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Yes - Keys to Ascension CD (album) cover

KEYS TO ASCENSION

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 497 ratings

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Epignosis
Special Collaborator
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Yes's 1996 concert during which Keys to Ascension was recorded features a spectacular set list, pulling from a variety of albums, and has the always welcome lineup of Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman, and White. "Siberian Khatru" boasts a full sound, with a dominant bass and great keyboards. The vocals are as good as they've ever been. I feel the lead guitar is mixed too low to be fully enjoyed. It is to my delight that "The Revealing Science of God," my favorite Yes song ever, got a place in the set list of this recorded show. There is also a faithful rendition of the Paul Simon cover "America" here. "Onward" features maestro Steve Howe, who delivers a delicate introduction to the song on classical guitar. "Awaken" is a fair bit disappointing, primarily because there are no background vocals during the main lyrical section, and Anderson sounds naked singing it on his own. Fortunately, the version of "Roundabout" performed here is not the weak, edited version Yes bothers to play just to say they had it in the set list. The last moment of the song is powerful, the whole band joining in to give it that final punch. "Starship Trooper" is a thick rendition with an extended jam at the end, over which Wakeman and Howe trade solos, the former using a more symphonic approach, the latter reaching far into country and western territory. For the most part, Yes delivered an exciting set here with very little to complain about. See my review of Keystudio for my assessment of the studio tracks.
Epignosis | 4/5 |

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