Monday, September 19, 2011

Yes' Fly from Here is good stuff but restrained by misses on the production side

Got Yes' 20th studio album FLY FROM HERE from Amazon the other day and I totally love it. You can hear the influence of Asia on the album which sounds rather funny since keyboardist Geoff Downes and guitarist Steve Howe play for both bands. I can totally listen to the album from beginning to end (perhaps save for "Fly from here Part V Bumpy Ride") but I think that producer Trevor Horn could have added a little more punch and power to the production. For example in Part 1 of "Fly from here" when new singer Benoit David (who does a swell job of replacing Jon Anderson) sings "lingering... lingering..." there's a magnificent opportunity for Howe's guitar to do more but instead it flickers in and out. The band sounds restrained but you can appreciate the solid musicianship. "Fly from Here" is a five-part song that clocks in just under 25 minutes  but you can listen to them separately and still enjoy them. "Into the Storm" was a perfect way to end the album. It's a good album. Not great because of what I feel are production misses. Nevertheless, I am just glad to see Yes back in harness.

I wonder what this album would have sounded like had someone like David Bottrill produce it.