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Yes - Yes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 1383 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars For a band that progressed to the very pinnacle of modern music, this is most definitely an underwhelming beginning.

More than that. It's actually cringe-worthy in places. YES were yet to find anything that set them apart from the squirming mass of psych-jazz bands of the late 60s. Other bands from that scene did this sound far better. It is only with the song 'Survival' that anything worth salvaging appears from this rather pointless debut.

So, what have we got? Competent musicianship married to a distinct lack of compositional skill and a stark lack of confidence. Prog rock was built on an arrogance, a belief that one could stretch the borders of rock, but this (barely) proto-prog album album stays firmly within quite narrow confines. The songs don't really go anywhere, and many of the arrangements (Harold Land is all the example you need) are so ponderous it's no wonder. Lots of swirly organ music with no climactic moments. Interesting but unadventurous vocal harmonies, conservative arrangements and rather naive jazz moments make up the bulk of the album - along with poorly thought out covers of BEATLES and BYRDS songs. I'll acknowledge that the jazz improv on 'I See You' is excellent, but it does nothing for me, seeming dreadfully out of place. Regrettably, the lyrics to this album actually make sense most of the time, and are unimaginative and mundane. Most disappointingly of all, this album does not reflect the imagination with which they approached their live work at the time.

In summary, this is a record that few people would listen to if it wasn't for what the band subsequently became. History aside, there's really no reason anyone needs this record, especially since 'Survival', the only outstanding track, is included on compilations. Few memorable moments and fewer hints of what this band would become.

russellk | 2/5 |


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