Power of Metal.dk Review

Heaven & Earth
Style: Progressive Rock
Release date: 22 July, 2014
Playing time: 51:27

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.

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 is awesome.

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.

01. Believe Again (8:02)
02. The Game (6:51)
03. Step Beyond (5:34)
04. To Ascend (4:43)
05. In a World of Our Own (5:20)
6. Light of the Ages (7:41)
07. It Was All We Knew (4:13)
08. Subway Walls (9:03)
Label: Frontiers Records
Distribution: Target (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 90/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 8 August, 2014
Website: www.yesworld.com