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Yes - Topographic Drama: Live Across America CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.26 | 104 ratings

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3 stars Well, what can be said about this release?.... It was one of the most anticipated releases for me personally, since against all odds Drama is to this day probably my favorite YES release. I like the fact that it is a little on the "heavy" side. And also those memorable Squire bass lines and his sound. I kept waiting for the live release to drop a little in price, but finally I gave in and purchased it anyway. I really wanted to like it, I'm personally OK w/Billy Sherwood's bass playing & sound, quite close to the original, his backup vocals are also very good. If there's one negative Re: Mr. Sherwood is that he is a little low in the mix. Squire was always a 'bit more prominent live or in the studio, it drove YES. At any rate, I miss that a little. I'm even OK w/the (supposed) added crowd noise here and there. What I can't seem to get used to is Jon Davison's interpretation of the tracks. I respect him as a musician, his voice does resemble Jon Anderson to some degree, not Trevor Horn so much. His style and delivery is quite drastically different. I remember reading a review somewhere about his interpretation of the YES material, and it said that he sounds like he is about to burst into tears any second. I happen to agree w/that assessment. I was secretly hoping that Trevor Horn would have done a full live show performing Drama (he guessed-appeared here and there for 1-2 songs while they were performing Drama). He did after all re-record FLY FROM HERE - RETURN TRIP replacing Beno├??├?┬«t David's vocals. Even though I like David's performance, I feel that Mr. Horn added a little something to the overall sound.

The second CD almost feels pointless to me, since it is a bit of a mish-mash of material mainly covering "Tales From Topographic Oceans" but not complete, so it feels like a half-arsed offering. Perhaps a single CD covering Drama would have sufficed, or a 3x CD covering both albums as the tour originally was presented live (w/1/2 hr. break between the two performances). All in all a somewhat disappointing release, I don't see myself listening CD2 at all.

tvtennis | 3/5 |


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