[Review] Yes – Th Quest

We are facing a band and artists who have made music history in the last 50 and beyond, and what we are about to review is the twenty-first studio album. The music since the 70s has changed, the band’s lineup has changed, so I like to listen and talk about works like this without comparing it to the past. Titled “The Quest” it was released on October 01, 2021 via InsideOut Music/Sony and consists of 2 CDs, the first with 8 tracks, the second with 3 bonus pieces. The album opens with “The Ice Bridge” with a pompous synth that introduces us to listening and intertwines with Howe’s guitar, with textures enriched by tempo changes. The bass lines are load-bearing and the drumming solid, while the vocals are in the classic Yes style. An introductory piece with impact, which manages to bring the characteristic sound of the band to the present day, with a modern touch and their technical mastery. The instrumental section is embellished with an intertwining of solos between guitar and keyboard, showing a state of excellent form and high level ideas. The following track “Dare to Know” starts with the guitar in evidence and an organ background, and then enriches with tempo changes and with the entry of orchestrations. Softer than the previous one but with more classical passages, with a vocal at times choral and passionate. The guitar inserts are valuable and are an added value for the sound, showing how an intense but delicate track can be created. The third track “Minus the Man” continues the musical discourse of the previous one, where the orchestrations and the guitar create the central body of the piece. The bass lines are deep and the drumming elaborated to the right point, while the vocal has the classic Yes trademark recalling the voice of Anderson. More accessible than the previous two, with the guitar in the center of the instrumental section with solo inserts, while less space is given here to the keyboards. “Leave Well Alone” is more upbeat and engaging, with good interplay of acoustic guitar with electric and keyboards, while the rhythm session is solid and energetic. Between tempo changes and a supporting bass line, fine melodies and a dynamic and expressive vocal intertwine. A Prog track played by those who made the genre great and you can hear it at every step, making us take a journey into the past for 8 minutes. An orchestral background opens “The Western Edge” to which is added the vocal that returns to the classic tones of Yes. The track develops more rhythmic and energetic passages that alternate with symphonic openings with technique and quality. Another very intense passage full of positive melodies and a valuable and refined sound. “Future Memories” is characterized by a long melancholic intro with deep melodies, and then after a minute it begins to evolve while remaining on softer atmospheres. An excellent song, which shows a more delicate side of the band’s sound, while still managing to be full of pathos. An interweaving of acoustic guitar and piano opens “Music to My Ears” a track halfway from the Prog and the softer sounds, with some more elaborate phrasing and others more linear. The chorus is engaging and remains in the mind, with the choral parts that are enveloping. A good track, well composed and performed, which remains on the softer sounds of the band. The album ends with “A Living Island” which remains on softer sounds and a more modern touch. The compositional and executive technique is not lacking, and the piece flows pleasantly throughout its duration, with a more linear structure. A good song, even if I expected a greater dose of Prog in the finale. A good album, which has the most incisive part in the first tracks and in “Leave Well Alone,” while the others are well made but softer songs. Valuable guitar inserts and at times good keyboard textures, the rhythm session is solid with load-bearing bass lines, while the vocals are dynamic and intense. Overall it is a good listening, with some passages of a more Prog matrix and others more delicate, always with refined sounds and high-level ideas.


CD 1
1. The Ice Bridge (7:03) :
a. Eyes East
b. Race Against Time
c. Interaction
2. Dare to Know (5:58) :
a. New Journey
b. Sympathy of Sound
c. The Lost Cord
3. Minus the Man (5:35)
4. Leave Well Alone (8:08) :
a. Across the Border
b. Not for Nothing
c. Wheels
5. The Western Edge (4:25)
6. Future Memories (5:10)
7. Music to My Ears (4:41)
8. A Living Island (6:51) :
a. Brave the Storm
b. Wake Up
c. We Will Remember

CD 2
1. Sister Sleeping Soul (4:50)
2. Mystery Tour (3:35)
3. Damaged World (5:19)


Jon Davison / Vocals
Steve Howe / Guitars, Producer
Geoff Downes / Keyboards, Hammond
Billy Sherwood / Bass
Alan White / Drums

Jay Schellen / Additional Percussion

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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