Yes - The Quest

(2CD 2021, 47:51/ 13:44, Inside Out Music)

The tracks:
CD 1
  1- The Ice Bridge(7:03)
         - a. Eyes East
         - b. Race Against Time
         - c. Interaction
  2- Dare To Know(5:58)
         - a. New Journey
         - b. Sympathy Of Sound
         - c. The Lost Cord
  3- Minus The Man(5:35)
  4- Leave Well Alone(8:08)
         - a. Across The Border
         - b. Not For Nothing
         - c. Wheels
  5- The Western Edge(4:25)
  6- Future Memories(5:10)
  7- Music To My Ears(4:41)
  8- A Living Island(6:51)
         - a. Brave The Storm
         - b. Wake Up
         - c. We Will Remember
CD 2
  1- Sister Sleeping Soul(4:50)
  2- Mystery Tour(3:35)
  3- Damaged World(5:19)

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I really was a die-hard Yes fan from 1969 up till 1978 (so from their debut till Tormato) and I still consider Close To The Edge and Tales From Topographic Oceans as two of the best prog rock albums ever!! However, unfortunately, the last Yes album I bought was Magnification (2001) and after that, sad but true, I “gave up” on my favourite prog rock band. So, maybe you do not want to read my review of this new “Yes” album, as I truly believe that Yes is not Yes without Jon, Chris, and Rick...

The Quest, after a seven-year hiatus, is the twenty-second studio album of Yes and after a couple of spins I am sorry to say that it is a rather mediocre album with too many medium tempo songs, no musical power, and no musical prog rock balls whatsoever; in other words, The Quest is a weary album without almost any musical bliss. The album starts with the best song of the album, as The Ice Bridge - a Davison/Monkman/Downes composition - really is a Yes song, melodic mid/up tempo with classical guitar licks and solos from Steve Howe. Other songs which feature glimpses of Yes are Dare To Know, with lots of orchestration, and Leave Well Alone (the longest track) with a nice rather long solo from Howe. Future Memories and Music To My Ears are both very mediocre and the first mentioned is even utterly boring, while Music To My Ears has a rather weak and cheesy chorus. Together with A Living Island I would label these three last tracks of CD 1 as sluggish and due to the low tempo they seem to tug on forever....CD 2 only features three songs, but for me that is more than enough as these ones are almost superfluous; just check out Mystery Tour - an ode to The Beatles? - and Damaged World, an uninteresting, uninspired Howe composition and that one also features vocals of Steve Howe.

All in all, as I said before The Quest is a mediocre album, in other words, if you are a Yes fan you will probably NOT like it. Of course, Steve Howe plays some nice guitar solos and Billy Sherwood does a fine job on bass guitar, but it is NOT enough.... The cover, of course designed by good old Roger Dean, is beautiful, but that is not a good reason to buy this album.

**+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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