I must confess that I had some doubts about how good it would be as it is now 10 years since their last release (Magnification) and even longer since a Yes album really grabbed me (1994’s Talk). The absence of Jon Anderson was also a bit of concern.
However, I’ve now listened to the album a couple of times on we7 and my concerns were unjustified. It is a very good album and the band are very tight musically. The production is excellent, with an approach similar to that of Drama – which is not surprising given the presence of Trevor Horn on both releases.
The album opens with the Fly From Here, a 23 minute epic divided into 6 parts and this is followed by 5 further tracks ranging from about 3 to 7 minutes. Fly From Here is brilliant but unfortunately the remaining tracks don’t quite match that standard, though album closer Into The Storm comes close. That said, it is still a great listen and close to a return to form by one of the founding fathers of the progressive scene.
As I said above, the absence of Jon Anderson was a point of concern for me. However his replacement, Benoit David, has a very fine voice and whilst his range is similar to Jon Anderson’s (I believe he sang for a very successful Yes tribute act) his delivery is quite different. As for the rest of the current line up, well you can’t really go that far wrong with a band featuring the talents of Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Alan White and Geoff Downes.
Verdict – well worth a spin but may not sit well with some Yes purists.