prog band, somewhat inspired by YES. But for YES, under Squire's dominance, it's yet another disappointing release - as if Squire was aiming at willful mediocricity. Not quite Pop, but ... (read more)

Report this review (#1320882) | Posted by Anon-E-Mouse | Sunday, December 7, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I really can't understand the fuzz around this record. Is it a kind of Asch conformity thing or am I getting mellow as I get old? By the time of the release of Open Your Eyes (1997) I heard Steve Howe say that they were trying to unite the best of the 70s and the 80s Yes. Well, Heaven and Earth did ... (read more)

Report this review (#1293711) | Posted by Mutante | Saturday, October 18, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I really wanted to like Fly From here. I was hoping for a return to drama-style harder edge prog rock. Unfortunately, I didn't get that and as much as I tried, I just didn't love the album. So when I picked up Heaven & Earth, my expectations weren't sufficiently lowered. Despite being excited by ano ... (read more)

Report this review (#1283817) | Posted by DragonsDream | Thursday, September 25, 2014 | Review Permanlink

2 stars What a dull and schmaltzy affair Heaven and Earth is!! Karaoke Yes all wrapped up neatly with a bow and ready for an elevator. I'm sorry, but it is NOT too much for a Yes fan to expect creative, intelligent music. Instead, we get a squishy, safe record that satisfies none of a Yes listener's mu ... (read more)

Report this review (#1271233) | Posted by fraanco3 | Saturday, September 6, 2014 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I feel like I've just eaten 40 kilos of gummy bears. Like quite a few people, I didn't actually think Fly From Here was that bad. Sure, a lot of it was down to Benoit David, and the titular suite had enough glimpses of those stellar melodies from the last two Mystery albums that I love so muc ... (read more)

Report this review (#1271197) | Posted by Gallifrey | Saturday, September 6, 2014 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Utterly boring, boring, boring. It took me three attempts to get from start to finish. I finally did and what a disappointment. Sorry, but I can only call it "elevator muzak". Inoffensive. Emotionless. Empty in all possible senses. I know that we cannot expect another "Close To the Edge" from th ... (read more)

Report this review (#1267413) | Posted by Shad | Thursday, September 4, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Born to be Mild I was sitting in bed the other morning idly browsing the progarchives site and I find myself staring at the 'Heaven and Earth' page with a banner add for some investment company titled '15 minute retirement plan'. That really does say it all - a hastily cobbled together pro ... (read more)

Report this review (#1267372) | Posted by Deathangel | Thursday, September 4, 2014 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Wow, that was painful. I have read with great interest the many reviews of this album, marveling at the discrepancies of the many opinions, which have ranged from "exciting", to "breath-taking" to down right " God-awful". I must say, after hearing H&E for the first time, and as a long time Y ... (read more)

Report this review (#1266015) | Posted by JesusisLord | Tuesday, September 2, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars There is nothing particularly wrong about this album, all the key elements that had make Yes the best (prog) Rock band ever, are still here but displayed softer, slower and quieter. Howe is in very fine form, and that is enough to make a very good Yes Album. If you are an Anderson's widow, you s ... (read more)

Report this review (#1265127) | Posted by Rikki Nadir | Saturday, August 30, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Softer side of Yes! Not so bad album at all. Last song is excellent and I also like an opening track and To Ascend which is a very beautiful tune. The Howe composition, It was all We Know, is catchy. The worst song is Light of the Ages which is just dull. The cover art is one of the Dean's best ... (read more)

Report this review (#1264906) | Posted by oldfieldolli | Saturday, August 30, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Heaven and Earth" is the ninteenth studio album (not counting Keystudio) and has certainly come in for a lot of negative criticism. Although most of the reviews giving one and two star ratings appeared before the album was even released!! That makes me wonder if those reviewers even listened to ... (read more)

Report this review (#1256084) | Posted by FXM | Friday, August 22, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album touched me deeply. To be honest, after "Fly From Here" I didn't expect anything from the new Yes album. But after several listening to "Heaven & Earth", I'm more than positively surprised by the musical freshness and creativity by the old masters. This album has its identity, from the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1250883) | Posted by Bilkaim | Saturday, August 16, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Whereas I do resent those one-star reviews that had been posted even before the album was released, I must concur with the folks who think the Heaven and Earth is "for the Yes fans only" and contributes very little to the prog's legacy. But then again, should we expect Yes to churn out a new CTT ... (read more)

Report this review (#1242257) | Posted by Argonaught | Sunday, August 10, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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