I confess. I'm
not a huge Yes fan at all. Sure, their classic output is good,
and I especially like Relayer.
Yet, their sound and their wankery never really jived with me. I
especially never really liked Jon's voice. Yet, for some reason,
I do somehow like this unnecessary new release from the classic
band, "Heaven & Earth".
With the amazing cover art, I was actually expecting
something even better, but an average, enjoyable album from a
band that is over 40 years old is nothing to sneer at anyways.
Yes, I enjoyed
this new Yes album. It isn't revolutionary. It isn't even that
complex or technical. Indeed, the guys sort of just strum their
way through some ballads, for the most part. I was actually
impressed with some of the inventive bass lines from Squire, but
that's to be expected, right? Yet, the melodies are there. And
the songs sound nice enough. There aren't any pretentious,
ridiculously long epics. There is, however, plenty of cheese.
abounds, from some of the sickeningly sweet melodies to the
grimace-worthy lyrics in the first half. The album is definitely
centered on ballads, and poppy ones, at that. Honestly, they all
kinda blur into one soupy, sappy mess of lovesick frivolities.
Jon's vocals are so hokey sometimes that I have to grit my teeth
a bit. And, yet, there are memorable tracks, like "Light of the
Ages". Finally, "Subway Walls" is actually a wonderful track.
It's almost like the band wanted to give a nod to their stalwart
progressive fans, as it is indeed an epic of sorts with
wonderful instrumentals and real structure. Honestly, this track
So, if we step
back for a moment, this album isn't anything bad at all. It's
not great, or even good, but to slap abysmal ratings on it is
probably quite close-minded. It's an easy-going album with some
highs and lows. That's it.