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Yes - Yes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 1384 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The debut album of Yes sounds now very pretty and sixties.

1. Beyond and Before (4:50) is a good ballad folk-rock. Guitar wah-wah, vocals in CSNY' style. Squire's bass immediately jumps. Rating 7,5/8.

2. I See You (6:33). Song written by the Byrds. It is much longer than the original, and the Byrds psychedelia is not present. The song is jazzed up. Anderson's female voice is dubbed but begins to peep alone, creating a strange sensation. Banks and Bruford solo all jazz. A lot of creativity but also a lot of confusion. Rating 8.

3. Yesterday and Today (2:37). Short melodic, acoustic song, where the celestial Anderson's contralto voice emerges for the first time, but the tone is not as high as it will be in the future. Good atmosphere but the pathos is missing. Rating 7+.

4. Looking Around (3:49). Conventional rock ballad with the organ in foreground. Good sound, but nothing more - The listener now begins to understand that the singer has just that voice. Rating 6,5/7.

End of A-Side.

5. Harold Land (5:26) opens B- side. Intro a minute and a half long, rambling, then a melodic ballad starts that alternates good moments with bad ones. Rating 6,5/7.

6. Every Little Thing (5:24). A new jazzy intro thanks to Bruford and Banks, then the music changes, and the Beatles' song is recognized, a song with a vague and insignificant melody that is covered here by rhythm and arrangement. It seems to witness a transformation, like distorting a beat, melodic song into a jazz-rock song. As always with Yes, you lose in feeling and pathos but you gain in musical emphasis, in visionarity. The cover is well centered, and since the original is a poor song, this cover gains us. The best song on the album. Rating 8+.

7. Sweetness (4:19). Sweet and melodic ballad where Anderson still sings on the low notes. The listener has become accustomed to his asexual voice, and does not yet know that in the future he will almost use falsetto. More engaging than the ballad of the first side. Rating 7.5

8. Survival (6:01). Blues-rock guitar, organ, then drums and bass, then acoustic piece and finally Anderson's voice. Personally, I regret this still neutral voice and on the low notes, almost warm, compared to the high note that will come. This is perhaps the song that projects Yes into the future, the less epigonic, more personal song. Bruford plays jazz-style drums again, and the melody is good this time. It is a bridge between the beat, the melodic song and the prog. Almost epic ending but then a short instrumental digression arrives. Rating 8.

Total Time: 38:59

Yes was still a long way from what King Crimson did in 1969, and also Van Der Graaf Generator. The listener hears a band that brings together beat, rock, jazz arrangements, which has great musical potential, especially the rhythm section (Bruford and Squire), and a singer with an asexual voice, which gives a whole sense of estrangement, even if still moderate, compared to the future. A group that does well when it expands the beat songs by 2-3 minutes, when it creates a jazz atmosphere, and when it has a singer who remains on low notes. A music that has yet to grow to become personal, but already has a quality: to make commercial a song format different from the catchy verse of a 2-3 minute refrain. Still naive but pleasant album.

Rating 7+. Yes reach three stars.

jamesbaldwin | 3/5 |


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