Ladder [Enhanced]

The Ladder [Enhanced]

by Yes
     
 

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Whenever a new Yes album comes out, music critics all over the world get ready to tear apart those bombastic Yesmen for daring to continue to release new music. The band's detractors may find themselves somewhat mollified by this new release, Yes's most enjoyable since the 1983 hit 90125. Yes seem at last to have absorbed the lessons of that

Overview

Whenever a new Yes album comes out, music critics all over the world get ready to tear apart those bombastic Yesmen for daring to continue to release new music. The band's detractors may find themselves somewhat mollified by this new release, Yes's most enjoyable since the 1983 hit 90125. Yes seem at last to have absorbed the lessons of that album -- the cluttered, busy, everyone-solo-at-once arrangements of TORMATO are gone in favor of more transparent structures with strong hooks, such as "The Messenger." These songs still allow everyone to show off their blazing chops in typical Yes fashion, but the instruments don't get in each other's way. Even the latest epics, "Homeworld" (which ties into a demo of a new video game of the same name on this enhanced CD) and "New Language" (which finds guitarist Steve Howe in particularly fine form) are complex, extended pieces without being overloaded or incomprehensible. Tuneful, memorable melodies abound, and there are even some experiments such as the techno-ish "Face to Face" and "Lightning Strikes," which has a Latin beat (with a Yes twist).

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bret Adams
You'd probably need a mainframe computer to keep track of all the personnel changes in Yes over the years, and the quality of the prog rock giant's music has fluctuated nearly as much as the lineups. The Ladder is a synthesis of the best traits of the experimental Fragile era and the pop-oriented 90125 era. Producer Bruce Fairbairn completed The Ladder shortly before his death in 1999, and unlike some of his work with Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Kiss, and others, he didn't overproduce it. Vocalist Jon Anderson, lead guitarist Steve Howe, and bass guitarist Chris Squire all have fine moments, and drummer Alan White is consistent. The roles of keyboardist Igor Khoroshev and, in particular, guitarist Billy Sherwood are less clear. It occasionally seems the purpose of Khoroshev's keyboards is providing a variety of sonic textures instead of functioning as a lead instrument. Sherwood's second guitar tends to flesh out the sound. "Homeworld (The Ladder)" is a tight band performance, but the supple vocals/acoustic guitar/piano coda is the best part. Howe's bouncy acoustic guitar drives "Lightning Strikes," yet the biggest surprise is the addition of a horn section. The energetic "Face to Face" is the strongest track, and Squire lets loose with a sputtering bassline. "If Only You Knew" is a sweet, straightforward love song Anderson wrote for his wife. "The Messenger" has a smooth, funky feel -- a remarkable feat considering prog rock is usually considered the "whitest" rock genre. "New Language" is the best long song on The Ladder, thanks to a clever arrangement giving all six members an opportunity to demonstrate their talents.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/16/2004
Label:
Eagle Records
UPC:
0826992006321
catalogNumber:
20063

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Yes   Primary Artist
Jon Anderson   Vocals
Steve Howe   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar,Vocals
Chris Squire   Bass Guitar,Vocals
Alan White   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Rhys Fulber   Dancer
Tom Keenlyside   Piccolo,Tenor Saxophone
Billy Sherwood   Guitar,Vocals
Tom Colclough   Alto Saxophone
Igor Khoroshev   Keyboards,Vocals
Rod Murray   Trombone
Neil Nicholson   Tuba
Derry Burns   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Jon Anderson   Composer
Steve Howe   Composer
Chris Squire   Composer
Alan White   Composer
Bruce Fairbairn   Producer,Artwork,Audio Production
Billy Sherwood   Composer
Mike Plotnikoff   Engineer
Igor Khoroshev   Composer
Steve Hennessy   Artwork,Guitar Techician
Paul Silveira   Engineer
Chris Crippen   Drum Technician

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