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Yes - Keystudio (2001)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by joe, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. joe

    joe Senior Member

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    Yes-Keystudio(2001)(Sanctuary Records)

    Track Listing

    1. Footprints(9:09)
    2. Be The One(9:51)
    3. Mind Drive(18:38)
    4. Bring Me To The Power(7:25)
    5. Sign language(3:29)
    6. That, That Is(19:15)
    7. Children Of The Light(6:34)

    Total Time: 74:21

    Peronnel

    Jon Anderson-vocals/synth-guitar/harp
    Steve Howe-guitars/bass/vocals
    Chris Squire-bass/vocals
    Rick Wakeman-keyboards
    Alan White-drums/vocals

    I was introduced to Yes on an adventerous ride home one night when I was 15 years old with Fragile blasting in a Porsche. I was hooked and within the next month had attained the entire Yes catalogue which at that time included and up to Yesshows(1980). I still remember very well doodling the Yes logo on my notebook in English class to keep myself from falling asleep. It wasn't as easy as it looked.

    90125 was somewhat of a disappointment when I first laid my ears on it. No question, it was Yes trying to keep up with the "sound" of the day. Big Generator was a complete failure IMO. AOR, pompous prog/pop. What the hell had happened to one of my fav bands?:mad

    The album, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe(1989) was a throwback to the "classic" Yes and left the pop behind, thankfully. A very good album. File it under Yes, the "real" Yes.

    I had big expectations for Union(1991) with all the former members contributing to the album except for Trevor Horn and Peter Banks. Wasn't a bad album, but it wasn't too good either. Only one track really stood out for me and that was "Masquerade", an acoustic solo from Steve Howe. I saw the band in concert in "In The Round" tour following this album. Fantastic show.

    Talk(1994) was like stepping in dog shit walking threw the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Trevor Rabin produced and played on the album so it shouldn't of come as a surprise that the album was that proggy pop. Awful. Trevor Rabin was the downful of Yes IMO. I wish he hadn't meet Chris Squire and Alan White. If only one could go back in time and undo certain events, this would be one of my wishes in the sphere of music.

    Open Your Eyes(1997) and The Ladder(1999) had different line ups for these two albums. More pop. "I'm never buying another Yes album, EVER!"

    Well, I finally broke down and purchased Keystudio about five years ago after a buddy of mine played the CD for me. I couldn't believe my ears. This was the band I worshipped. No, not the "classic" Yes, as there will never be another "classic" Yes album. I have accepted that fact after many disappointments from the band. However, Keystudio is what I always envisioned what the band would sound like in the "modern" era. "Ahhh"

    Keystudio is a compilation of studio tracks taken from the double live CDs, Keys To Ascension, volumes 1&2(1996-'97) and was released in support of the Yes tour in 2002.

    1. Footprints: Great opening track. Anderson's vocals never sounded better. Chris Squire's bass licks and slaps remind me of his lines from Fragile. If there was a single to be released from this album, this would be it.

    2. Be The One: My least fav track. Howe's guitar tends to overpower the song in certain places and his solos don't flow with the rhythm of the song. Anderson's vocals and Wakeman's over the top keys are the highlight of the song. If the song was cut back to around the five minute mark, maybe it would be more tolerable.

    3. Mind Drive: EPIC YES! Oh yes! Classic, well not quite, but damn close. The best track on the album. Not as heavy as thier other epics from the '70's and well structured though there is some passages that do go in that pompous direction Yes is noted for. Hey, I didn't say it's perfect. All the members are allowed to shine in this 18 minute epic, but for me it's Howe's guitars that standout. A must listen for Yes fans who haven't heard this tune. Superb.

    4.Bring Me To The Power: Funky and jazzy and one of the faster tempo tracks from the album. The last half of the song is fantastic with the interplay between Howe's guitars and Squires's bass. Great harmonies.

    5. Sign Language: An instrumental track that showcases Howe and Wakeman. Mellow and very well done.

    6. That, That Is: The other epic from the album. Not up to Mind Drive but none the less. The intro and build up with Howe's acoustic guitar pickin' with Wakeman's keys floating in the background are magical. Anderson and Squire vocals enter though Wakeman's keys take away from thier harmonies. Wakeman's keys are at times noodling, but I like when he noodles as long as it doesn't go too long. The last part of the song is the apex with the all members stepping up the tempo, fast and furious. I would of liked to hear more of this, but sadly the song ends.

    7. Children of The Light: A great closer for the album. Eerie and spacey. Howe's guitars and Wakeman's keys, especially the piano work are again the show.


    The best studio release of songs since Going For The One IMO. I have high expectations for thier next release, but not too high as I've been disappointed too many times. Essential for any Yes fan. I want to give it a 8/10 but a 7 is more appropriate.
     
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  2. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Re: Yes-Keystudio

    I don't have that one, but I do have Keys to Ascension now...haven't had time to listen to it yet though.

    I can see you are firm about which version of Yes you like, no surprise even within their fan base there has usually been a lot of discussion about the bands direction.

    I happen to like 90125, it's got a totally unique feel to it that was a breath of fresh air when I bought it, agree about Big G...it was not nearly as enjoyable as it's predecessor.

    Nice in depth review, thanks for taking the time and writing this Joe.:hab:
     
  3. joe

    joe Senior Member

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    Re: Yes-Keystudio

    Thanx LG.:grinthumb
     
  4. Sharp Dressed Man

    Sharp Dressed Man Down South Jukin' Staff Member

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    Great review, @joe. I liked your breakdown on some of the later albums, since people tend not to talk about them too often (some of them for good reason).
     
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  5. joe

    joe Senior Member

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    Thanks.:cheers2
     

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