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Yes - Tormato CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.98 | 1516 ratings

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2 stars Of all Yes' albums, none manage to split the fan vote in same way as 1978's 'Tormato'. Cherished by some, loathed by others, 'Tormato' finds Yes stuttering across a stylistic crossroads with blind-fold firmly fastened. This was, of course, Yes' ill-judged answer to the awful punk rock onslaught that had from 1976 started to cast it's ugly shadow over Great Britain, with the same career-threatening fate also befalling many of their progressive rock colleagues who were faced with a stark choice in this darkest of musical hours: split-up, or go 'commercial'. Although still featuring many elements of their trademark symphonic sound, 'Tormato' is notable for it's short songs, sentimental edge and polished production values. Whereas the previous years 'Going For The One' had hinted ever-so-slightly towards this new direction, it still featured a couple of lengthy epics in the mould of their classic, early-seventies guise. However, for many, 'Going For The One', which saw the return of star keyboardist Rick Wakeman, would prove to be the last truly decent Yes album of the 1970s(and in all probability their least 'classic' release). 'Tormato', which features the same line-up of Wakeman, Steve Howe(guitar), Jon Anderson(vocals), Alan White(drums) and Chris Squire(bass) would prove popular throughout the USA, yet it's poppy sheen found many detractors in the group's homeland, and for good reason. This is Yes at their most churlish and simplistic, reeling off a messy and over-produced album filled with sub- standard tracks that barely resemble the seminal epics and sharply-structured instrumental passages found on the likes of 'Close To The Edge' and 'Relayer'. With only the driving, environmentally-concious rocker 'Don't Kill The Whale' deserving any kind of mention, 'Tormato' therefore goes down as one of the group's real low- points, charting a sugary pop-prog sound from a group running out of ideas. One for the die-hards only.
stefro | 2/5 |


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