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Yes - The Ladder (1999)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by joe, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. joe

    joe Senior Member

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    Yes-Talk(1999)(Beyond Music)

    Track Listing

    1. Homeworld(The Ladder)(9:33)
    2. It Will Be A Good Day(The River)(4:53)
    3. Lightening Strikes (4:34)
    4. Can I? (1:32)
    5. Face To Face (5:03)
    6. I Only You Knew (5:42)
    7. To Be Alive(Hep Yadda)(5:07)
    8. Finally (6:01)
    9. The Messenger (5:13)
    10. New Language (9:19)
    11. Nine Voices (Longwalker)(3:20)

    Total Time: 60:17

    Personnel

    Jon Anderson-vocals
    Chris Squire-bass/harmonica/vocals
    Billy Sherwood-guitars/keyboards/vocals
    Alan White-drums/vocals
    Steve Howe-guitars/mandolin/banjo/steel/vocals
    Igor Khoroshev-keyboards/vocals


    After listening to The Ladder three times over the last day and a half it was very challenging to be focused after the first listen and painful on the third. In this time period I also put my ears to Talk(1994), Open Your Eyes(1997), Magnification(2001), and Keystudio(2001) last week. By far, Keystudio was a pleasure, a compilation of studio tracks taken from Keys To Ascension volume 1 and 2. Magnification sees the band accompanied with a symphony orchestra. Not bad. Talk and Open Your Eyes, are...well...

    1. Homeworld(The Ladder): One of the few highlights on the album IMO. Almost has the classic Yes sound though it falls short. Steve Howe's guitar really stands out on this track, as he seems to shine more than any other member on this project. Good keys and melodies. The closing is fantastic. Well done.

    2. It will Be A Good Day(The River): Jon Anderson revisiting the Trevon Rabin 80's era prog pop.

    3. Lightning Strikes: An upbeat tune that doesn't seem like Yes at all. The whistling in the middle of the song is very annoying. They must of been in the Carribean when they wrote this song. Maybe Bob Marley came and visited Jon Anderson in the middle of the night. Techno prog and reggae don't work.

    4.Can I?: What?

    5. Face To Face: Chris Squire's bass line really stands out for me on this track with Howe's guitar work. Another Anderson quirky upbeat lyrical pomp.

    6. If Only You Knew: Another Silly Love Song.

    7. To Be Alive(Hep Yadda): Howe's mandolin is the show here. More pop and forgettable. "It doesn't get much better than this..." Gawd, I hope so.

    8. Finally: Another AOR/pop '80's flashback. The last half of the song isn't bad. Again Howe is the show with some nice acoustic passages. The keys are background and very seldom take a lead in this song as is with the rest of the album as well. Where's Wakeman?

    9. The Messenger: Starts out very well with Howe's bluesy guitar but again developes into more AOR prog pop. The keys and Howe's guitars manage to keep the song listenable.

    10. New Langauge: The intro hit me with shades of Going For The One. My second favourite track from the album. The keys shine through, finally on this track. But over the nine minutes it's hard to stayed focused and there is parts that disconnect me with sudden dead air time. Confusing.

    11. Nine Voices(Longwalker): Ahhh,...it's finally over.


    A very inconsistent album. If you're into pompous proggy pop and wanting to listen to a bad rehash of the early '80's Yes(90125 and Big Generator) this is for you. More techno than the fore mentioned. It's not for me. Two stars for the only two good tracks on the album. One star for Howe's guitars and one star for the great Roger Dean cover. If you want to hear any new material from Yes in the 90's I'd recommend Keystudio.

    4/10
     
  2. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Yes-The Ladder

    It's about time you made an album review! Nice write up even if you didn't give the album a good score. I haven't heard this album, so I would have to give it a spin to see how it stacks up to say "Fragile" or "Close to the Edge"
     
  3. LG

    LG Fade To Black

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    Re: Yes-The Ladder

    I found a copy of that album today, so I'll give it a listen tomorrow morning.

    I happen to like 90125, Big Generator not so much so I'm curious about "The Ladder" now after reading Joe's review.
     
  4. DaKillerWolf

    DaKillerWolf Cosmic Time Warp Warrior

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    Re: Yes-The Ladder

    I listened to the video posted from this album in the Yes thread and that was enough for me thanks.
     
  5. joe

    joe Senior Member

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    Re: Yes-The Ladder

    For those who listen to the album, I'd be interested in hearing your opinions.:grinthumb
     
  6. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Yes-The Ladder

    I have given this album a 'once over' and I dont find the album to be a total waste, but Yes has put out better material. This album doesn't even come close to the quality of Fragile or Close to the Edge.

    The two stand outs for me were: Homeworld and The Messenger.

    I also enjoyed listening to: It Will Be a Good Day, To Be Alive, and New Language.

    So it is safe to say, the album isn't all that bad. I would give it a 3/5.....
     
  7. joe

    joe Senior Member

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    Re: Yes-The Ladder

    ^^^Magic are you sure you didn't mean 3/10.:heheh: j/k

    Thanx for your opinion.
     
  8. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Yes-The Ladder

    a 2.5/5 is average....by my standards.....

    2/5 would mean it sucked! But since Ladder did contain two decent tracks and a couple "enjoyable" tracks, it is only a tad above average.

    3/5 :)
     

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