Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yes – 'Fly From Here' album review

Yes – 'Fly From Here' album review
Released on: Frontiers Records. Release date: Available now

 I have to say that I haven’t listened to a ‘new’ Yes album in years and this one, 'Fly From Here' is really enjoyable.
I know, I’m sorry this has been out there since June, but I’ve been so swamped, it’s been so tough to keep up with everything.
The thing is, the reason I’m still posting this review, is because this is a really good album, it really is!
Perhaps the rejuvenated Asia connection has helped make it all the more enjoyable for me.
For me I must confess I’m not the biggest Yes fan, I do have various albums from different eras of the band, so mine is a mixed bag, but I must admit my favourite Yes albums are ‘Going For the One,’ ‘Drama,’ ‘90125’ and ‘The Big Generator.’
 It is basically the old concept format that’s presented here, with ‘Fly From Here – Part 1, 2, 3, 4, etc …’
The opener ‘Fly From Here – Overture’ is a beautiful musical trip, before running into ‘Fly From Here – Pt. 1 - We Can Fly,’ which for me is simply magical! Benoit David’s vocals are so much like Jon Anderson’s, it’s perfect!
It brings back – For me – elements of the ‘Drama’ album, starting slow and then picks the pace up in places, although it has Steve Howe’s distinct playing, there’s almost a hint of the more hook laden (Trevor) Rabin era about it.
Musically it seems to capture so much, and of course the classic Yes sound is present, but there’s no doubting the Asia influence, especially with Geoff Downes rejoining the group once more, alongside long time Yes man and Asia mate, Steve Howe. Add to that Trevor Horn (Yes, Buggles) getting in on the act, handling production duties. I’ve heard certain Yes / Asia fans say that to them, the ‘Drama’ album was really the first Asia album, so take from that what you will.
‘Fly From Here – Pt. 2 – Sad Night at the Airfield’ blends perfectly from ‘We Can Fly,’ as a beautifully melodic continuous journey. Huge melodies, fantastic harmony vocals and a nice slow to mid-paced adventure.
 ‘Fly From Here – Pt. 3 – Madman at the Screens’ starts with the by now familiar ‘Fly From Here’ general melody, but I have to say there are distinct Asia vibes to this track and yes, ‘Drama’ too. Mostly an up tempo number, with of course the typical prog interchanges you’d come to expect on any Yes album.
As well as long timer Howe onboard, Chris Squire (Bass/Vocals) is here, along with Alan White (Drums), the aforementioned Geoff Downes (Keyboards/Vocals) and Benoit David on lead vocals who has already toured with the band, prior to this album in place of Jon Anderson.
Many twists and turns in time changes on the appropriately titled, ‘Fly From Here – Pt. 4 – Bumpy Ride.’ Clever stuff!
‘Fly From Here – Pt. 5 – We Can Fly (Reprise)’ kind of perhaps closes out the concept ‘bit’ here and is simply a short revisit to ‘We Can Fly.’ Nice.
 On ‘The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be,’ the vocal sounds a little different and since the product I have is pretty much lacking in details of the album’s performances, I’d guess the lead vocal is shared here. This track actually brings to mind ‘Going For The One’ era Yes, at least to me and takes a slightly different path from the previous six tracks here.

‘Life on a Film Set’ should be re-titled ‘Riding a Tiger’ for sure, nice stuff, a lot going on here starting gently with a vocal almost like  America’s 'Horse With No Name’ … I think so anyway! LOL! It then seems to take an almost (Pink) Floyd type direction to a degree. Then all change into some nice more typical classic Yes territory.
I have to say, this really is a Yes album that grabs me very easily when other releases have taken more getting into.
 Next track ‘Hour of Need’ is a nice slow to mid paced acoustic driven number that sounds as strong as anything else here.

‘Solitaire’ is simply Steve Howe filling his desire to express himself … Par for the course on most Yes albums and if you see see Yes live, you'll’ understand much more what I mean!
A little acoustic piece basically.
 ‘Into the Storm’ starts with some power chords and intricate fills and almost reminds me of The Cars for a moment then it picks up and yes, Yes kick in here!
I don’t know though I’m still thinking The Cars here, it’s kind of synth driven, although there’s moments where it’s clearly prog without question, about a third of the way in for sure and then it just takes its own path.
 Overall it is Yes, without any question and those out there saying, but it’s not Jon Anderson (!), really, give it a chance!
It’s a seriously enjoyable release.
 Rating: 4 out of 5
 Official band site:

No comments:

Post a Comment