[Review] YES – Mirror To The Sky

We have the immense pleasure of being able to listen to and review the 22nd studio album of one of the bands that made history in Prog music and beyond, YES. Entitled “Mirror to the Sky,” it was released on May 19, 2023 via InsideOut Music as a double disc, containing 9 tracks with a tracklist reminiscent of releases from the golden age of Prog. The album opens with “Cut From The Stars” with fine guitar and keyboard phrasing, a solid and elaborate rhythm section enriched by continuous tempo changes. The vocals are dynamic and expressive, while musically the band’s classic style permeates the song, bringing us back to the classic period of the early 70s. After the energetic and addictive opener, “All Connected” shows a more modern and melodic facet of the band’s sound, however rich in ideas and elaborate cues. More rhythmic tempo changes alternate with symphonic openings, in the classic style that has characterised the band over the years. The phrasing between guitar and keyboards, the intense bass lines and the solid drumming full of tempo changes allow the band to develop the theme of the song, enhancing the compositional and performing technique with a duration of more than 9 minutes. The vocals with the classic YES imprinting interpret the lyrics with dynamism and alternate perfectly with the instrumental sections where guitar and keyboard take turns in the solo inserts. “Luminosity” is another long track, exceeding nine minutes, opening with guitar and orchestrations that give a pompous, classical feel to the sound. After an initial instrumental introductory part, a delicate vocal enters, and the song in the sung verses takes on a dreamy atmosphere, thanks also to the presence of the orchestrations. A band that even in tracks with more delicate sounds like this one manages to develop elaborate plots, full of high-level cues and ideas with intense lead guitar work in the second part that accompanies us to the finale. Energetic and engaging “Living Out Their Dream” features a solid rhythm section that gives a more classic Rock feel to the sound. A very interesting mixture of classic Rock sounds with the band’s typical Prog traits, in a fine interweaving of genres and styles with the alternation of intense vocal and instrumental parts with soloist inserts of the highest level. The title track “Mirror to the Sky,” which is also an epic over 13 minutes long, opens with a gritty rhythm section and hard guitar riffs. In the first part of the track, an instrumental section is developed with fine guitar work, continuous tempo changes and a Prog sound that combines tradition with a modern touch. Symphonic openings with the addition of orchestrations, evolving the central theme of the song with warm and expressive vocals and instrumental parts that confirm the band as one of the best in the world at developing epic tracks of long duration. Steve Howe‘s acoustic and electric guitars alternate in intense solo inserts and arpeggios, and in the second part after an orchestral section, intense guitar work concludes the track in a musical crescendo. The first CD ends with “Circles of Time,” a track with a dreamy atmosphere, characterised by intense vocals and acoustic guitar arpeggios. Sweet and delicate, it closes this first part of the album with a soft touch, softening the tone after the previous long suite. The second CD opens with “Unknown Place,” the longest of this second part, characterised by guitar arpeggios and a powerful, purcussive rhythm section. As the song and verses develop, the sound takes on a more Rock character, without losing the intensity and stylistic character of the band, with fine guitar work and forays into World Music and Prog. In the central instrumental section, the organ takes centre stage and offers outstanding solo cues, just as the rhythm section is enriched by continuous tempo changes, leaving room for a duet between guitar and keyboards. This second CD opens by showing the band’s more Progressive side, and this track proves it. The album’s shortest track “One Second Is Enough” opens with organ and guitar and a solid, linear rhythm section. A mixture of softer, more melodic prog, with some interesting passages and tempo changes, a smooth and catchy passage on the album. The album ends with “Magic Potion” with a line that immediately grips the listener, offering guitar inserts and keyboard work that take the sound to another level. The vocal parts remain imprinted in the mind, echoing in the mind even after listening and leaving us with the desire to listen and re-listen to this work many times in the future. A band that once again shows all their technique and quality in both composition and performance, offering another album full of ideas and a well-developed tracklist that keeps the listener very involved in the musical discourse. Tracks of long duration, with alternating sung parts and instrumental sections in a whirlwind of emotions that bring the atmospheres of the band’s classic period into a modern context. These artists manage to come up with a fresh and modern album, without losing their distinctive traits that have characterised their style over the years. A recommended listen for all lovers of prog sounds, inside which we can find everything we can expect from a YES album, the expectations have certainly been met, a band that has confirmed itself as one of the main ones on the world scene for over 50 years.



01. Cut From The Stars (05:27)
02. All Connected (09:02)
03. Luminosity (09:04)
04. Living Out Their Dream (04:45)
05. Mirror to the Sky (13:53)
06. Circles of Time (04:59)


01. Unknown Place (08:15)
02. One Second Is Enough (04:04)
03. Magic Potion (04:08)


Jon Davison / vocals
Steve Howe / Guitars, Vocals
Geoff Downes / Keyboards
Billy Sherwood / Bass, Vocals
Jay Schellen / Drums & Percussion

F.A.M.E. Orchestra / Orchestra
Paul K Joyce / Orchestrations

YES |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|YouTube Channel|

InsideOut Music |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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