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Heaven & Earth

Yes

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Heaven & Earth finds the classic progressive powerhouse Yes exploring more conventional song-oriented material. Glass Hammer frontman Jon Davison replaces singer Benoit David (who’d replaced original singer Jon Anderson) and is such a dead ringer for Anderson that some fans might think Heaven & Earth is a reunion album. Geoff Downes’ keyboards, programmed for gentility, still provide melodic passages, while drummer Alan White is in the back of the mix with some flourishes. Bassist Chris Squire retains his thick sound, but producer Roy Thomas Baker clearly plays down Squire’s presence (though “Step Beyond” has a few gorgeous riffs). Guitarist Steve Howe is used judiciously as well. It’s an interesting idea, taking these virtuoso musicians and removing the spotlight. The ensemble playing that results is solid. “Believe Again,” “The Game,” and “Step Beyond” sound like radio hits. Every remaining song clicks in place. This isn’t vintage Yes, but it’s Yes 2014: mellow and pretty. 

Customer Reviews

Really?

This is just awful, boring arrangement and the production is terrible, it sounds like a demo recorded in a shoebox. Lifelong Yes fan, stunning to me that this is the best they can do.

What’s Old is New Again

Jon Davison’s voice - and lyricism - is shockingly Andersonian, as it’s his presence on this first released track that both frames Yes' latest album and sets it apart from 2011’s Fly From Here. If you’ve missed Davison's work with GlassHammer…well…get caught up and pick up their last four albums…
But the greater point here is that Anderson’s gestalt is alive and well with this latest iteration of Yes…and in a way it proves a point made years ago by Anderson and Squire; namely that Yesmusic will continue on long after the founding members have shuffled off this mortal coil. You can hear parts of this trans-subtantiation at work in the newly released first track - and it takes you back to other days - while pointing a way ahead.
It’s Yesmusic. In the end that’s really all that matters. Their music takes us back, yet reaches still for an awakening.
Based on this first track, I’d have to say that what was once upon a time - may yet be again. I’ll always miss Jon Anderson’s contributions, but who knows…maybe he’ll join GlassHammer. Wakeman’s soaring keyboards are absent, but the foundation of Howe/Squire/White allow Davison’s writing to come alive as Yesmusic. So... Yes lives, and that's a good thing.

This is Yes!!!

I am growing tired of the This Is Not Yes. Or the No Jon Anderson = No Yes comments. Granted, there are certain bands that I would throw my hands in the air and say enough of this. I can't imagine Rush without any of its 3 members. But Yes has always been about change. That's what keeps them interesting to me. I'm not just talking about member changes. Sure, this doesn't sound like Classic Yes or Yes West. This will never rank up there with 'Close To The Edge' or '90125'. Those being the best, in my opinion, from those 2 eras. This is another chapter in the band's long and varied history. It is that variety that keeps them fresh to me. Does this album really deserve 5 stars? Probably not. I would call it average at best. Still, I find it quite enjoyable. "Believe Again" is very poppy but catchy. "To Ascend" and "Subway Walls" seem to be the standout tracks for me at the moment. I'm sure the others will grow on me with further listens. I will continue to support this band. I am grateful they are still making new music and touring!!! I will be seeing them later this evening. A great day to be a Yes fan. A new album and a show!!!

Biography

Formed: 1968 in Birmingham, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Far and away the longest lasting and the most successful of the '70s progressive rock groups, Yes proved to be one of the lingering success stories from that musical genre. The band, founded in 1968, overcame a generational shift in its audience and the departure of its most visible members at key points in its history to reach the end of the century as the definitive progressive rock band. Their audience remained huge because they had always attracted younger...
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