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Yes - Keystudio CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.55 | 467 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars What a Major Surprise! Yes could still composed progressive music in the 90s!

The classic lineup is here, and while the members are not playing at their best, they are still doing a very competent job at playing their instruments and composing the solid tracks found in this record. There are 2 epics, and several moderately long songs. Most of the melodies are good as well as the musicianship. However, this is far from a masterpiece. There are moments where the music is not very enjoyable. There are also some amateur-sounding instrumental sections that. Thanksfully, there are no weak tracks in this album.

Short-Medium Length Tracks: Footprints is one of my favourite tracks from the album. The band managed to fuse the catchiness of Roundabout with the structure of Dancing with a Moonlit Knight. The result is a nice and accessible long track full of energy, decent melodies, and cool bass licks. There is not one weak moment in this track. Be The One is an energetic track with plenty of good melodies, riffs, and the magical squire backing vocals. Bring me to the Power is similar to Be the One, but shorter and more varied. Sign Language features Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe playing soft melodic music that is a high point of the album. The last track of the album is THE big highlight and ends the album perfectly. The first minutes is accessible rock&pop with singing that sounds like rapping. The last 3 minutes lets you remember the beauty of And You And I. It assures you that Steve Howe can still play his slide guitar like he used to.

What about The Epics? Mind Drive is very flawed, but there are moments of brilliance to be found. It begins extremely well with a gorgeous 'shine on you' atmospheric introduction that leads to the main theme of the album. The main theme is the main reason I like this track. It has a hypnotic 13/8 rhythm (I think?) with a repetitive bass/drum unison riff, some keyboard stabs/riffs, and Steve Howe playing one of the most random guitar solos I've ever heard. For some reason, the nonsensical guitar playing fits well. The chorus is the same thing but louder. Then Anderson sings powerfully (almost screaming) with the same rhythm and the chorus is played again. This is absolutely phenomenal symphonic rock! What follows is almost a disaster. It incoherently switches from the theme to pretty yet silly verses and very cheesy and terrible choruses ("Hooooooope"). After that embarrasing moment, a mediocre bombastic instrumental follows it and then the weak verses/choruses are played again. After that, the main theme is played again to try to redeem the weak middle. I think it does ... but then, more horrid stuff follows: When you least expect it, the music changes suddently into a chaotic mess that 'shuts down' at the end. Seriously, the song would have been a masterpiece if it only covered the main theme/chorus of the beginning and some good instrumental section. However, The live version of this song is terrible.

What about That That is? The first 3 minutes are very good, and the main theme of the song is heard (an acoustic riff). It fades and a bizarre chanting + percussion overtakes the music and gets gradually louder. This gives way to a strange speedy bass riff. Anderson begins singing here with good melodies. The main theme is repeated and this time, there's vocalizations. The rest of the song continues in a similar way, changing a lot. In Summary, "That that is" is more cohesive than Mind Drive, but lacks great hooks. I prefer Mind Drive over this song, even though there is not much to complain about in this epic.

Overall, I recommend this album to yes fans. However, If you do not like Yes (including Close To the Edge and Going for the One) I doubt this will convert you into liking the band.

1. Foot Prints (8/10) 2. Be The One (5.5/10) 3. Mind Drive (7/10) 4. Bring Me To The Power (5.5/10) 5. Sign Language (8/10) 6. That, That is (6/10) 7. Children Of The Light (8.5/10)

My Rating: B/C

Zitro | 3/5 |


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