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On disc: Yes

Magnification - Amir Djawadi - 5 stars
Fly From Here - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
In The Present - Live From Lyon - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars

In The Present - Live From Lyon

In The Present - Live From Lyon
(Frontiers Records - 2011)

There is no need to introduce Yes to music lovers, just a few months ago they released the first studio album in 10 years - Fly From Home. Now they present In The Present - Live From Lyon which documents their 2009 performance in Lyon, France. As it was recorded on a tour which didn't promote the latest studio album they were free to choose songs from their back catalogue. No easy ask, especially as they were presenting their new singer Benoit David, but as Yes fans know, he was the right guy to step into the footsteps of Jon Anderson.

They kick off with Siberian Khatru, a song which you won't find on Union Live - a live album recorded back in 1991 and released earlier this year. Luckily only a few songs are on both live albums. They focused on the 70's, but also played their smash hit Owner Of A Lonely Heart. Yes has so many tunes that everybody will pick different ones, so you will surely miss something, but also will find some surprises - see track list below. One of my favorites is Astral Traveller which has embedded a drum solo. And I really enjoy Yours Is No Disgrace which the CD version lacks, but at least the beautiful acoustic gem Corkscrew you'll find on all versions.

The album is available as a 2-CD set with a DVD (details below), on a 3-piece vinyl and in a digital version. The vinyl version and the MP3 album have compared to the CD version a bonus track - Yours Is No Disgrace. The song would follow Astral Traveller on the CD version.

Track list:

1. Siberian Khatru
2. I've Seen All Good People
3. Tempus Fugit
4. Onward
5. Astral Traveller
(MP3 version: 6. Yours Is No Disgrace)
6. And You And I
7. Corkscrew (Acoustic Solo)

1. Owner Of A Lonely Heart
2. Southside Of The Sky
3. Machine Messiah
4. Heart of the Sunrise
5. Roundabout
6. Starship Trooper

DVD 1.Interviews,
Excerpts from the Live Show,
Machine Messiah (ca. 55 Min.)

9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Fly From Here

Fly From Here
(Frontiers Records - 2011)

It took legendary prog rockers Yes 10 years to present a follow-up of Magnification, did they loose inspiration? Well, Fly From Here starts with an overture which leads into the 5-piece suite Fly From Here. It's the first album with Canadian singer Benoît David as Jon Anderson is no longer a member of Yes, it's the 2nd album they ever did without their original singer. Steve Howe, Chris Squire and Alan White hooked up with the Buggles Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes. Actually Trevor Horn is 'only' a guest on the album, but as he also produced Fly From Here he had some influence on the way it turns out, especially as he was involved in the song writing. Actually the title track, the suite was written by Horn and Downes for Drama, so it isn't really some new tracks. Anyway, it was written for an album of Yes and so it sounds like Yes.
Benoît David's voice fits well to the Yes sound and it's a pleasure to hear him sing.

After the suite they present The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be which is sung by Chris Squire, but the song is a bit simple or too average for Yes. Even if Life On A Film Set isn't a typical Yes tune it somehow fascinates me. It reminds me of something, but I can't fathom it. It's not like they are copying someone, it's more the atmosphere of the song. Then the song changes and gets more Yes-like. Hour Of Need is a nice tune, but not very memorable or demanding. Kind of Yes light.

Solitaire is Steve Howe and his acoustic guitar. Reminds me slightly of the acoustic solo he played at last years Asia tour... The closer is called Into The Storm. The whole band is back and they present a catchy Yes tune which soon offers some twists and turns.

Resume: The album mainly offers stuff which was written long ago, but still the suite is a pleasure to hear. Another highlight is Solitaire, even if it isn't fitting in too well. But with Hour Of Need and The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be you get some pop rock songs which some might fall for, but after the suite it doesn't work - at least for me. One wonders why Yes needed 10 years to present another album and then kinda recycle songs which have been written years ago.

7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt



(Eagle Rock - 2001)

Great Britain is paralyzed! Yes released another milestone in their career. This time it's not just a 'regular' studio album, the album was recorded with an orchestra! And it sounds like this is what they're doing all the time! The 10 tracks been co-produced by Tim Weidner and not just been played / recorded by the orchestra. The band involved prize-winning composer Larry Groupé during the whole process which means in the writing process, arranging and during the production. As a huge fan of Yes composer Larry Groupé was honored to work with them and it was like a dream come true for him. Yes always have been linked the more orchestral music. One of their legendary concerts was the one they played about 20 years ago at Queen Elisabeth Hall where they were joined by an orchestra and presented already written songs to a larger audience. That show made fans ask for a tour of Yes with an orchestra!

It took quite long and to make it as perfect as possible they wrote the songs for band & orchestra or even involved the orchestra partly. On Magnification Yes realized what many others tried before, they and the orchestra became a union.
The voice of Jon Anderson, as well as the guitar play of Steve Howe and the bass lines of Chris Squire, not to forget Alan White on drums do harmonize very well with the orchestra. It seems that this combination is lasting for a long time. This almost perfect co-operation which they had in the studio, they now want to bring to the stages! First they will tour in November 2001 in the USA, but they won't forget Europe! The great compositions will be presented to the fans live soon. If they manage to transport the intensity and the atmosphere they banned on disc to the stage, they it'll be a night to remember! Buy your ticket! Btw, a good Christmas present....

5 stars

Amir Djawadi
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)

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