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Are they taking more time on the 2023 album? Will this make a difference?

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    Are they taking more time on the 2023 album? Will this make a difference?

    I understand that in April, recording was already well underway. In my opinion Heaven and Earth was their second-worst, and The Quest was only a tad better. (My personal top ten spans 1969 to 2011, so it’s not a simple case of me hating new stuff or being a “no-Jon-no-Yes” person.) Anyway, I’m not really asking for predictions about the next album, nor for a debate about how good or bad their recent material has been, but for opinions as to whether there’s any evidence that this one could be substantially better (or worse) than its immediate predecessors. Thanks!

    #2
    I'm not sure about any evidence available to suggest that the 2023 Yes album (if it indeed comes out this year) will be better or worse than The Quest, but guess-timation has me thinking it may be better/more variety/more bolder, or 'proggier', or more 'involved' or thought out. The Quest is the first album without Chris, done up often remotely during the pandemic, and the first one since 2014. You could look at The Quest as Yes finding their studio feet again. They may be back in the zone again. And making an album sooner this time may have better results. Now that they, presumedly, have worked the bugs out, the next album should be different. Doing the same album twice may not be in the cards, as some fan reaction to The Quest may have been an indicator to the band on where to go or not go next. Even if they do a similar album, the new album may be a case of expanding on what worked with The Quest and tightening up its strengths. Steve Howe seems to prefer not blurting out info about a project until its closer to completion. Not a lot is known about the Quest follow-up at this time, they could be beavering away at it right now or have been beavering away at it in between touring. Sometimes in creative mode, an artist or band may have a productive spurt and not come up for air for a while. This may mean a more focused album?

    That's my guess. I know you weren't asking for predictions about the new album but I didn't know how else to answer the question. I think it's kind of logical in a way that the next one is better than The Quest in the way that The Ladder was better than OYE. Each album should be a reaction to the one before it.

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      #3
      It may be nothing more than wishful thinking on my part, but, yes, the idea of building on the strengths of The Quest seems at least possible. One improvement would be to economize in terms of when you’ve got enough material for a 3 minute song, to keep it at 3 minutes and not stretch it out to 4 or 5. That ‘s what they did on virtually every song on The Quest. I “had to” edit the hell out of it to make it snappy. (And I honestly don’t think that anyone who is not too familiar with the official release
      would consider my edited songs as too dense!)

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        #4
        With the same group of people writing and a similar methodology with Howe producing I would expect a similar result.
        “Well ain’t life grand when you finally hit it?”-David Lee Roth

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          #5
          Well speaking as someone who really enjoyed the Quest for what it was, (a high 7 or low 8 out of 10), I look forward to any information we get about the next album. I'm trying not to expect anything in particular, but I cannot imagine it will be different stylistically from the Quest. I personally hope that there is an even more collaborative approach for the songwriting, and more incorporation of Sherwood's vocals in the harmonies.

          I hope they take the time necessary to release something that is at least as good as its predecessor, I would love for it to be an improvement of course! I'm thankful they're still out there performing and making new music, as long as they continue to develop new ideas and promote them then I will be happy, I can only hope that the Quest and this new album will be promoted pretty well in future tours.
          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-

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            #6
            "the idea of building on the strengths of The Quest"? What were they then?
            Some progrock explorations, extended compositions, uptempo songs and guitars would be good.

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              #7
              Some imagination, dynamics and inspiration would be key. if none of that is available, then why bother.

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                #8
                For a real good YES albums, you need two things = Good song ideas (ie the tunes) and fair amount of time spent on crazy arrangements. When was the last time we got all these ingredients ? The Ladder ? Magnification ? I think a new album already is too early for the band to have come up with good new song ideas so I guess this album is going to be based on material that wasn't finished forThe Quest -.I'm not saying recycling rejected song ideas - Maybe this time we will get fleshier and flashier arrangements, particularly if they are able to be in a studio together which wasn't possible in previous years...Another thing I hope is Billy Sherwood back vocals on Steve's and Jon's material instead of only his own material. Also I'm hoping for a heavier rhythm section and drumming thanks to Jay's presence but since there are rumours of the band using material with Alan White on drums, we might have to wait more for Jay being a fully featured drummer on a YES album...

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by madbear View Post
                  "the idea of building on the strengths of The Quest"? What were they then?
                  Some progrock explorations, extended compositions, uptempo songs and guitars would be good.
                  Well, relative to Heaven & Earth. I thought one of the few things most of us here agree on is that the production/sound of The Quest is a lot better than on H&E. But I also think that the quality of the songwriting is higher. Less trivial/bland and a little more interesting.

                  Now if that is a trend, and if that continues, the new album would bring them into Fly From Here territory, which would be fine with me. I wouldn’t dare ask for more.

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                    #10
                    I think the band are aware that to release something akin to the progressive Yacht Rock of H&E or The Quest might be detrimental to the band and might not reach some of their target audience. Now, I like both those albums, but the next one will need to be different or have a different angle. I'm sure they know it.

                    My main quip really with the Howe-led Yes is the underutilization of Sherwood. He is supposed to be the new Chris. Bring his backing vocals up and feature him more prominently. His harmonies should be on every song. Howe's backing vocals should be third in the mix, not second. Bring that bass up! Don't treat Sherwood like a red-headed stepchild of Yes. Don't let him produce though. Howe's production is decent enough. An outside producer maybe have been better, but no major issue with the sound of The Quest.

                    Not sure how much Alan White will appear on the next album, we're probably looking at a six-man lineup with Schellen handling whatever Alan doesn't. And even if Alan isn't supplying any of the heavier drum moments, there is always the possibility of a White songwriting credit or two. He has written and arranged wonderful stuff for the band.

                    Fly From Here territory is fine with me as well, that's a solid new millennium Yes album which is one I like very very much. I guess we'll see.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post
                      I think the band are aware that to release something akin to the progressive Yacht Rock of H&E or The Quest might be detrimental to the band and might not reach some of their target audience. Now, I like both those albums, but the next one will need to be different or have a different angle. I'm sure they know it.

                      My main quip really with the Howe-led Yes is the underutilization of Sherwood. He is supposed to be the new Chris. Bring his backing vocals up and feature him more prominently. His harmonies should be on every song. Howe's backing vocals should be third in the mix, not second. Bring that bass up! Don't treat Sherwood like a red-headed stepchild of Yes. Don't let him produce though. Howe's production is decent enough. An outside producer maybe have been better, but no major issue with the sound of The Quest.

                      Not sure how much Alan White will appear on the next album, we're probably looking at a six-man lineup with Schellen handling whatever Alan doesn't. And even if Alan isn't supplying any of the heavier drum moments, there is always the possibility of a White songwriting credit or two. He has written and arranged wonderful stuff for the band.

                      Fly From Here territory is fine with me as well, that's a solid new millennium Yes album which is one I like very very much. I guess we'll see.
                      Fly From Here territory in quality would be a dream come true! I love that one
                      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


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Sharp On Attack View Post
                        For a real good YES albums, you need two things = Good song ideas (ie the tunes) and fair amount of time spent on crazy arrangements.
                        This is exactly the issue.

                        I'm sure some of Jon A's ideas presented to the band only superficially resembled the finished masterpieces. Unless the band do a lot more than busk through the origional idea, it stands little chance of being comparable to what went before.

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                          #13
                          The Quest was a better sounding album and did have some moments- I thought Fly From Here was a really good if not exceptional Yes album- but the next releases didnt do very much form me at all- I'll listen to whatever they put out and make decision at that time-

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post
                            I think the band are aware that to release something akin to the progressive Yacht Rock of H&E or The Quest might be detrimental to the band and might not reach some of their target audience. Now, I like both those albums, but the next one will need to be different or have a different angle. I'm sure they know it.
                            Coming into The Quest, I thought it would be a significantly harder rocking album than Heaven & Earth for much the same reason. Certainly, the band was in touch enough with the fan base to understand what the criticisms of the 2014 album had been and move to address some of them.

                            In fact, they did address some of them. The Quest sounds fairly different from Heaven & Earth in many ways. It just doesn't sound more rock and roll.

                            That that's the element they didn't change would suggest to me that having a softer rock profile than in the past may be an important element to the person or persons who make those type of decisions for the band, or at least that the harder rocking material they may have worked up demos of wasn't stuff that they thought was promising enough overall to go froward with, whereas perhaps the lighter demos were.

                            The type of stuff the principals have been doing outside of Yes lately, while in some cases harder rocking than recent Yes albums, hasn't been very hard rocking in a more general sense either, with the exception of the song Jon Davison sang on from Glass Hammer's latest album, and maybe select Billy Sherwood involved songs on various projects.

                            You may be right that they will change course a bit on this next Yes album in that regard, though. Perhaps three albums in a row would be different to them than two albums in a row in terms of their perception of how many albums in a row they feel a softer rocking approach is appropriate.

                            All of these guys have been in mid-tempo and/or harder-than-recent-Yes rocking bands in the past at times, typically both writing and performing on them. Howe and Downes were in Asia. Sherwood was in The Key. White (Who was rumored to have done a lot of work on the album prior to his death) was in Yes for Drama, 90125, and Big Generator . Schellen was in Hurricane. I don't really know much, if any, of Davison's Sky Cries Mary stuff was loud, and if it wasn't, he might have the least experience in the group doing loud music, but I'm confident that he's capable.

                            Also, they pay harder rocking songs from the Yes back catalog on tour.

                            So, I think they are capable of doing something that rocks a little more, especially if they are willing to make use of one or more elements like session players, studio magic, and maybe even an outside writer here and there in the studio, but the question is- Do they want to?

                            At 77, this softer rock might be exactly the type of rock Steve wants to do.

                            If they have The Quest Mark II waiting in the release queue, I'll be happy to buy and listen to it. TQ was good. Adding some more rock would have made it, and probably would make future albums, better, but what they are doing is still very much worth my time and money.

                            My main quip really with the Howe-led Yes is the underutilization of Sherwood. He is supposed to be the new Chris. Bring his backing vocals up and feature him more prominently. His harmonies should be on every song. Howe's backing vocals should be third in the mix, not second. Bring that bass up!
                            Agreed!

                            Howe's production is decent enough. An outside producer maybe have been better, but no major issue with the sound of The Quest.
                            Yeah, I think they would do fine keeping production in house. The exception where an outside producer might be the way to go might be if they had a famous rock and roll and/or 80s guy still on the top of his game with those subgenres available to push them towards those sounds. If they are are going to (Or did) do something similar to the last one, Steve can handle the production, and we know Sherwood is an experienced producer who could also do it, or help with it. I recognize that part of the thing that allows them to keep making new albums could be the ability to continue to do them at lower costs than they did in the old days when higher costs could be offset by a lot of revenue. I respect that the band producing the record might need to happen to get me all the new albums I crave.
                            Last edited by downbyariver; 01-17-2023, 11:47 AM.
                            "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

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by The sage View Post
                              The Quest was a better sounding album and did have some moments- I thought Fly From Here was a really good if not exceptional Yes album- but the next releases didnt do very much form me at all- I'll listen to whatever they put out and make decision at that time-
                              My opinions exactly!

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