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5.8.11

Yes - 'Fly From Here' - (Frontiers Records) 5/5

For many Yes without Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman are a hollow shell. This happened many years ago, and the hollow shell re emerged with a cracking album in "Drama" - Fast forward 31 years and people are saying exactly the same thing now Yes are again without Jon and Rick. But has history repeated itself? Is the new album "Fly From here" a cracking album? You bet your proggy album collection it is.

First thing you have to understand is that this new album is no "Close To The Edge" or "Relayer" but then again nothing the band did afterwards with Jon and Rick measured up to those masterworks.
What we have here is catchy melodies that twist and turn into your mind and stay there in a good earworm sort of way. Steve Howe delivers some of his best lead guitar work for a number of years and is prominent on many tracks.

The title track is nearly 24 minutes of musical heaven, with all the Yes sensibilities you could want.
"The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be" features a lovely Chris Squire lead vocal and i kid you not, also a beautiful McCartney bass line near the end.

"Life On A Film Set" starts off with a sound very reminiscent of early King Crimson or one of the beautiful Greg Lake moments of ELP before sucking you right into the vortex of that quirky Yes sound. I always loved the earlier prog laced with pop sensibilities of Yes when they first started out and this song ticks all the boxes.
The Steve Howe penned "Hour Of Need" is a beautiful little 3 minute number ( although this author would have preferred the full 6 plus minute version only available on the Japanese release - Only a minor gripe though )

"Solitaire" is a Howe penned acoustic number evoking memories of "Mood For A Day" from the "Fragile days" and finally "Into The Storm" ends the whole kooboodle off in rousing fashion with Steve Howe again to the fore with a great solo at the end, and the whole band sounding as if they are truly enjoying themselves.
Benoit David is not Jon Anderson and Geoff Downes is not Rick Wakeman, but hell who cares when you have a collection of songs as good as these lovingly produced by Mr Trevor Horn.

My verdict is this "Yes" sound refreshed, rejuvenated and bloody damn great.

REVIEW BY - IAN BARTLETT 


for fans of - classic progressive rock

6 comments:

  1. Great review!!! I couldn't agree more, to be honest! :)

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  2. You gave the album a perfect score, but also state that it doesn't measure up to CTTE or Relayer. If 5/5 represents your highest rating then surely Fly From Here should rate 4/5 or 3/5. If CTTE is a 5/5 album in your view and Fly From Here is not as good as CTTE then Fly From Here cannot possibly be a 5/5.

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  3. Mr Chris H. I will point out that I did not write the review or give the mark. But I did give Mr Bartlett the formula I use and that is what he went with. All ratings reflect on the releases score along side what is CURRENT, not albums released 30+ years ago, and to be honest your point is a little pedantic.

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  4. Hello Chris
    I think you are misreading this.
    I didn't say that it doesn't measure up to "Close To The Edge" or "Relayer" i said not to expect anything like those albums.
    "Fly From Here" is a more song orientated album, rather than a convoluted hard to get your head around album.
    A simpler album with strong songs can rate a 5 just as much as a more involved album.

    It's just apples and oranges - I happen to like both equally.

    Ian Bartlett

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  5. Of course, Relayer didn't feature Rick Wakeman either. Patrick Moraz was always my favorite Yes keyboard player, I wish they would have done more with him.

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  6. I do too to be honest The pope of pop.
    Loved some of the jazz rock leanings of the Moraz Yes

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