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Pill Review: Time And A Word (Yes, 1969) 24 October 2007

Posted by Basilios in In Pills, Music Reviews, Yes.
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A few months after Yes released its self-titled first album, they released their second, and it was something completely different. Peter Banks’ guitar, so prominent in the older album, remains unnoticed in the background, barely audible, and smothered by layers of orchestration. And was that a bad thing? (more…)

Pill Review: Yes (Yes, 1969) 15 October 2007

Posted by Basilios in In Pills, Music Reviews, Yes.
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This is the first album Yes released, and it sounds completely and absolutely different from any of its successors. None, not even the following one, sounded like this one. As for how this one sounds – in a word, poppy. In three words, poppy, jazzy and hippy. Well, sorta. What we have here, two covers and six original composition, is characterized by long jazzy instrumental workouts – they’re not jams, but more structured and focused than the random, aimless jams of contemporary groups – and by the high pitched voice of lead singer and main songwriter Jon Anderson.

Either of these can be turnoffs for many, and the combination of the two could be unlikeable for some; not for me, though, because I just plain like both: the way they play, with the prominent bass of Chris Squire and the fuzzy guitar of Peter Banks, and Jon Anderson’s voice, which is not memorable in this record, but pleasant and original, without sounding like fake falsetto or like forced screeching. The group will abandon this particular, guitar-heavy musical direction immediately after this album, so it’s something not to be experienced elsewhere.

Bad points: the song Looking Around, very nice on the old ears, but just a tad silly; the song Harold Land, not a bad listen, and interesting lyrics about the emotional damage of a man drafted to fight in a war, but the music doesn’t match at all the mood of the lyrics.

Good points: most of the rest, really, but I really like the opening Beyond and Before and the cover of the Beatles’ Every Little Thing. I also like the closing Survival, with its odd Darwinian lyrics.

In conclusion, a very pleasant, listenable album that doesn’t cover much new ground but has lots of musical skills on display.

Final Rating: 26/30

Reggatta De Blanc (The Police, 1979) 16 August 2007

Posted by Basilios in The Police.
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Reggatta De Blanc was the second album The Police released. In a way, it’s quite similar to the previous one (reviewed here), sticking as it does to the same formula: a collection of well played pop songs, some of them with slight infusions of reggae elements. But this is not just Outlandos D’Amour vol 2: the band has really gelled together, playing much more tightly, and there are fewer reggae influences, fewer love songs, and more pop. In fact, Sting here takes his first step towards the poppy, smooth and occasionally boring style he’d adopt in his solo career. (more…)

Da Capo (Love, 1967) 1 July 2007

Posted by Basilios in Love.
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Da Capo was the second album released by American band Love. Like virtually all other Love albums, this was another flop; but unlike them, one of the songs here, Seven And Seven Is, became a minor hit, peaking at the 33th position. This success, albeit limited, gave the group enough oxygen to continue its career, which would reach its qualitative peak with Forever Changes, the successor to this album, and one that, despite having no hit singles and no relevant sales to speak of, is more critically appreciated today. (more…)