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Yes - Keys to Ascension CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 497 ratings

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3 stars As England football managers are fond of saying, this is very much a game of two halves. Disc 1 is an excellent live set that manages to take in highlights of their back catalogue from late 60s to mid 80s. The sound quality is excellent (overdubbed to hell and back, but fine by me) and they sound like they're enjoying themselves for once. "The Revealing Science Of God" is an interesting inclusion here - presumably Wakeman got over his snit and decided to forego the curry and the 6 pack and concentrate on playing. The real gem on this disc is "Awaken" - I've always felt that the version on "Going For The One" seemed sort of unfinished. The version on here is about 3 minutes longer, and it makes all the difference. I'd recommend "KTA 1" on the strength of this track alone. Sadly, disc 2 is a bit of a let down. "Roundabout" is played well enough, but they sound like they're just going through the motions. "Starship Trooper" contains some unnecessary and tedious noodling from Wakeman and Howe - at this stage of their careers, they don't have to prove anything. As for the studio tracks, they sound good but are extremely forgettable. Jon Anderson tries a different style of lyrics on "That, That Is" but quite honestly he sounds more convincing as a cosmic pixie than as a narrator of gritty urban reality. Kudos to him for trying, though. Four stars for disc 1, 2 for disc 2.
Syzygy | 3/5 |


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