also by Yes:
Yes returned here with a proper reunion of their classic line-up after years of dodgy inconsistent stuff and band changes. This made old-time fans cream their pants, as they toured with their most revered 70's prog epics. There's not many surprises in these live revivals, although it's good for comfort listening. In the same way as Pink Floyd's 1994-95 tour where they played the whole of Dark Side of the Moon, it can be slightly depressing hearing stadiums filled to hear Yes plodding routinely through the 20 minutes of "Revealing Science of God". Elsewhere there are verbatim renditions of classics like "Roundabout" and "Starship Trooper". On the plus side there is a lovely version of "Awaken", one of their prettier long songs, with plenty of attractive keyboard work from Rick Wakeman. "Onward" may have been forgotten as it came from one of their worst albums "Tormato", but it's a strong tune played with feeling here, starting with a bit of Steve Howe's ultra-reverberent acoustic guitar. And "Siberian Khatru" is always exciting live.
The album finishes with two new studio tracks. The prospect of new 10 and 20 minute Yes songs also caused knicker-wetting among fans, but there's really nothing to get excited about on "Be the One" and "That, That Is". The former is a drippy, repetitive vehicle for Anderson's banal "inspirational" lyrics. "That, That Is", on the other hand, induces cringing as they tackle the subject of a single mother "strung out on crack big-time". One good bubbling Mike Oldfield-like theme recurs now and again, but it's mostly devoid of musical inspiration.
April 15, 2004