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Heaven & Earth
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Among the world s most influential, ground-breaking, and respected progressive rock bands, Grammy Award winning, YES, is proud to announce its new album, Heaven and Earth. Contains eight new tracks, each of which boasts the unique musicianship and craftsmanship that have come to be known as the YES sound. Heaven and Earth sees YES continuing with its tradition of symphonic progressive rock that remains timelessly fresh and innovative. Produced and Mixed by Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, The Cars, Guns N Roses, Foreigner, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice Cooper, etc.) Also on board is long-time YES artist, the world-renowned Roger Dean, who again brings his masterful artistic creativity to the albums cover art and packaging.
Top Customer Reviews
Personally, I would rather Yes create new music than continually live on past glories as a live act. I don't want to hear Siberian Khatru yet again - but I can accept that many fans do and ticket sales don't lie. So given that today's Yes is mainly a 1970s back catalogue touring act - the promise of new material is intriguing. You might wonder 'why bother' as new Yes material never seems to survive in a live set-list for more than one tour. Perhaps, as musicians they want to show that they can still cut it, haven't run out of ideas and are not, despite their live shows, a band stuck in a time warp. But is the new material any good?
The reviews of Heaven and Earth have been far more mixed than for Fly From Here which was generally well received - despite the re-cycling of Drama era material. Although only three years later, Heaven and Earth has a very different feel for two main reasons - the input of new vocalist Jon Davison who co-wrote almost every track and, the absence of Trevor Horn behind the desk - replaced by Roy Thomas Baker. So, let's discuss the songs, and then the production.
I won't go through every song - there are many other reviews that do that perfectly well. The key thing for me is, does this new album sound like a Yes album? Does it, even without Jon Anderson, capture the 'spirit of Yes'? It definitely does.Read more ›
How often have I said that over the years about albums that didn't grab me when I first listened to them but which I now adore? Hell, some of my favourite ever albums left me totally old for the first few listens. Not that I expect 'heaven and Earth' to become an all-time favourite but the more I listen to it the more I'm hearing in it and the more the tunes are lodging themselves in my brain.
As others have observed this isn't 'Close to the Edge 2'. Nor is is '90125 Pt 2'. I guess what it is is the sort of music that the members of yes want to write in their late 60's. It's mostly much more direct than many of their older songs, more instantly tuneful, more traditionally structured, but is it therefore by definition worse? I don't think so. Taken at face value as a collection of songs what I hear are mostly well-crafted pieces with strong melodies played with impeccable precision by musicians who know what they want. It's certainly easy on the ear, (there's no 'Sound Chaser' here, thank God!), and whilst it may not end up in my top 10 best Yes albums of all time it's enjoyable listening, comfortable listening, un-challenging listening maybe, but sometimes you know that's exactly what I want.
I am simply pleased to have new music from this band and I'll give it time and space. Is it 'classic' Yes? No of course it isn't. Is it still Yes though? Just listen the arrangements, the lyrical nonsense, and that voice.... Of course it's Yes. And it wouldn't be any better with a certain Mr Anderson....
Actually, you know what 'Heaven and Earth' most reminds me of? It sounds like a Jon Anderson solo album! And there's nothing wrong with that.....
Of course, that said, it will infuriate some Yes fans, not for what it is, but what it's not. It's not musically complex and ambitious... unless writing and performing intelligent pop music is complicated and a worthy ambition, which I think it is. It's not in-your-face or over-the-top with its sonic palette; in fact, it rocks somewhat softer than Yes' previous outing, Fly From Here, but it is more focused than that album's wonderful opening track and more melodic than the rest of that album. I've heard it dismissed as AOR, as if rocking in a way orientated to adults is a bad thing (and Yes are claiming their pensions now).
What I hear when I play this album - and I find it gets played a lot - is a fine summation, almost a retrospective, of Yes' musical journeys. For AOR, it's more sophisticated than anything you'll find on a Tom Petty album and the final track, Subway Walls, has all the trademark Yes grandiosity and variation going on. Set alongside this are an aching ballad, keyboard-driven pomp rock, soft rock meditations and some fine Steve Howe guitar licks.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This album is truly awful, had to stop myself from turning it off,in the hope that yes maybe hidden somewhere in the mix. Read morePublished 4 months ago by mr r.j.child