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