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Yoso

Elements

Review by Gary Hill

Yoso is an interesting group. It is two former members of Yes (Tony Kaye and Billy Sherwood) and Bobby Kimball of Toto. The result really sounds like a conglomeration of the two bands. I’d have to say that the bulk of the music probably doesn’t fit as progressive rock, though. I’ve included them in that category because of the Yes connection. It is quite strong rock music, though. If this were the 1970’s these guys would be huge. The version I’ve reviewed here is a special edition two CD set. The first disc is the studio album and the second is made up of live recordings including Yes and Toto covers.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Yoso

This rises up with an interesting ambient sound and then vocals take over with an almost tribal texture. From there they power out into a catchy groove that’s got some early Chicago mixed with a modern prog sound.

Path To Your Heart
A more stripped down motif makes up this cut. Thinking about the amalgam that makes up this band, this cut falls in more on the Toto side of the equation. I particularly like the guitar solo on this.
Where You'll Stay
While in many ways this is more of a perfect marriage of Yes and Toto, there is also a bit of Beatles vibe to it.
Walk Away
Here’s one that leans more towards Yes at times, but then at other points it’s more like Toto. It’s still more of a catchy, pop rock sound, though.
The New Revolution
The intro on this is very Yes-like, but as it moves out into the song proper, it’s more of a even balance between the two parent groups. This is a powerfully energized track and has a smoking hot guitar solo.
To Seek The Truth
There’s a killer blues rock texture to this slower number. As the vocals enter this really feels like something Toto would do. The Yes references on this come in mostly on the overlayers in the powerful latter portions of the piece.
Only One
We get a rubbery, almost funky groove to this piece. It is one that really feels like Toto a lot.
Close The Curtain
Now, this one is more like Yes. Mind you, that’s the Billy Sherwood era of the band, but it’s quite Yes-like. There’s a cool Toto-like groove later and some cool guitar soloing.
Won't End Tonight
This track feels more like a near-perfect hybrid of the two source groups. It’s got a great hard rock texture and some inspired instrumental work along with a killer vocal arrangement.
Time To Get Up
While this one is less obviously Yes-inspired, there are some sections here that really could pass for Yes if Jon Anderson’s voice was present. This is a powerhouse rocker that works very well. I love the keyboard solo.
Return To Yesterday
I don’t think that I’d consider this song Yes-like. That said, it’s another of the more purely progressive rock oriented pieces on show here. It’s got a nice contrast between more rock and mellower motifs. The extended guitar solo section on this is awesome.
Disc 2
Yoso
This track seems to feel more proggy in this live retelling. It’s a great tune that shows a bit more of a unique character as presented here than on the studio disc. The keyboard solo definitely brings in some of the Trevor Rabin era Yes sound.
Rosanna
Here they cover a Toto hit. They play it pretty close to Toto, but the instrumental section seems a little more proggy. There’s also a cool little jam later in the track that’s interesting, kind of a jazzy, bluesy jam. There’s a blistering guitar solo after.
Owner Of A Lonely Heart
Now they turn their attention to covering Yes. Their take is pretty true to form. It feels a little different, but very close.
Walk Away
A live rendition of another track from the album proper, it really feels a lot like Toto here. Yes, there is some of that Yes sound to it, but overall this could pass for a Toto track. Of course, whatever you call it, it’s a great song.
Good For You
This is a real straightforward rocker that’s quite tasty. 
Yes Medley: Yours Is No Disgrace / Heart Of The Sunrise / South Side Of The Sky / Starship Trooper / I've Seen All Good People
Yoso give us a nearly nine minute long tribute to Yes music here. They do almost all instrumental versions and this is a tasty piece. The “all good people” section gets vocals.
To Seek The Truth
As cool as the studio version of this track is, this live telling blows that away. It feels more proggy, but still maintains that blues rock texture.
Hold The Line
They give us another Toto hit here. This sounds very true to the original.
Cinema
Another Yes entry, they bring us this Rabin era instrumental.
Gift With A Golden Gun
Here’s a tasty rocker. It’s got a great groove to it and is a lot of fun.
White Sister
This hard rocker is quite progressive rock oriented and also quite cool.
 
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