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Yes - Keys to Ascension 2 CD (album) cover

KEYS TO ASCENSION 2

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.97 | 455 ratings

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Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Couple days ago, I received a short message on my mobile phone from my prog friend, Rizal, telling me that he'd better listen to YES's "Mind Drive" than "Love Extreme" of The FLOWER KING's "Adam and Eve" album. Rizal and I have a significant disagreement about "Adam and Eve" album whereby he does not really like it while I adore the new album of TFK very much as I put in previous review. I think, as a progger we have to understand differing opinions about the same album. We have to be open mind about it. In some occasions we have the same opinions but in another we are in the opposite way. But, that's normal, I would say. The differing opinions have in fact taught me a lot on appreciating some one's view(s).

YES KTA 1 and 2 have been in my CD shelf since the release date and it's definitely a masterpiece live album. My ultimate goal of reviewing this double CD album is to express my appreciation about how wonderful this album is. Thanks to Rizal that stimulates me to do the review thru his mind boggling statement (comparing YES with TFK). This album comprises CD 1 - a recorded live performance in San Luis Obispo and CD 2 - the newly recorded studio tracks.

Let me start by commenting the CD 2 first. Yes, I do agree with Rizal that the opening track "Mind Drive" is really a powerful track. For me, this is a kind of reincarnation of "Tales from Topographic Ocean" track that has similar duration as this track, ie. 18 minutes. The only difference is probably the sound technology as this track was recorded using a much advanced recording technology. This track is rich with variety of melodies, changing tempos in a relatively complex music structure. It starts with an atmospheric and soft keyboard sound played in a flat mode plus nice HOWE's acoustic guitar fills followed by dynamic bass line by SQUIRE. Uugh . what a stunning acoustic guitar work here. The music then enters with a dazzling drum by ALAN WHITE, forming a great musical rhythm. Howe plays its guitar skillfully during this rhythm that serves as tagline melody as well. The tempo moves slightly and finally in relatively fast tempo when JON's powerful voice enters the scene. Oh my GOD .. what a wonderful musical piece here! I cannot refrain my adrenalin exploding at this part. It's really cool and uplifting, emotionally. Then the music stops and followed by JON's voice accompanied by nice acoustic guitar plus WAKEMAN's keyboards. The music flows at high and low points with vocal line keeps the tagline melody and other instruments keep the rhythm; but as usual - the rhythm of YES music is full with "fills" especially on guitar part. I think, this track is under rated because I'm sure that it deserves the same recognition as "The Reveling Science of God" of "Tales" album. This track is KILLER!

The second track "Foot Prints" starts with a vocal line led by ANDERSON. The music then flows in a relatively moderate tempo with some poppy touch as well. It reminds me to JON's solo album style. The difference is on the complicated guitar fills by HOWE and dazzling bass line of SQUIRE. The combination of lead guitar and solo keyboard at the interlude is really nice - especially it's accentuated by dynamic drumming work by WHITE.

"Bring Me To The Power" is the third track. The intro part reminds me to "And You And I", but it's totally different when it enters the body of the music. It's a moderate tempo track with dynamic bass line and some acoustic guitar fills (really cool); combined with great variety of drumming. The next track "Children of Light" reminds me to one track of YES "Union" album. It starts with a duet voice of JON and CHRIS followed by piano fills and rhythm music. It has two parts; when it enters second parts - the music turns mellow with keyboard and lead guitar works; performed in a spacey style. The last track "Sign Language" is a short instrumental track (according to YES standard) of 3:29 minutes. Dominated by guitar fills that reminds me to the intro of "Mind Drive". CD 2 has provided me with a total satisfaction of modern YES music, recorded with a state of the art sound technology as it produces excellent sonic quality.

CD 1 provides all classic track by the band, i.e. "I've Seen All Good People", "Going For The One", "Time And A Word", "Close To The Edge", "Turn Of The Century" and "And You And I". All tracks were performed excellently, it's a defect-free concert, I think. I enjoy "Close To the Edge" of this CD.

So, overall I give full five star (5/5) for one of prog pioneers. I recommend you to have this album plus KTA 1 and you don't need to buy YES "Keystudio as it only compiles all studio tracks previously released KTA 1 and 2. Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |

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