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Yes - Time and a Word CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.32 | 1449 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Some people don't like the orchestra on this album. I don't really see what the big deal is - this is a great album!

"No Opportunity Necessary" takes an okay folksy tune by Richie Havens & makes it ROCK. There is a quotation from "The Big Country" in the middle. This track is a ROCKET SHIP. My only complaint is the, er, "experimental" panning used on the strings during the opening fanfare. Really, guys?

"Then" floats down in chromatic chords, to begin rolling on Bruford's ultra-fast snare. I love Anderson's lyrics - probably the best articulation of his "message" available in these early days. There is a nifty time change in the middle. The orchestra really does add a lot here. This track has all the elements I love, and yet - it just doesn't grab me that much. Ah, well.

Pull up a bar stool for "Everydays." Whew, man. Smoky. Yes play jazz better than jazz musicians, in my opinion. Of course, this is pretty archetypal jazz, but wowie zowie. The midsection is another wonderful instrumental work-out. "Time and a Word" is full of this sort of thing - something I love. Look out for the quote from Bach in the guitar solo. Peter Banks is incredible.

"Sweet Dreams" is the "hit single." It grinds along at a pleasant pace, but doesn't have a whole lot to say. The midsection provides an excellent old-time rock feel - and those lyrics aren't all bad! A little more "experimental production" on this track actually feels pretty cool this time. But man, those chord progressions sure are cheesy.

I used to be bored to death by "The Prophet." Many listenings later, I love it. The intro goes through about five distinct moods before a single word is sung. Show-offy? Yeah. Awesome? Also yeah. And that organ is HUGE - and it has a delicious violet hue. The vocal hooks are excellent as always.

"Clear Days" is a solo Anderson track, backed by strings and piano. The lyrics move from local feelings for girl into cosmic unity. Two days - one with your love, one with the universe. The ending is magic - shimmering strings in darkness, and a looping riff in 5/4.

Oh, "Astral Traveler" -- proto-"Starship Trooper" space-Yes-rock. The vocals are wrung through an interesting warble effect, probably a Leslie speaker. The middle section, though fey, introduces some incredible ensemble playing ideas.

"Time and a Word" -- the track -- is BEYOND cheesy. I love it. The clunky acoustic guitar, and those LYRICS... "there's a word, and the word is love and it's right for me." Cheesy, yeah. Also a "Hey Jude" knockoff. But if there's one thing I'm a sucker for, it's "Hey Jude" knockoffs. This song is beautiful.

Wow, this album is wonderful. More "experimental" effects than usual make it slightly interesting in places, but hey, it was 1970. The orchestra plays great, the music is tight, and I love this album.

penguindf12 | 4/5 |


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