Fly From Here

1. Fly From Here - Overture
2. Fly From Here - Pt I - We Can Fly
3. Fly From Here - Pt II - Sad Night At The Airfield
4. Fly From Here - Pt III - Madman At The Screens
5. Fly From Here - Pt IV - Bumpy Ride
6. Fly From Here - Pt V - We Can Fly (reprise)
7. The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be
8. Life On A Film Set
9. Hour Of Need
10. Solitaire
11. Into The Storm

Benoît David – lead vocals
Chris Squire – bass guitar, vocals, lead vocals on "The Man You Always Wanted Me To Be"
Steve Howe – guitars, vocals
Alan White – drums
Geoff Downes – keyboards

Yes (1969)
Time and a Word (1970)
The Yes Album (1971)
Fragile (1971)
Close to the Edge (1972)
Tales from Topographic Oceans (1973)
Relayer (1974)
Going for the One (1977)
Tormato (1978)
Drama (1980)
90125 (1983)
Big Generator (1987)
Union (1991)
Talk (1994)
Keys to Ascension (studio & live) (1996)
Keys to Ascension 2 (studio & live) (1997)
Open Your Eyes (1997)
The Ladder (1999)
Magnification (2001)
Fly from Here (2011)

Oliver Wakeman - additional keyboards on 2,6,9
Luís Jardim - percussion
Gerard Johnson - piano on 7

Trevor Horn – producer, co-writer, backing vocals, additional keyboards
Mixed & engineered by Tim Weidner

Released 1/7-2011
Reviewed 9/6-2011


To understand Yes, you need to travel back to 1971 and 'The Yes Album', which ended up as this British bands first top ten chart positioned album. Followed by an even bigger success with the album called 'Fragile' from the same year an era in progressive rock music had begun. Formed in 1968, Yes had released two albums before their major success in 1971 and between that year and 1991 they released eleven albums with ten ending up as a top ten charted album in numerous countries (three of them at the very top). Despite success has been less since then, they have always created a lot of interest and sold out big arenas wherever they go. This is their 20th studio album from the Brits that has won grammys, been awarded with platinum status and sold more than 33 million albums. But with the latest album being released more than ten years ago and two new faces in the band - what can we expect from this album is written in the stars...

At least for a while.

Perhaps it's no big surprise that what we're greeted by as we turn on the first songs of the album is progressive rock. 'Fly From Here' begins with the almost 24 minutes long title track, that has been divided into five chapters and an intro, which takes the first six tracks of the album in control. The song has brilliant solo guitars in high pitched tones and plays by in a kind of relaxed tempo. This is more or less how we've got to know this band, so no big surprise there perhaps - why change a winning concept? Well, the last albums has been a bit more out of it and experimental so it was absolutely no certainty that this album would sound like this. But here they are, back to good old ways, the way they sounded when they were at their best. Even the cover artist who painted their classic album covers has been rehired and this whole album is a cavalcade of Yes doing what Yes do best - playing weird rock music good!

With the new vocalist arriving directly from a Canadian cover band (yes, a Yes cover band - what else?) I couldn't even tell they had changed vocalist until I read in the album info that Jon Anderson had left. Sure, you might say that there aren't too much vocals to sing on a Yes album anyway, since the music mostly consist of strange guitar lines and keyboard solos. But that's a quite unfair generalisation considering what a great vocalist Jon Anderson is and his replacement in Benoit David as well. Just listen to the first half of this album and you'll realise which skills this guy possess. Unfortunately the album has been mixed a bit strange and on the first part of this album the vocals are quite high compared to the music while the other half it's very low compared to the music and the vocals drowns a bit within the guitar lines and melodies.

In my world, Yes will always be a part of a holy quartet along with Boston, Rush and ELO - the grand masters of progressive rock music. Since I was borne I've grown up with this kind of music in my parents record collection and voluntarily or involuntarily I've heard them a lot, despite never really actively playing them. It may have been a while since I played them on repeat but as far as I can tell this is not only one of the best albums by Yes but from any of these bands. The defiencies are mostly characterised by the somewhat irresolute vocal mixing but otherwise I can't find as much as a melody line that's false. Not to mention a vocal line or instrumental one. It's clearly an album that sounds just as good as anything that not only this band has ever done, but as this genre as a whole can offer.


Then I start to think. Isn't it a bit too perfect? Isn't it missing some degrees of character? Isn't there a shortage of something screaming "LOOK AT ME!"? A song that stand out from the rest? Some hit-feel? Well, yes. It does. But do we really need that from a progressive rock band? That's the big question. But at the same time I can't help consider songs like Fly By Night (Rush), More Than A Feeling (Boston) and Living Thing (ELO). Then I consider Yes. What were their big hit-songs? If any? That would be Owner of a Lonely Heart, perhaps, but otherwise they haven't kept them coming. What I'm trying to say is - the songs on this album are good, do they really have to be hit-songs as well? And do we really need a swarm of fast and narcissistic songs? Once again, the songs are good! They are great!

Yes is a classic band with more than 40 years of history as album releasing band to look back on. They have released 19 albums before this. And as far as I can tell, they have probably never been better! This is an album I can guarantee that you will like if you are anything in to progressive rock music. Yes? Yes, please!


Label - Frontiers
Three similar bands - Boston/Elo/Rush
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm