Sound — 8
The sound of this album is more akin to Relayer than to Fragile or Close to the Edge, but still maintains differences. After 1974's Relayer, Yes decided to take a few years off for solo work, some of which ended up on this album: which in no way demeans it's value. Rick Wakeman was back with his trusty Moog and a variety of other keyboard instruments. The sound is not the best, as it gives the feeling of being a little dry, but all in all, nothing to complain about.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics are in typical Yes fashion, with Jon Anderson penning most of them. 01. Going For The One - Steve Howe uses a slide guitar in this song, and is the most off beat song on the album. 02. Turn Of The Century - a more gentle, introspective song. Anderson once again shows off his penchant for oblique lyrics. An eloquent vocal performance. 03. Parallels - written entirely by bassist Chris Squire. Most likely a leftover from his solo album Fish out of Water. This is by far the best song on the album, and one of the best songs is Yes' diverse catalogue. It contains some of Squire's best bass work, a constant flurry of groove. Rick Wakeman for most of the song plays several chords on a church organ, and Steve Howe generally fills in the gaps with some of his most impressive work. 04. Wonderous Stories - written by Anderson on a mandolin, another high point for the album. Magniloquent vocal harmonies. 05. Awaken - by far the longest song, over 15 minutes. Reminiscent of Relayer's To Be Over. Sombre and flowing.
Overall Impression — 10
Top 5 Yes album material. Parallels easily stands out as the supreme song of the album, with Turn of the Century and Wonderous Stories close behind. The album is slightly more mainstream than any other previous albums, which means that Yes left some of their creativity out. If it were lost/stolen I would replace it immediately. This album is in no way inferior to any other album, as it is too different to be properly compared. Completely worth it.