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Yes

In A Word: Yes 1969-

Review by Gary Hill

This box set is a class act. The whole thing comes in something that resembles a book. Five CDs contain lots of classic Yes and some songs that were never before officially released. The book that comes with is quite nice, too. It should be mentioned that the inclusion of Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe material might seem a bit odd, considering how hard the Chris Squire version of the band fought to keep ABW and H from using the name Yes, now these songs are released under that banner. Still, the material is very much Yes music, so it should be here. Collectors will love the inclusion of the lost sessions from the time before Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson left post Tormato. While some better notes on the songs would have been nice, this is a great set and a great package. Since I’ve reviewed most of the songs previously on their original albums, I’ve adapted the track by track reviews here from those for the sake of consistency.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Every Little Thing

A Beatles cover, Yes starts this with a free form jam that at times is quite frantic and hard edged. They eventually drop to the main melody line, throwing in the familiar "Day Tripper" riff for good measure. Yes' take on this one is both reverent and experimental, showing that a true pop classic can be taken to new experimental heights. It gets a bit weird at times. This came from Yes’ self-titled debut.

Sweetness

A mellow balladic cut, this is also from the first album. It is a bit more rock and roll and run of the mill than most older Yes, but still holds up remarkably well. Chris Squire's bass work adds a lot of character to this one.

Survival

One of the highlights of the first Yes album, this begins with some almost funky guitar that gives way to another free form jam that the band seemed so fond of in those days. This eventually works through, then gives way to a balladic segment that serves as the bulk of the piece. During the lyrics Anderson sing, "the beginning of things to come,” and these words seem truly prophetic on this cut. This is a definite strong point, and has weathered the years quite well.

Then
A descending progression begins this, then a tentative jam with lots of kinetic energy takes it. As this runs through the vocals come in over top. The lyrics on this one are particularly potent. The chorus is a satisfying resolution out of the tension created by the verse segment, and the strings are especially effective on this number. "Love is the only answer / Hate is the root of cancer, then.” This cut takes a seemingly deceptively complex arrangement and makes it seem simple and catchy. The band eventually moves this into a fast paced instrumental break that features a lot of soloing by Tony Kaye. This musical excursion seems to be Yes' answer to Vanilla Fudge in many ways. At the end of this they drop it way down to a very atmospheric sort of segment that gains as much from what isn't there as it does from the sounds that are - the space between is enchanting. Both Squire and Banks move subtly around in this segment, bringing a lot of style to it by playing just the right thing, and never too much. A quick flourish ends the piece. This was originally released on Time and A Word.
Sweet Dreams

Although this one is a bit more familiar to Yes fans, than much of the material on Time and A Word, its fairly straightforward Beatlesish song structure is just not that special. Although catchy, this is one of the weaker tracks on that disc, gaining much of its appeal, I believe, from the repetition awarded it from its presence on Yesterdays.

Astral Traveller

This is another of the better-known cuts from the Time and a Word album. It is a fairly strong fast paced early prog cut with definite psychedelic leanings. The instrumental break on this one features some of the most classic Yes oriented instrumentation on that whole album, and the build up that follows, along with its guitar solo, are spectacular. This one is truly awesome, and Squire, Banks and Bruford all are on fire at different points in this number.

Time and a Word
The title track from Time and A Word is an intriguing, but not spectacular balladish piece. Although this one has a special place in the hearts of most Yes fans (myself included) listening to it critically it just isn't all that special.
Dear Father
This must have come from the sessions for Time and A Word, as it features the string section that was used for that recording. It is a strong, if fairly straightforward number that feels sort of like a combination of the Beatles influenced pop rock style that that band were so fond of, and the type of arrangements that they would later embrace with albums like Fragile. This is actually stronger than some of the material that did make that album, and I wonder why it was chosen to be left off. It features a great vocal arrangement.
Yours Is No Disgrace

Coming from The Yes Album, staccato pattern starts this, quickly joined by Tony Kaye's organ playing melody over top. After this segment, the band bursts into a fast paced jam, Steve Howe soloing all over it. They move this one forward in this way for a time, then drop back to just keys. The first verse is sung with just those organ chords as backing, then Howe screams out on his strings, and the band push the jam back to where it was earlier. This mode is the order of the day for a time; instruments laid over top at different points, 'til they drop it back to a walking bass line for the next verse. Squire holds the piece with Howe providing ornamentation for a time until the band returns to the staccato section. They create a new instrumental segment from this until Howe solos again, this time punctuated at points by the entire group. They then move this into a soaring instrumental segment, moving the track to new heights. This extended jam shows elements of the sound that come to fruition on Fragile. Howe cuts loose with some his most tasty riffing ever on this cut. After a long time working through this, they drop it back to just organ, then a new mellow melody takes over, providing both the transition and resolution to the earlier frenzy. They build this new melody line forward recreating it for a time until Howe takes over again, then the band rejoin for a reprise of the earlier quick modes. This one really is a showcase for Steve Howe's guitar work and a real smoker.

Clap

This acoustic guitar solo is recorded live. It’s a bouncy number that’s just plain fun. Yet, it’s also quite intricate. Although, it’s listed as being from The Yes Album, this recording seems a bit different, or at least extended in terms of the spoken introduction.

Perpetual Change
This track showcases a lot of Yes trademarks. We get an arrangement that varies from harder rocking sections to mellower counterpoints. It has lots of great vocal harmonies. Of course, all members of the group put in some great showings in terms of showcasing their talents. This is a catchy tune that’s complex without really seeming like it. It was always one of the classic Yes songs and came from The Yes Album. The harder rocking guitar solo section is quite cool, and yet it gives way to one of the most gentle passages of piece. Such is the way Yes always worked the contrast between loud and soft, hard rocking and mellower motifs. The bouncing sort of staccato section later is quite a bit of a precursor to the type of sound the band would display on the next album, Fragile.
Starship Trooper: Life Seeker/Disillusion/Würm
A mid-paced jam starts this one, the band working through it and basing the first verse on it. It drops back in an almost stuttering break, then moves back up the previous segment to carry forward. The main melody is both straightforward and quirky, and the musicians go forth on various short musical excursions from time to time as they work through the discovery of it. Eventually it drops to a fast paced acoustic guitar line that serves as a bridge into the next section as well as the backdrop for the next set of vocal elements. An airy jam ensues with an almost jazzy texture, seeming to stream skyward. This new melody carries the cut for a time. As this resolves out a new guitar strumming pattern takes the piece. The band eventually works this up to be the backdrop for a fairly frenzied prog excursion that serves as the extended outro. This segment is a trademark Yes musical exploration. This comes from The Yes Album.
I've Seen All Good People: Your Move/All Good People
Another originally from The Yes Album, this begins with an acapella chorus round sung by Squire and Anderson, Howe's gentle acoustic guitar heralds the coming of the other instruments. They join in a bouncy folk rock style jam. Trails of melody are woven over top of this at times, and the vocal harmony arrangement is stellar. When the organ enters later it hints at majesty to come, and the band quote John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance." This crescendos, then a new bouncy rock and roll jam comes in, Howe's guitar playing awesome leads all over it. The guitar solo break is especially potent. The cut shifts shortly after this to a short syncopated change of pace, then returns to the previous section. A reprise of the chorus with only organ accompanying it replaces this section and fades down to end the cut.
Disc 2
Roundabout
Other than the Trevor Rabin era "Owner of a Lonely Heart" this song from Fragile is probably the most well-known Yes track of all time and sits near Zep's "Stairway to Heaven" in the category of most recognizable '70's rock song. Guitarist Steve Howe's harmonic-based intro gives way to a thundering groove that combines quirky changes into a hard rocking anthem that is actually quite catchy. This one certainly suffers from over-exposure, but truly is a masterwork.
South Side of the Sky

One of my personal all-time favorite Yes pieces, this one has to take a bit of time to grow on you, but when it does - wow! It is a great example of how this band are able to take a considerably complex, syncopated song structure and create a compelling and accessible song with it. I have always loved segments where the guitar solos and screams throughout the vocal lines, and this one is chock-full of Howe's fretboard frenzy too intense to just stay in little compartments. Wakeman manages to squeeze in some beautiful piano based classically oriented interludes that truly set this on its ear, and bring it a sense of grounding. This cut is absolutely timeless and one of the finest works of the whole genre. In some ways this is one of the crunchier pieces the band did during their classic era. It is another that comes from Fragile.

Heart of the Sunrise

Chris Squire once was quoted as saying that this track from Fragile is the definitive Yes song, capturing all of what the band does well. Truly it is another masterpiece, and is full of emotion. The virtuosity is all over this, but as part of making a stronger song rather than "showing off.” Squire's bass line drives much of the cut. It showcases the group's contrasting soft and hard-edged sides quite well. In fact, Mr. Squire might well be right on the money with his assessment of this piece.

America
Yes' cover of Paul Simon's piece, this one feels more like older Yes in many ways, seeming like it might have felt quite at home on one of the Banks era albums. It is a solid reworking of the song, and the group finds plenty of opportunities to shine here.
Close to the Edge: The Solid Time of Change/Total Mass Retain/I Get Up
This title track starts slowly with the simulated sounds of birds and water gradually building and swirling courtesy of Rick Wakeman's keyboards. As this crescendos, the band comes in with a frantic and chaotic series of counterpoints dancing circles around one another. The result is somewhat hard to take at first, but really does feel a bit like a harder edged take on something from Fragile. As this carries forward, it is punctuated at a couple points by non-lyrical vocals. Eventually all this resolves down to a more melodic verse segment taking the song to its next movement. The cut runs quite a while working through and reinventing several musical and vocal themes. Eventually it drops to an atmospheric section and gradually begins a building process from there. This segment is highlighted by sort of a vocal duel between Anderson and Squire. The lines the two sing don't seem really related to one another, but almost as if both are singing two different, but complimentary songs. As this movement peaks, Wakeman takes over once more. He switches to synthesizer to re-energize the cut and move it to the next fast paced segment. This section moves and evolves, eventually returning to a chorus of "I Get Up/I Get Down" which is a reprise from earlier points in the composition. That chorus moves the piece to the dramatic resolution followed by Wakeman's keys in similar tones to the intro serving as bookends to the epic.
The Revealing Science of God - Dance of the Dawn

This one jumps right in with vocals right at the start accompanied by atmospheric music. It starts a slow and gradual, but steady building process from this pint, eventually working up a lot of drama and tension. As this segment resolves, a new melody line, driven at first by the keyboards, takes it. Howe manages some strong soloing here. The band make their way through several reworkings of this theme, eventually giving way to the next verse section. This segment is overlaid with a lot of guitar riffing, even as the vocals carry forward. They continue in this general pattern for quite some time. One of the better vocal segments of the Tales from Topographic Oceans disc eventually comes in here. After they carry through on this for a time, a highly dramatic and hard-edged jam takes over. This is one of the more effective segments of the entire Tales from Topographic Oceans album. It gives way to a slower, more harmonious rather balladic section. This movement drops away and a keyboard segment, quite powerful and pretty, takes it. After Steve Howe uses this as a backdrop for some meaty guitar work, the band moves it into a dramatic vocal section. The lines this time are punctuated by some tasty instrumental work. The riffing in this section is especially effective. This shifts to a fast-paced classic Yes type section that works very well. This resolves into a triumphant segment, then gives way to a frantic jam, one of the coolest of the whole package. They eventually move this out to balladic melody segment that feels a bit mysterious and quite powerful. Then a different, sparse arrangement forms the basis for the next vocalizations. This gives way, eventually, to a new instrumental exploration that includes some great keyboard textures. Anderson adds non-lyrical vocals here, acting as an instrument with the rest of the group as they make their way across the soundscape. This is truly one of my favorite parts of the album from which it originally sprang, but it doesn't last long. They drop it to atmospheric textures that serve backing to the next vocal segment. This gradual builds up in organic ways to the melody that ends the cut.

Disc 3
Siberian Khatru
Another track from Close to the Edge, Steve Howe screams out the intro to this one, foreshadowing it as a frantic and hard rocking Yes jam. There aren't a lot of wholesale changes here, but each member of the band works towards smaller change ups, adding a vitality and freshness as the cut moves on. This has always been a personal favorite of mine, and Howe contributes some of his most frantic and high energy guitar work of any Yes song.
Long Distance Runaround

Another song from Fragile that has become a Yes classic, this one features an especially strong vocal arrangement and intriguing rhythmic pattern. It is quirky, dramatic and smart. When separated from the bass solo “The Fish” that was originally its counterpart, it seems a bit odd, though.

The Gates of Delirium
Coming from Relayer, a fairly melodic arrangement, based firmly on Howe's guitar work begins this. Eventually, this gives way to the first melodic segment of the song. Still, Howe is ripping all over this. The cut carries through this segment until a new movement feeling rather peaceful takes it for a time. It then returns to the previous stylings. The cut is quite frantic and high energy here. An instrumental interlude takes it, moving the melody line forward. A mellower chorus enters, then is reborn with a higher energy level before an all new jam based on familiar themes takes over. This evolves into quite a hard-edged element. Then the real chaos takes over, the band becoming a rather noisy rock and roll symphony. Then it explodes in frantic prog jamming that simulates the chaotic furor of war very well. This gets very raucous at times, and one can really picture the violent clash of two armies reflected in this musical segment. This makes several left turns as it carries on, bordering on noise at times. One can hear the crashing of metal against metal and guitar screams. Howe puts in some of his crunchiest work ever here and noisy keyboard textures overlay. This whole segment is truly chaotic. It crescendos, then more musical elements take over. This winds its way through, then drops to ambience. From that backdrop a new melody, gentle and rather pretty, takes over. This represents the next vocal segment, and it quite poignant, the peace after the horrors of war. The lyrics portray a vision of hope amongst the madness. Howe works some stunningly beautiful slide guitar over top of the melody here. This works through to a satisfying resolution.
To Be Over
From the same album as the previous piece, this is a mellow balladic number. It doesn't change around too much, but the consistency is a welcome relief from that chaos that makes up the vast majority of the Relayer album.
Going for the One
Fast-paced, hard-edged, guitar-dominated prog, this title cut really rips forth. It features a quirky jam section in a rock and rolling manner at the 5:30 mark. It is a bit brief, but quite effective. The ending segment seems to just soar ever higher. This is achieved by vocals that feel like they are building and ever increasing jamming of guitar and keys. Before it reaches its resolution, the tension is released in a joyous Beatlesesque manner.
Turn of the Century

Beautiful acoustic guitar and vocal interplay makes up the early segments of this composition. Together they weave their tale of beauty until the other instruments begin to join, carrying on with building. This song is a work of splendor. It features a complex arrangement. This is an example of some of prog's finest. "Did her eyes at the turn of the century, Tell me plainly when we meet how we'll look, As we smile time will leave me clearly". Beautiful and intricate acoustic guitar ends the piece. This was originally released on Going for the One.

Wonderous Stories

Coming from Going For the One, mellow, but quite complex prog wonderment is used to create a composition that is both other worldly and accessible. This was a bit of a hit for the band in some parts of the world. Sections of this one have sounds that were destined to show up on the band's next release Tormato.

Don't Kill the Whale

This is a somewhat funky rocker that seems a bit contrived by today's standards. It is still a very good song, and features a strong vocal dominated segment towards the end. That vocal segment is followed by a potent guitar driven outro. It came from Tormato.

Release, Release

Yes' take on heavy metal, this is a very hard rocking number with a driving beat. Still, it features many quirky changes to make it trademark Yes. In fact, it evolves into very strong prog jamming. It was originally released on the same album as the previous number.

Arriving UFO

Based on somewhat silly lyrical subject matter, this Tormato number is nevertheless a quirky little prog rock number. It really explodes toward the end in a progressive rock jam that simply keeps reinventing itself.

Richard

This song was originally recorded when the band were working on the follow up to Tormato. Before that album was finished, Rick Wakeman and Jon Anderson had both left the band. So, this (and the first songs of the next disc) were never completely finished or released (until now). This is very much in  a style that seems to combine Jon Anderson’s Olias of Sunhillow with Yes’ Tormato album. It’s pretty complex and quite tasty. It’s actually a great piece of music.

Disc 4
Tango

Here’s another song from those lost sessions for what would have been the follow up to Tormato. A bouncy sort of build up leads to Anderson’s first vocal appearance on the track. The arrangement is quite sparse for those first verses. Gradually more elements are added to the mix. When the arrangement turns more lush later and they take us through a couple short twists, this song is simply incredible. The production isn’t quite up to the par that it would have been had they completed this, but the music is strong enough to make up for that weakness.

Never Done Before
Another number from those same lost sessions, this one’s not as strong as the first two. It seems a bit like something from Jon Anderson’s solo career. That’s not really a bad thing, but it just seems a little pop-oriented for Yes. Still, there are a couple little bits of Steve Howe brilliance and Wakeman’s honky tonk piano is nice. It’s just kind of a simplistic number.
Crossfire
There doesn’t seem to be information in the set about just where this song originated. It might be from those same post-Tormato sessions, but I’ve had a bootleg recording of those for years, and this wasn’t included. It seems to be a workup that features just Squire and Howe, so perhaps this was actually after Anderson and Wakeman had left. Either way, it’s interesting, but not all that special. Of course, it was certainly some kind of demo, so that’s to be expected.
Machine Messiah
With the possible exception of the Trevor Rabin era, this cut (from Drama) is arguably the darkest and heaviest Yes have ever done. It starts with a very crunchy segment that gives way to a bouncy verse mode. After that segment the musicians take the opportunity to wander out in a prog musical excursion that is very tasty. When the verse section returns it is reworked and revitalized into a more powerful version. They move this into a major jam, with Howe's guitar simply screaming.. After another heavy segment the band pulls it back to a dramatic and sedate movement to carry on. The heaviness and frantic instrumental interplay returns after a time, the group pulling the cut back up. This epic is truly a great song, and could stand side by side with just about any other work in their catalog.
Tempus Fugit

Keys start this, and while Howe lays down a bouncy Police like rhythm guitar Squire's bass simply runs like crazy. This is definitely not your typical Yes music, but Squire and Howe are both on fire at times, and the general tone and quirky changes really do work. This one also came from Drama.

Owner of a Lonely Heart

A quick percussion run gives way to the familiar crunch guitar line. While this cut is an understated hard rocking piece, it has been quite influential, in off all music, R & B, in its production. This is not what one would normally think of as "Yes music". It's not prog and is definitely overplayed. Still, it does have its moments. It first appeared on 90125.

It Can Happen
One of the stronger cuts on the 90125 disc, this one seems to do a decent job of merging prog sensibilities with the Rabin pop-rock stylings. This actually feels quite a bit like later era Pink Floyd at times.
Leave It
The vocal arrangement is the best part of this track, and indeed that aspect alone made this one a standout on the 90125 album. 
Hold On
This bouncy cut (from 90125) is a pretty straightforward rocker, but the vocal arrangement is its key redeeming factor. At times this one feels more like '80's hair metal than classic Yes. 
Rhythm of Love

In my opinion this pop drivel with its Beach Boys like vocal arrangement is the worst cut Yes have ever recorded. I can't stand it. It was originally released on Big Generator.

Love Will Find a Way
Of the singles from the Rabin era, this cut from Big Generator was always the one that grabbed me. It really seemed to work pretty well. It starts with a string section then moves to a strong guitar picking mode that serves as the basis for the chorus. The verse here is sung by Squire over an almost funky line. 
Holy Lamb (Song for Harmonic Convergence)

Like 90125's "Hearts" the closer to Big Generator is another cut that feels like an Anderson solo composition. It is another slowly building balladic number with its share of moments, it's just not all that special.

Brother of Mine: The Big Dream/Nothing Can Come Between Us/Long Lost Brother of Mine

An abbreviated version of this song from Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe was released as a single. The cut opens in the chorus and it’s the first melodic “song” based section we’ve heard by that point on the source album. After the chorus runs through they move through a number of alterations and variations. Howe solos here. This is the first time on the disc where he’s beaten Wakeman to the solo. Howe’s presence is more pronounced on this track and it’s one of the strongest cuts on the disc. There’s a rather Native American styled feeling to a lot of this. There’s a cool bouncing bridge later in the track. This resolves into a melodic breakdown and then Wakeman gets a solo segment. Howe lays lines of guitar soloing over the top after a time. A reprise of the “Nothing Can Come Between Us” section brings us back to the opening chorus section of the track.  It resolves into a melodic solo from Steve Howe (multilayered at times). Just as it seems like this might bring us to the end of the track they move out into a killer staccato jam that calls to mind Close to the Edge era Yes. They don’t stay there long, though. Instead this gives way to the rather catchy “Brother of Mine” chorus. Lest you think you’ve found your way into a pop song, though, they shift this out into a powerful keyboard dominated instrumental segment for a time before returning to the chorus. Then this gives way to a more melodic section that calls to mind Anderson’s solo works. This gives way to another brief segment and then a return to dramatic jamming. Howe solos while Anderson is still singing. That’s always a huge plus for me. I’ve never liked the tendency (even in progressive rock these days) to sectionalize the instrumental soloing and vocals. To my ears it’s far more dramatic and powerful to have the solos taking place during vocal sections. In any event they bring in a keyboard solo alongside Anderson later and then resolve out into another killer prog jam that has a major emphasis on Wakeman’s keys. A classic closing jam (ala Fragile) takes the track out.

Fist of Fire (Alternate Version)

This is an alternate version of a song from the Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe album. It’s quite a cool track. While the overall arrangement is rather stripped down, bits of guitar and keyboards play across the top at many points. Besides that, the general arrangement is just so dramatic and powerful. It’s catchy and powerful. It’s a great piece of music.

I Would Have Waited Forever
After Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe did their touring, that group united with the other version of Yes and released Union, and this track is from that album. This cut from the ABWH camp is a cool heavy free form number with a great arrangement. It features some smoking guitar work. This wouldn't qualify as "classic Yes", but it's pretty darn good, feeling a bit like a cross between the styles the band did on Tormato and Drama.
Disc 5
Lift Me Up
This one was the first song on Union to come from the Rabin incarnation of the group. For some reason this one comes across like a merging of the Rabin songwriting and the ABWH sound. It's actually one of the stronger numbers on that album.
The Calling

Based on the wall of vocals intro, this single from Talk is worlds better than "Rhythm of Love" and even features some quirky musical interludes. The bridge is anthemic, and feels just a little Beatlesish at time. The cut does feature a killer vocal arrangement. The reworked instrumental break late actually has a structure and some phrasing that remind one of classic Yes. In fact, the extended jam on this one is quite cool. The outro is also rather classy.

I Am Waiting

Another from Talk, this one has all the textures of Trevor Rabin's solo work, mildly creative and entertaining arena rock, but certainly not worthy of the Yes moniker.

Mind Drive

Coming from Keys to Ascension 2, this was one of five studio tracks recorded by the reunited classic Yes lineup of Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman and White. The intro to this song is rather reminiscent of Tales From Topographic Oceans, but as it builds it breaks into new musical ground, while still maintaining a definite Classic Yes feel. I really felt at first that the chorus section really didn`t fit this song, but now I have grown to see that it does fit. However, it still seems to mar the continuity a bit by repeatedly bringing a song that seems to be building well back down. Just seems kind of unsatisfactory from a dramatic point of view to me. There is an acoustic break which reminds me a lot of Peter Banks` style of playing, then it breaks into a nice instrumental section, much in the vein of Close to the Edge, although, perhaps a bit jazzier at times. The mood of the end of the song is quite nice.

Open Your Eyes

This title track is far better than the rendition that the band were doing on the tour. This song does a very nice job of integrating the classic Yes sound with the late `70`s AOR sound of the Styx and Kansas genre. I also hear quite a bit of Chris Squire`s Fish Out of Water album and some Asia in this song. I feel that this is a strong number.

Universal Garden

Another from Open Your Eyes, this track is very good. It starts with some wonderful (and rather intricate) acoustic guitar work, and actually seems to have a Going For The One sort of feel in places. The song contains a very nice guitar break that is followed by a section that harkens to Jon Anderson`s solo material.

Homeworld (The Ladder)
Coming from The Ladder, an ambient intro leads to a guitar dominated segment that heralds the arrival of the vocals. The piece (by most definitions an epic) then moves into a groove oriented segment with classic Yes textures and structures. This in turn gives way to a bridge that calls to mind Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe. The presence of some Beach Boysish vocals here takes from the track just a bit, in the opinion of this reviewer. An instrumental break begins with a drone that is solid rock and roll with a classic Yes leaning to it, and an ABWHesque vocal segment. Next Igor shows his particular strength at reproducing others' sounds while making them his own. First he pulls in a The Yes Album sound, which gives way to tones that could easily fit on Close To The Edge. This break calls to mind both Kaye and Wakeman without copying them. This The Yes Album/Close To The Edge/The Yes Album inspired segment gives way to a triumphant ABWH styled vocal buildup. Eventually, the cut works its way to a balladic segment that ends the cut. This movement is based mostly on piano, vocals and guitar.
The Messenger

A very funky/bluesy intro segment gets this one off in fine order. Then, the first verse comes in in an emotional classic Yes mode. A triumphant buildup then takes the piece. The choruses are quite catchy, but still very prog oriented. The cut features a bluesy acoustic solo and a considerably strong instrumental movement. It shift gears after a time, moving into a dramatic TFTO oriented mode. This cut is really classic Yes brought into the new millennium in high fashion. It originally came from The Ladder.

Last Train

This bouncy little rocker is fun, but a bit odd. It’s obviously some sort of demo. It’s mostly just bass guitar, drums and vocals. That bass really screams, though. It’s cool to hear Anderson do a bluesy rock performance.

In the Presence of: Deeper/Death of Ego/True Beginner/Turn Around ...
Beginning with drummer Alan White tickling the ivories, Anderson joins and a tender balladic form takes over. Don't get too comfortable, though, as this is just the first segment. They build on this for a time, then a more rocking variant of the melodic theme emerges, and it begins to feel like something from the Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe era. Just when the listener is used to this, an instrumental break heralds in a new section. This one is a fairly mellow building that just feels ready to explode. It is a very dramatic section. Howe puts in some fine work here. Even earlier themes of the cut return and it has yet to find its final theme. As it does enter that mode, Squire's bass is the catalyst, reworking the theme from the previous movement, heralding more dramatic things to come. And, dramatic is right! This movement builds slowly as a fruition of a promise and it does deliver. This is a very strong track that comes from Magnification.
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