Yes exist for more than 50 years and have significantly influenced the world of progressive rock music through countless albums. Following the release of ‘Heaven & Earth’ in 2014, it took a while until the prog rock veterans returned with another studio album. ‘The Quest’ was released in 2021, and the fact that the next album, ‘Mirror to the Sky’, hits the stores these days is astonishing and shows the creative boost from which the band benefits.
Yes are a band that always reinvented themselves without compromising their signature sound. Whether it’s the prog rock epics or the foray into pop realms with ‘Owner of a Lonely Heart’, you could immediately hear that this was and is Yes. ‘Mirror to the Sky’ represents no change in that regard, especially when you consider songs like the loosely swinging ‘Living Out Their Dream’. Clocking in at four minutes, the tune is one of the shorter tracks on the album, though playing time is not a decisive factor. It all sounds like it came from the same mold.
The origin of ‘Mirror to the Sky’ can be found in the band’s work on ‘The Quest’ album. When the previous album was finished, the band still sat with a larger amount of ideas and song sketches, which demanded further elaboration. Even before ‘The Quest’ was released, and with the support of Inside Out Music boss Thomas Waber, the band started working on it. The result was an album that grew out of a very natural and intuitive flow, and you can hear that ease throughout ‘Mirror dead the Sky’. This doesn’t mean that Yes abandon their elaborate melodies and iconic vocal lines. Songs like the title track are masterpieces in which the band combines many different layers and twists. At the same time, the songs are easily accessible through harmonies and melodies, and it’s the little things that keep giving the listener constantly new moments of excitement.
I already mentioned the 13-minute title track, and it’s also the quieter moments like on ‘Circles of Time’ that bring out the epic approach of the tracks on the new album. Based on Davison’s angelic voice and Howe’s acoustic guitar, the song is a soul-soother in troubled times.
The sound of the acoustic guitar continues on ‘Unknown Place’ before a thunderous beat reveals a new direction after a few seconds. Together with Sherwood’s bass, the song opens up new soundscapes that 100% reflect the band’s trademarks.
The laid-back ‘One Second is Enough’, on the other hand, immediately catches the ear and once again shows the band’s claim to combine complex songs with a serenity and lightness, which is also evident in the closing ‘Magic Potion’. It seems as if the band discovered their magic potion a long time ago, which drives Yes to ever new heights to date.
‘Mirror to the Sky’ is an epic album where Steve Howe shows again that he is a gifted producer. As on ‘The Quest’, the new album comes with an excellent sound. Nothing is left to chance here and at the same time the record has a sense of lightness that can only be matched by bands that have nothing left to prove to themselves or others. The five prog rock architects follow their heart and that is what is the special ingredient for ‘Mirror to the Sky’.
- Cut From the Stars
- All Connected
- Living Out Their Dream
- Mirror to the Sky
- Circles of Time
- Unknown Place
- One Second Is Enough
- Magic Potion
Label: Inside Out Music
Genre: Prog Rock
Release Date EU: May 19th, 2023
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