also by Yes:
"Union" was spawned when Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe decided to form a big happy family with the other incarnation of Yes comprising Rabin, Squire, Kaye and White, and compile up their separate material into one album. It gets a huge amount of stick for being an incoherent mess, but I don't think it's as bad as it's made out to be. The plain radio-rock of songs like "I Would Have Waited Forever" and "Give and Take" are bland, but they're not actively annoying.
Though it has to be said that the Rabin-based "Yes West" were the more successful half of the band at this kind of AOR, as shown by confident songs like "Miracle of Life" and "Lift Me Up". The first ABWH album showed that the strength of ABWH was prog, and they don't really sound as comfortable doing more commercial stuff in "Union". But they do have their moments. Their most choppy, inventive effort here is "Silent Talking". "The More We Live / Let Go" is a decent bit of spaced-out pomp. Fans of Anderson and Wakeman's fluffy new age will appreciate "Angkor Wat". Maybe "Union" is a random hotch-potch, but it's not all stodge.
July 23, 2004