You’ve probably already seen a diverse range of opinions concerning Yes’ brand new studio album, Fly From Here. As far as I can recall, Yes has always had a polarized fan base. But now without Jon Anderson in the band, the naysayers are out in full force. As for me, I’m still not totally convinced that Benoit David has the chops and/or talent to completely fill Anderson’s shoes BUT bringing in Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn to record the new album was a GENIUS move. I was pleasantly surprised by Fly From Here. It’s probably the strongest batch of songs I’ve heard from the band since 1994′s Talk.
First off, with Horn at the helm, the recording sounds impeccable. No complaints about the way it sounds. Another nice touch is the return of the “epic” twenty-minute track (although it’s more like a song suite). “Fly From Here” is well done but I have to say that the transition into “Bumpy Ride” is a bit odd.
Surprisingly, the standout track for me is “The man You Always Wanted Me to Be”. It’s not proggy at all and is more 70′s “yacht-rock” to tell you the truth. But the Chris Squire-led track features a great melodic hook that just won’t leave my brain! someone please help!
I like the direction the band took with this, dialing down the prog and focusing more on memorable melodies. The only track that I’ve found myself skipping is “Life On a Film Set”. For some reason, the song doesn’t do anything for me. But other than that, the album as a whole is very listenable and very enjoyable. It’s definitely worth checking out especially for those that enjoyed Drama, 90125, and Big Generator.