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Rating and Ranking the Circa/Arc of Life albums

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    Rating and Ranking the Circa/Arc of Life albums

    Now, I picked up all these albums over the past year, so they're all fresh to me. I'm curious to see what everyone thinks about them, personally I have a preference for Arc of Life over Circa.

    My Ranking:

    Don't Look Down- 7/10
    Circa: 2007- 7/10
    Arc of Life- 6/10
    Valley of the Windmill- 6/10
    Overflow (EP)- 6/10
    Circa HQ- 5/10
    And So On- 4/10
    The Definitive YES Albums

    -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
    -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
    -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

    #2
    Circa: 2007 7.5/10
    Valley of the Windmill 7/10
    Circa HQ 6/10
    And So On 4/10
    Overflow 4/10
    ​​​​​Don't Look Down 2/10
    Arc of Life 2/10

    Comment


      #3
      I like Billy Sherwood stuff, here's my ranking:

      for Circa:

      1) Circa: 2007/Valley Of The Windmill - these share top spot, I like them equally. Empire Over and Together We Are are fine songs
      2) Overflow - an EP or a really short album? I like i more than some regular Circa albums. Great for the average attention span.
      3) Circa HQ - decent enough
      4) Live Here There And Everywhere - Billy switches to guitar on this. I think I like Circa better with him as bassist, but live renditions of HQ and And So On tracks lessen the sterility of their studio versions.
      5) And So On - kinda more of a Billy Sherwood solo album under the Circa moniker. True Progress is a pretty good track.

      as for Arc Of Life, I like these but it may be too soon to rank the first album against the new one. I think I like the shorter tracks on these more than the proggy ones so far. We'll see. I like Arc Of Life, but if I were to be critical about them, I would want more Davison vocals and less of a Sherwood production style to give them more of an identity away from Circa/Prog Collective or Billy's solo albums.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post
        I like Arc Of Life, but if I were to be critical about them, I would want more Davison vocals and less of a Sherwood production style to give them more of an identity away from Circa/Prog Collective or Billy's solo albums.
        During some of the promotion for the first Arc of Life album, it was suggested that one of the signature things about the new band was that it would showcase the vocal harmonies and interplay of Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood as a duo in much the same way as the Beatles did for John Lennon and Paul McCartney or that some eras of Yes did for Jon Anderson and Chris Squire.

        Now, one might suggest that Jon Davison and Billy Sherwood get to do a lot of vocals and harmonies togther with Yes, but that actually wasn't the case on Yes' lone studio album to date with both of them present. A lot of The Quest is just Davison, or Davison and Steve Howe. It isn't until track five, "The Western Edge" that we really get a Davison/Sherwood vocal pairing.

        Similarly, the Prog Collective offers maybe a glimpse at what the pairing might sound like, but only for at most one track per album, and on some albums, none. There is also just the one track on Sherwood's Citizen.

        So, Arc of Life kind of gives us that fix, which is good in my view. I feel like I spent a lot of years loving the sound of Davison and Sherwood together and thinking there was a special greater than the sum of it's parts magic there that we'd hear on the next generation of Yes albums, but Yes at least initially has gone in another direction, which means Arc of Life has been the main place I've actually gotten to hear these guys together on new studio songs.

        I think a more Davison centered group could also sound good, but I wonder if that isn't basically Yes. Juano is the clearcut lead singer on both Heaven and Earth and The Quest and seems to be getting more and more emphasis in the mix in live settings and on the live albums as time passes. I hear a definite trend where Yes emphasizes Davison singing and then Howe's lead guitar more than they used to relative to the rhythm section and the keyboards.
        "A lot of the heavier conversations I was having with Chris toward the end were about his desire for this thing to go forward. He kept reiterating that to me. [...] He kept telling me, 'No matter what happens, Yes needs to continue moving forward and make great music. So promise me that that's something you want to do.'. And I have to keep making music. It's just what I do. [...] I'm a fan of the band and I want to see it thrive and that means new music." -Billy Sherwood

        Comment


          #5
          That was one of my few quips with The Quest as well, the lack of Davison/Sherwood vocal pairings. Sherwood is supposed to be the new Chris, second in command with the vocals, the harmony department, but he appears underutilized, which is a shame. But maybe there are more balanced offerings on the upcoming new Yes album, whenever that is. The Western Edge is one of my favorite tracks from The Quest.

          I listened to Don't Look Down last night and I have more of an ear for the album. They (the vocals) blend well on the title track. Bring on a Davison solo album as well, I would sorta like that.

          Comment


            #6
            don't look down is a pretty damn good album in my opinion, very enjoyable! In the grand scheme of things it looks promising for Yes also if we get the three guys in Arc of Life contributing even more to the main band.
            The Definitive YES Albums

            -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
            -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
            -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by soundchaser09 View Post
              don't look down is a pretty damn good album in my opinion, very enjoyable! In the grand scheme of things it looks promising for Yes also if we get the three guys in Arc of Life contributing even more to the main band.
              Sigh....I wish I would hear, what you hear, but unfortunately all I hear is bland, blander, blandest.....

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Mr. Holland View Post

                Sigh....I wish I would hear, what you hear, but unfortunately all I hear is bland, blander, blandest.....
                Thats fine, we all have our own tastes. As far as Billy-led projects go to my ears I think this is one of the best outside of Yes for quite some time, maybe since Conspiracy.
                The Definitive YES Albums

                -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
                -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
                -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

                Comment


                  #9
                  Circa: 2007
                  Valley of the Windmill
                  - gap -
                  Circa HQ
                  - gap -
                  Don't Look Down
                  Arc of Life

                  Basically, the same as Arno! I don't think I've heard Overflow or And So On.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by bondegezou View Post
                    Circa: 2007
                    Valley of the Windmill
                    - gap -
                    Circa HQ
                    - gap -
                    Don't Look Down
                    Arc of Life

                    Basically, the same as Arno! I don't think I've heard Overflow or And So On.
                    Maybe my memory is wrong, but I swear I remember you giving And So On a less than glowing review when it came out and Billy Sherwood having a tantrum over it, accusing you of going into the “gutter” and that sort of thing.

                    “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I like CIRCA: 2007 and HQ quite a bit followed by Overflow. I swear it seems like Sherwood lost his mojo when he tried to launch that YOSO band by basically adding Bobby Kimball to CIRCA: and he’s never quite gotten it back since. Before that it felt like he was possibly on his way to obtaining poor man’s Steven Wilson or at least poor man’s Neal Morse status. YOSO killed that. And So On is tepid at best. There is some OK stuff on Valley of the Windmill. Meanwhile Arc Of Life is more like Arc Of Yuck to my ears.
                      Last edited by Frumious B; 12-28-2022, 10:23 AM.
                      “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Frumious B View Post
                        Maybe my memory is wrong, but I swear I remember you giving And So On a less than glowing review when it came out and Billy Sherwood having a tantrum over it, accusing you of going into the “gutter” and that sort of thing.
                        There was some album review that Sherwood got pissed off about, but I can't remember what it was. Maybe I have heard And So On and have just forgotten it, which is probably more damning!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Another tidbit about And So On is that Johnny Bruhns and Ronnie Ciago are pictured in the packaging and credited with guitar and drums. However, Sherwood later admitted that he played most of the guitar and drums himself.
                          “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth

                          Comment


                            #14
                            And so on is forgettable, I think we can all agree there- though i do still like cast away.
                            The Definitive YES Albums

                            -The Yes Album-Fragile-Close to the Edge-Tales From Topographic Oceans-
                            -Relayer-Going for the One-Drama-90125-Big Generator-Union-Talk-
                            -The Ladder-Magnification-Fly From Here-The Quest-

                            Comment

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