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02 Jul 2014 - 10:23:15 pm

YES - Heaven & Earth (2014)

YES - Heaven & Earth (2014) full

"Heaven & Earth", due in July 18, 2014 from Frontiers Records, marks another iteration of the long-standing prog outfit YES, after the addition of new frontman Jon Davison, previously of Glass Hammer.
Chris Squire and Co, also made an innovation in the producers chair: the legenday Roy Thomas Baker (Queen, Journey, Foreigner) was hired to provide a classy and at the same time punchy sound.

Over the years, Yes has garnered a sound that reflects soaring vocals, huge symphonic work, and spiraling guitars. "Heaven &amp; Earth" reflects all of this but on a softer level than in their heyday, much more melodic and not 'so' progressive.
Of course there's Geoff Downes moog solos, Steve Howe's characteristic guitar legato triplets and long compositions with varios passages - just like the good old times, but this Yes 2014 is much more accesible.
On many places, "Heaven & Earth" sounds like Asia.

When the first track "Believe Again" was presented as advance two weeks ago, I read horrible things about this new Yes album. Uninspired, boring, too much commercial were the words... I don't understand these people.
What were they expecting? Another 'Roundabout'? Have you have listened the Yes of the last 30 years?
Besides, you can't judge an album just by a song.
"Heaven &amp; Earth" is commercial and melodious, but still retains Yes' trademark prog signatures.

Yeah, maybe opener "Believe Again" is too much simple and easy to the years, but it's nice and with very fine harmonic vocals and carefully crafted lyrics. Talking about the vocals, new singer Jon Davison sound a lot like Jon Anderson, but you can't fault him, as already sounded like Anderson on Glass Hammer. And he is good at the mic, and also writing lyrics.
Second song "The Game" is reminiscent of early Supertramp in its structure, but sonically is quite neo-prog and modern if you ask me. I like the subtle guitar work in the background, and the spacey solo.
Standout track "To Ascend" includes the exquisite guitar finger picking of Steve Howe. The lyrics are very deep and transpire memories of early Yes.
The album ends with the solid "Subway Walls", which reflects the precision musicianship that has surrounded Yes throughout their entire career.

I'm sorry for radical Progsters if you don't like "Heaven &amp; Earth". But this is has been the Yes of the last decades; neo progressive, melodic, with accessible arrangements and lots of sweet keyboards and harmony vocals.
New singer Jon Davison will please everybody, and he has really been involved in the craft of this new record as co-writes most of the songs. Roy Thomas Baker's sleek production provide the necessary air for every instrument to breathe, and the result is warm and classy.
One of greatest - at this point classic rock - bands of our time, Yes continues releasing good material after almost 50 years of existence.


1. Believe Again
2. The Game
3. Step Beyond
4. To Ascend
5. In A World Of Our Own
6. Light Of The Ages
7. It Was All We Knew
8. Subway Walls

Jon Davison Lead &amp; Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Steve Howe Electric, Acoustic &amp; Steel Guitars, Backing Vocals
Geoff Downes Keyboards, Programming
Chris Squire Bass, Backing Vocals
Alan White Drums & Percussion
.
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http://vanishednot.blogsfan.net/0dRck-b1/YES-Heaven-Earth-2014-b1-p193.htm

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