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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Circa HQ - Review
    Posted: January 26 2009 at 19:50
Circa HQ Review

Their first album Circa 2007 was a wonderful surprise to a life-long Yes fan. It was great to hear those riffs that I missed from both Asia and Yes. I still play it often.

That album was made when the band was operating in a vacuum. Since then, Asia is on a comeback path and has delivered a great album. Yes, on the other hand has decided to take the “lite” tour on the road instead of staying in the studio and creating more wonderful new music. Meanwhile, Circa has produced over 60 minutes of wonderful new music to enjoy.

However, all of these comparisons must be driving this band crazy. Billy and Tony, though former Yes members, have created their own entity here along with Jimmy and Jay. With Alan White going back to Yes, this band can become even more independent of the past and cement their own fan base and catalog. The title points to a more permanent base of operations with a plan to move forward with a tour in February and beyond!

The new album opens with If It’s Not Too Late. I think it is one of the strongest songs on the album. Most bands tend to put a strong, but short opener at the front of their album. This one welcomes you back to Circa with those long lifting riffs. The lyrics have always been important to this band, and that is one of the reasons they are one of my favorite bands right now. Lyrics are so important. Deep and epic lyrics dominated their first album. On this album they showcase their musicianship much more, but they don’t skimp on lyrics either.

One of the strongest lyrics on If It’s Not Too Late is, “Life magnified, an epic adventure, waiting for the moment when destiny appears!” The music on this song will remind you of some of the best of the Yes of the past, but it is played with new meaning and power. Fresh yet reminiscent of the past. At 10:51, it is the first of three epics on this album.

Haun Solo is a wonderful homage to the acoustic guitar solos Steve Howe used to have on some of my favorite Yes albums. Very good break after such a dynamic beginning.

Then we go to False Start. A strong lyrical track with brilliant music supporting it. “Look inside yourself and turn it all around.” “Fly into the winds that are ever changing.” Perfectly fits the mood of the country and world right now, ripe with change. That soaring guitar is awesome! The end of the song with its slow fade will remind many Yes fans of the past.

Chasing After Ghosts sums up what I feel is the band’s mission, “memories that will ever last, running back home again.” Here is the music you have been missing, enjoy it!

Set to Play is an instrumental interlude before Ever Changing World begins. Lots of great riffs and that ever present base we have all become used to with Chris Squire and Yes.

Ever Changing World – “Wait for your moment. It could be coming today. In the time it takes to blink, it can pass you by.” Believe we can, believe we are.” This song is full of uplifting lyrics and music. If wanted to hear something positive, with all the negative economic news out there right now, this album is for you.

We Can Last – wonderful beginning, like a rewind button. The second of the major epics on this album. At 9:16. Then, “life is what you make it…a force of new creation!” “Defying the laws of nature, in search of something more.” Yeah a broad stroke of vision towards the future. Wonderful guitar interludes surrounded by nice warm keys. “All in time, answers will reveal.”

Twist of Fate – “To a new elevation…liberation…inspiration…calibration. Tomorrow just can’t wait, together in this twist of fate.” The need to do something now to protect the future. Strong guitar opens this one! Sounds like it belongs on Drama! But the “Birds” guitars give it a different twist. “Too many voices hesitate.”

All Intertwined – “There is hope that tomorrow brings a new chance for everyone.” Enough said.

Remember Along the Way  - “You’re never given the chance to touch rewind. It’s all been set to play!” The almost pipe organ sound at the beginning. Powerful guitar unleashing all of the power of the band, and that the end of the album sound. The closing epic…and what a way to close this album. The first album had Brotherhood of Man. This is the closing number which welcomes you to take the journey and return for more in the future.

They recovered pretty quickly after Mr. White left the band. They went into the studio to build the catalog rather than hit the road and tour. I think that was a great idea. We fans have more of their music and they have more to dazzle us with when they do hit the road. Three more wonderful epics versus the two they had on the first album. I am in! Very good music with inspirational lyrics which leave you feeling good. I am no longer wondering what will happen to Yes, though I hope they return to the studio some day with Jon Anderson. If not, I am perfectly happy with Circa.

“Make the most of all of your time!” Looks like they are doing just that!
"I hope that all those that are dear to me, know of all that wasn't clear to me.....one day!

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 27 2009 at 12:56
Why put this review here, instead of with the album in the main section of the site?
Even prog is rooted in the blues, at some point...
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