also by Yes:
While volume I contained a fair bit of decent live material and a couple of dodgy studio tracks, the second of their sprawling live/studio doubles is marginally more worth it for the disc of new studio material, but it's a close call in both cases. On the first disc they trudge through a lot of their fans' favourite 70s numbers. Sure, "Close to the Edge" and "And You and I" are classics, but they fail to inject new life into them here. Although it's good to hear "Turn of the Century" live, one of their most lush and romantic pieces.
The second disc is an ultra-polished set of studio songs, with few surprises and a tendency to ramble, but the occasional good idea. ""Mind Drive" is a passably good 20 minuter. The opening hammering bass sounds like something off "Drama" (specifically "Into the Lens"). The track contains some moderately good tunes, and enough little contrasting sections and solos to hold the attention. "Children of Light" starts with an irritatingly catchy vocal-harmony chant of "equal rights for equal people", and is the most robust of these new tracks. Of course the lyrics are "inspirational" gobbledygook as usual. The closing number "Sign Language" is a pretty guitar noodle, but nothing more. On the whole this is enough to keep fans occupied, but as an example of 90's Yes, the much-dissed "Union" has better material than this.
April 26, 2004