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Yes - Union CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.50 | 1012 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
2 stars While not as absurdly horrible as it is lampooned to be, Union's uneven quality (songwriting, performances... you name it) and generic accessibility of sound definitely make it one of the final Yes albums for newcomers to investigate... although not THE last!

While the history and idea behind Union is actually pretty cool, the music suffers from a severe lack of energy and originality-- not to mention the proficient magic that graced the group's classic albums. Essentially, we are given here a rather large set of nice little artsy-pop songs; some are catchy, and some outstay their welcome very early, depending on the listener's preferences. While I forgive these pioneering musicians credit for changing with the times and adapting their style, I CANNOT forgive the general malaise of blandness with which they play throughout Union. The songs may be finely crafted, but the players don't seem to care much. Anderson sings his heart out, but his voice just isn't suited well for serious pop music (90125 is so cheesy it doesn't count), and Howe's guitar-work is about as uninteresting as it's ever gotten (with the big exception of his solo on Masquerade, which is actually pretty good). Rabin's guitars have a little more gusto, but are just bland and kind of annoying. I almost gave this one a single star, but I do have a weakness for the very occasional FM power-chorus anthem.

So, fans of the REAL Yes will be weeping after the very long, agonizing experience of listening to this album, but listeners who like squeaky-clean, feel good sing-alongs will be satisfied.

At least the cover is cool.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 2 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Prog Leviathan | 2/5 |


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