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Yes - Keystudio CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.55 | 472 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
2 stars I came very close to giving this one 3 stars... if only to reward Yes for dragging themselves out of the limitless mire created by their previous 8(!) albums; but in an attempt to be objective, I have to say that Keystudio is a not a Yes masterpiece: it's only barely an enjoyable Yes album. I have to think that the majority of these favorable reviews are coming from the gushing euphoria legions of Yes fans have in hearing their favorite band FINALLY recording songs worth hearing.

However, even though Keystudio demonstrates a much higher level of musicianship and songwriting than any Yes album since Tormato (but that isn't saying much of anything), the end result is an album only a mother could love.

The return to extended, finely crafted symphonic music is very well appreciated. Even more so is the musicianship of the group, which is much higher and in general more energetic than we've heard for a long, long time. Steve Howe has finally come out of his waking coma, and plays here worthwhile solos on most songs-- some even demand one's attention! Squire cranks out fine grooves and even Wakeman's notoriously childish keys sound more polished and classy here than I could ever wish.

BUT, even though Keystudio is the most worthwhile thing the band has produced in years, it is a long, long way from being an exceptional album. To me, this is a conscious attempt on the band's part to produce music similar to that which made them popular in the '70's, which forces me to compare this rather bland release TO those albums... and in that case Keystudio is completely, utterly dead-on- arrival. There are ZERO truly outstanding instrumental moments, say, in Howe's frantic soloing on Relayer, or Squires massive basslines in Fragile, and Anderson's voice has lost nearly all of its power. Not to mention his trite, trashy, love-beauty-blah-blah-believe lyrics which lack any sort of magic or memorability.

Given the innumerable choices we're presented with, even at the time of this album's release, there is no good reason to purchase Keystudio other than the reason that Yes' name is attached to it, and even then only if you're a fan who is DYING to hear something worthwhile from the old masters. There are many other more interesting options out there, which makes Keystudio an unnecessary listen save for the most dedicated of fans.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 1 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 1

Prog Leviathan | 2/5 |


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