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Yes - Drama CD (album) cover

DRAMA

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.77 | 1617 ratings

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TCat
5 stars I can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet.

Okay, so all the Yes fans know that this is Yes without Jon Anderson. Is that even possible? Damn right it is. I am a huge Yes fan and love and appreciate all of their masterpieces. Yet it astounds me that most people don't consider this a masterpiece, even without Jon Anderson. Honestly, I hardly miss him in this album (though I do miss him now, big time, on the last two albums that were released....ugh!). Drama, however, is amazing and to me it always will be. The band was just as tight as ever, the music is still very progressive and inventive. It's true that a harder edge exists in various places, but that is okay because this album does not demean or insult anything about Yes that had been released earlier. That could not be said about "Tormato" and that was when Jon was still singing with the band. "Drama" was a return to excellence.

"Machine Messiah" is a hard track, with surprisingly loud guitar passages, but with enough inventiveness to let you know that this line-up meant business and they knew what they were doing. The other spotlighted track is "Into the Lens" which even despite it's repeated "I am a camera" lyrics is progressiveness at it's finest. All the tracks on this album are reminiscent of the Yes of the past, maybe slightly more accessible than "Close to the Edge" or "Relayer", but definitely more progressive than anything else in existence at the time.

I have heard this album millions of times and it never wears out for me. All of the best elements of Yes are still there, dynamics, excellent orchestration, challenging music, sound engineering, the best musicianship with driving and innovative bass, amazing percussion and keyboards, timeless music that doesn't sound dated in the least. If the band had decided on a different name, it wouldn't surprise me if this album would have received better reviews. But I listen to it and consider it 100% Yes and still consider it one of their best. I can accept the changes here because the music did not suffer from it, same thing with King Crimson with all of their changes. They progressed with the band line-up changes.

I can preach to you all day about why I love this incarnation of Yes just as much as previous line- ups, but everyone has their own taste in music, I understand that. But I can't deny that this is a masterpiece of progressive music and that I love it. If you are staying away from this album because of what others have said about the change in the band, I invite you to listen and try to forget about any prejudices you might have formed from other opinions. If it helps, try to think of it as another band. Either way, give it a fair shake. Listen to the many textures, the themes, the progressive elements and see if you agree. If not, then at least you tried. If you do like it, then we are both happy.

Always a masterpiece for me. 5 stars because it is deserving of it.

TCat | 5/5 |

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