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Yes - Time and a Word CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 1450 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I've set myself the goal of reviewing every Yes studio album. It's a progidious feat, but I'm probably over halfway there. Today I want to visit the Yes album that I probably listen to least, A Time And A Word.

The first two Yes albums were not sucesses, but their character is very different. The first Yes album is a good album, but firmly in the psychedelic genre. When listened to, it gives very little hint of the direction that Yes will take later on. The second (which this review is about) is a poorer effort, but it clearly foreshadows the direction that Yes will follow later on.

Let's discuss the tracks.

No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Required: The future begins here. The inclusion of an orchestra and Chris Squire's dominating bass lines make this a rich and exciting track. Jon sings a low register here, which is also an interesting novelty. The song is good, but not great. Still this is a great start to the album.

Then: I don't like this one. It's keyboard driven psych with the orchestra parts once again integrated, but it doesn't appeal to me like the last track, and Squire isn't nearly as prominent.

Everydays: This track once again expands the boundaries of what Yes is exploring musically. In a very mellow way, it's kind of jazzy. The composition is very piecemeal, and the orchestra once again makes it's presence known. This most definitely isn't the Yes that you know and love, but it is an interesting change.

Sweet Dreams: A syrupy rock track, but not as bad as something like Survival off of the first album. It does have an edge to it, courtesy of Squire and Kaye (of all people.) Not a favorite, but not forgettable either.

The Prophet: This foreshadows the epic form that Yes would develop in the next album. Unfortunately they don't quite have the idea down yet. Kaye's introduction isn't really up to snuff, and the song is pleasant but not really good. Anderson's vocals give a hint of what we are in for later on (esp. in CTTE.)

Clear Days: Another piecemeal track. I'm ashamed to admit that I really like this piece of psychedelic dreck, but I can't explain why. I like it, but I sure don't expect you to.

Astral Traveller: This one showcases Peter Banks's talents (although Kaye and Bruford also shine here.) Not a great song, but some scintillating performances.

Time and a Word: Eddie Offord (the producer) once said that he thought Yes had two really magical moments in And You and I and this song. I agree with him on And You and I, but A Time and a Word always struck me as too repetitive and not interesting enough to qualify.

Anyhow, I'm giving this album two stars. As far as progressive rock goes, this album is definitely a transition between Yes's early psychedelic foundation and their establishment as a bastion of progressive rock. Here they start experimenting with the ideas that will make them the maestros of progressive rock, but they don't master them until the next, watershed album.

ghost_of_morphy | 2/5 |


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