Heaven & Earth Frontiers Records
This all-new album from Yes is the first to include vocalist Jon Davison (who has had a hand in the writing as well) and it provides a good cross-section of classy material and ideas. Initially, the standout tracks include To Ascend, Light Of The Ages and Subway Walls which takes us through a musical journey like earlier Yes material. On the downside, as expertly executed as it all is, the Roy Thomas Baker production is definitely American and consequently sounds a little safe. Howe’s guitar work seems a little cautious, too, and Squire’s bass only starts getting raunchy on the final track; however, there is a hidden depth here that is only fully revealed on subsequent plays, so in that respect, it’s more like prog albums of the past. Davison’s vocals are uncannily like Jon Anderson’s at times, but his own style also emerges and his delivery is excellent throughout. Geoff Downes sounds more like Wakeman than ever on some tracks. This is a fine album that improves as you listen, thus making it a comfortable addition to the vast catalogue of Yes material. But it does lack danger.