also by Yes:
A relatively patchy work in the middle of Yes's most successful period, kind of the equivalent of Genesis's "Nursery Cryme". It contains one short solo piece by each member of the band - often an ominous sign of incompatible egos. These aren't that successful on the whole, just a bunch of experiments. Fortunately they had enough sense not to make a double album's worth of these, unlike ELP... Chris Squire's instrumental "The Fish" is the best of these titbits, a powerful bass riff which works well on its own but might also have worked well as part of a longer song. Also pleasing is Steve Howe's glittering guitar solo "Mood for a Day". Jon Anderson also plays around with vocal layering in "We Have Heaven", and new keyboardist Rick Wakeman does a rather dull arrangement of some Brahms. Drummer Bill Bruford doesn't really assert his ego with only 38 seconds.
The best tracks are of course the band ones. "Heart of the Sunrise" (much like "The Musical Box" from the aforementioned Genesis album) hits the pinnacle of symphonic prog rock. Starting with an amazing hammering guitar and bass theme, this track goes through a series of perfectly timed dynamic contrasts, with Wakeman's distinctive Mellotron synth colouring the climaxes. "Roundabout" is the other stand-out full band song, with a good driving energy and lots of tricksy little guitar and organ twiddles. "South Side of the Sky" is a grinding rocker with a nice piano interlude. "Long Distance Runaround" is a catchy little song combining Beatles-style piano chords with a perky guitar theme.
December 20, 2003