Yes
Fly from Here


3.0
good

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
June 30th, 2011 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yes in 2011: going back to the early 80's.

With Fly From Here, Yes have created not only their first album in ten years, but also their first since Drama that doesn’t feature the characteristic voice of Jon Anderson. Canadian singer Benoît David, formerly of tribute band Close to the Edge, stepped in for an ill Anderson and eventually became Yes’ proper lead singer. It is barely the only connection to the 1980 record, as the entire specific line-up is involved in the group’s eighteenth release: Geoff Downes returned on keyboards following Oliver Wakeman’s departure during the initial stages of recording, while Trevor Horn produces.

This does make the sound of the Yes from 30 years ago come through on Fly From Here, cheesy keyboards and all. Yet Drama was heavy, still their heaviest now. Fly From Here seems almost like a direct counterpoint, sharing a lot of common ground musically, but being far lighter and more upbeat. In 1980, Drama was the sound of a fresh start. Unfortunately, Yes has gone through too many low points since 1983, passed far too many years, to consider any new album now a real fresh start. It would be foolish to expect true excellence here. Still, there certainly is some kind of freshness to it.

As the new vocalist, David obviously has a significant role in this. He can hit the challenging high notes of Yes’ classics, as proven live since he has been with the band, but his natural voice is slightly lower, which, blasphemous as some hardcore fans may find it same as with Drama, is a relief to listen to after enduring Anderson for many consecutive albums. No discredit to the man’s vocal talents or his crucial role in shaping Yes’ sound, but there are few he doesn’t grow to annoy at one point or another. David brings a welcoming calm with him, and it certainly aids Fly From Here.

It’s all there for a return-to-form, even the old-school epic. The 23-minute title track, divided into six sections that form the first half of the album, relives the greats as Close to the Edge and Gates of Delirium. The sections are more distinct than on past epics, which may make them easier to listen to individually, but at the same time makes Fly From Here less coherent and ultimately weaker as a whole. The upbeat We Can Fly moves into Sad Night at the Airfield without warning, which has the complete opposite mood, and also the sudden burst of Bumpy Ride comes too unexpectedly. Squire and Howe should know better, as the differing sections of former epics, especially Close to the Edge, flowed seamlessly. Nevertheless, it’s all great musically, reminiscent of old-school Yes without sounding forced, with a renewed emphasis on keyboards that fans will appreciate since these originally played a major part in the band’s sound.

Slight criticism aside, Fly From Here’s first half is a highlight and actually one of the best things Yes have done on their more recent work. The second is a little less consistent, but in no way an afterthought. Squire takes a surprising lead vocal on The Man You Always Wanted Me to Be, a 90125-influenced pop song that may be dated, but comes out strongly, as the bassist’s voice lends itself quite effectively to it, harmonising with David during the chorus. Hour of Need falls into the same category, but is far less convincing. Life on a Film Set has some great melodies going, but does not fail to confuse with its lyrics, especially the oft-repeated ‘riding a tiger’ chorus. Solitaire is another Howe acoustic piece, a tradition that began with Clap on The Yes Album, while the more rocking Into the Storm serves as a very adequate closer.

What you’ll think of Fly From Here very much depends on what you thought of Drama and 90125. Although their classic sound is picked up again with the epic title track, Yes’ newest release revives much of their early 80’s-vibe, which is not a period in the band’s history everyone is known to appreciate. Fact still is the band has aged a lot, and their songwriting doesn’t have all the power it used to. This album is meant only for long-time fans, but at what it tries to do, it is fairly consistent and successful. Yes have had a long run, and they’re still getting something decent out of it in 2011.

Fly From Here’s Yes is:

- Benoît David ~ Lead Vocals
- Stephen James Howe ~ Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals
- Christopher Russell Squire ~ Bass Guitar, Lead and Backing Vocals
- Alan White ~ Drums
- Geoffrey Downes ~ Keyboards


THE END.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
June 30th 2011


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well, that's it then. Thanks to everyone that followed the discog.

This is coming out in Europe tomorrow, has been in Japan for a week already though.

BigHans
June 30th 2011


26454 Comments


Congrats on yet another discog completed Nag.

Ire
June 30th 2011


41828 Comments


THE END.


lol

Nagrarok
June 30th 2011


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Congrats on yet another discog completed Nag


Thanks Hans.

THE END.


lol


Well I had to with all the to be continued...'s.

Jethro42
June 30th 2011


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Benoît David is from my hometown, Montréal. I wonder why the band didn't wait for Jon though, since he's apparently returned to form. The young man does it well anyway. Great review, great discog. Now, go do the Genesis one before you change your mind haha.

cvlts
June 30th 2011


8985 Comments


Good job Nag!

Nagrarok
June 30th 2011


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Benoît David is from my hometown, Montréal. I wonder why the band didn't wait for Jon though, since he's apparently returned to form. The young guy does it well anyway. Great review, great discog. Now, go do the Genesis one before you change your mind haha.


I heard the slight French accent. Maybe he just stuck with them, I read that Anderson wasn't happy with it at first, but that he later approved of them touring with David. And don't worry, Genesis will be done, I just can't say how soon. I also spot a Keys to Ascension avatar there.

Thanks Genocide.

Jethro42
June 30th 2011


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

And don't worry, Genesis will be done, I just can't say how soon. I also spot a Keys to Ascension avatar there.

I can't wait for that discog. It's gonna be another huge step for Sputnik. Count on me for support, Super Nag.
Ya right for the avatar, and it seems it's not enough to convince you to cover the Keys!
=P
Man, how hard I try to find out who is yours. Hope it's not too obvious haha.

Nagrarok
June 30th 2011


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm still open to the Keys, for the moment it's been enough Yes though. I'll give you a hint on mine: he's a guitarist and no longer among us.

Jethro42
June 30th 2011


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rory Gallagher?

Parallels
June 30th 2011


6643 Comments


this is new? OH YES, YES!

Have a pos.

Nagrarok
June 30th 2011


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Rory Gallagher?


Nah, Gallagher looks way different.

Thanks Sonicspeed.

Jethro42
June 30th 2011


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Gary Moore?...Another hint if possible?

Nagrarok
June 30th 2011


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

He died very young, in his twenties.

Jethro42
June 30th 2011


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damn...
Come on guys, you're all comitted to participate to the quizz.

Nagrarok
June 30th 2011


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Haha, you've normally guessed it faster. He was/is very famous, but in a band, not as a solo artist.

Jethro42
June 30th 2011


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think I'd be better for guessing the drummers haha. I thought of Metallica, but it's one of their bassman who died young, isn't it. Last chance for tonight: Would it be the guitarist of Voivod?

Nagrarok
June 30th 2011


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, Cliff Burton was their bassist. Voivod's guitarist didn't die young. Some more then: he's a real American, died in a vehicle accident, and played alongside Eric Clapton on one of his best works. If that isn't enough...

Jethro42
June 30th 2011


12638 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

DUANE ALLMAN


Nagrarok
June 30th 2011


8316 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Well, finally. You were the one who introduced me to The Allman Brothers in the first place.



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