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Yes - Talk CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.08 | 1038 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars YES accidentally entered the prog metal lists with this album - or, at least it sometimes seems to me. I'm not sure how else to describe this rather heavy, somewhat turgid and one-dimensional offering other than as distinctly average prog metal.

A series of poor albums had rendered YES largely irrelevant by the time this effort emerged in 1994. The faux-union of 1991 had been abandoned, and YES Mk - er, whatever - had been abandoned. The personnel left were those of the '90125/Big Generator' period, which probably says enough for most users of this site. To my ear this album sits uncomfortably between the slick, progressive '90125' and the laboured, underwhelming 'Big Generator', with snippets of outstanding music unfortunately leavened by sections of insipid AOR and pointless repetition. It's not like YES - of any incarnation - to subject us to so many repetitive phrases. I'm used to creativity from this band, not procrastination. Get on with it!

In the 'outstanding music' camp is the track 'Real Love' - though even this goes on too long without offering meaningful progression of themes - and the superb guitar melody line from 'I Am Waiting'. The latter song is graced by a glorious motif, introduced first at the 20 second mark, a tune to make the heart break - and criminally wasted in a song that offers nothing else of significance apart from this minute-long phrase repeated twice more. I can't help wondering what a great songwriter would have made of this gift from the music gods.

So-so tracks include the three-part 'epic' that concludes the record, a series of heavier moments separated by rather pointless atmospherics; the pleasant, inoffensive opener 'The Calling'; and the eastern-sounding 'Where will You Be'. Unfortunately, their major 'commercial' thrust, the twin tracks 'State of Play' and 'Walls', are duds. If you want it to be played on the radio, it has to be fun, or catchy, anything but bland music that outstays its welcome on first listen. I've never wanted to hear either track again.

Good bits, poor bits, and ho-hum bits do not an excellent album make. At least it's of distinctly higher quality that its two predecessors: with a bit of work, and had it appeared a decade earlier, it might have been a worthy successor to the outstanding '90125'. But it didn't, and few people noticed this release. For all intents and purposes YES was history. And that's where they would retreat to after the poor reception this album received.

russellk | 3/5 |


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