Ever since the Romanian band Yesterdays played at the annual Progfarm Festival in 2006, I became friends with their guitarist Ákos Bogáti-Bokor. That same year they also released their debut album Holdfénykert, which means 'moonlit garden'. This album contained music strongly inspired by the music of Yes. However, sometimes influences of Quidam or Pink Floyd were noticeable as well. Two years later Musea Records released a better version of this album. A follow-up had been in the pipeline for a number of years, but in 2010 the musicians − who belong to the Hungarian minority of Western Romania - returned to The Netherlands to perform a live gig at the Starsound Studios in Utrecht (see review). They told me that they would bring along their second album. Due to complications they unfortunately had to postpone the release of their new album, but that finally happened a year after the second Dutch gig.
Was it worthwhile waiting so long for this second release? Well, most certainly it was, because the tracks on Colours Caffé contain only strong pieces of music, which wasn't always the case on their first effort. This album has been rooted much stronger in progressive rock music! Yesterdays now consist of Ákos Bogáti-Bokor (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Domokos Csergő (drums), Zsolt Enyedi (keyboards), Linda Horváth (lead vocals), Gábor Kecskeméti (flute) and Zoltán Kolumbán (bass guitar). These six musicians, who were all present during their last visit to The Netherlands, really achieved something special.
They once again created an album influenced by progressive rock bands of the seventies like Jethro Tull, Genesis, King Crimson, Renaissance and Yes. These bands had their heydays in that decade and their music revives on Colours Caffé. At the same time I also noticed influences from fusion acts as Pat Metheny. This blend of seventies prog and fusion works very well and are worthwhile listening to.
Especially the magnificent keyboard and guitar parts lift this album to a high quality level. The electric guitar and synthesizer solos are performed very well and are enjoyable to listen to. That also applies to the voice of Linda Horváth. However, she has a bit of an accent and she sometimes just sings too gentle. I sometimes miss the aggressive parts in the vocal lines, but that's the only criticism I have concerning the music made by Yesterdays. Don't stop your CD-player after the last track Zápor, otherwise you'll miss the hidden track that starts after a couple of minutes of silence! A beautiful ballad ends this album very peacefully! Colours Caffé is highly recommended to people who enjoy the music of all the aforementioned bands. Hopefully we don't have to wait another five years for their third album.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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