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Heaven & Earth

a Studio release

Release Year: 2014

Date Label Catalog # Comments
Label: Frontiers Records (Universal)
Release date: July 8, 2014
Added To Proggnosis Database on: 5/14/2014 12:00:00 AM
Entry Last Updated on: 5/14/2014 5:43:00 AM by: Oleg
  1. Believe Again
  2. The Game
  3. Step Beyond
  4. To Ascend
  5. In A World Of Our Own
  6. Light Of The Ages
  7. It Was All We Knew
  8. Subway Walls
Steve Howe
Electric Guitar, Acoustic & Steel Guitars, Backing Vocals

Chris Squire
Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals

Alan White
Drums, Percussion

Geoff Downes
Keyboards, Computer Programming

Jon Davison
Lead & Backing Vocals, Acoustic Guitar on tracks 1, 4 & 6

Reviewed by Marc on 27 Jul 2014

If you don't expect much from something you probably won't be disappointed by it. Can't say I was expecting much from this new Yes album... and I had read a couple of bad reviews of it. 

After a few spins I must admit that it's not all bad news. Heaven & Earth is a very listenable album. All the 8 tracks have nice melodies, even though (excepted for a couple of longer pieces) they are mostly on the sweet Prog/Pop ballad side of things. 

Since their great period (for me from The Yes Album (1971) to Going for the One (1977)), Yes has been uneaven with their outputs. Drama, 90215, Magnification and Fly From Here were all albums I enjoy a lot, while Union, Open Your Eyes and The Ladder were (in my opinion) duds. Even until recently, the band had managed to bounce back from a low point (often with a lineup change) and Heaven & Earth is certainly a good opportunity for a better next album...

Like I just wrote, Heaven & Earth has nice songs, but what hits me the most is how tired and <> these guys sound. Everything on this CD is slow and flat. In fact, listening to Heaven & Earth is almost like hearing demos of songs not yet completed. Ok, obviously, White, Howe and Squire can't play like they used to (and/or they are not willing to practice enough to do it). I do believe they are still (I hope) good enough musicians to produce interesting music. Because of that, I think that Heaven & Earth is an album that was recorded very quickly. In fact, on some instrumental sections, there is absolutely NOTHING going on. Surprisingly, this was not the case with their previous album Fly From Here (2011).

Finally, there is Jon Davison. He is, by far, the "replacement singer" that sounds the most like Jon Anderson (not only because of his name). Trevor Horn tried to imitate Anderson as best as he could, but had trouble reaching the high notes. What he did have, was energy and feeling that came out in his singing. David Benoit did not really sound like Anderson, but had a very nice sensitive voice. Davison pretty much sounds like Anderson, but no emotion comes through. He just sounds and feels like a copy.

Still, and I repeat myself, Heaven & Earth is a very listenable album, and I will sometimes put it in my CD player (most probably in the car). Sadly though, it's the first Yes album that makes me hope they will call it quits.

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