Canadian singer Benoît David has to be loving life. Not only is he a killer singer, but he’s Jon Anderson’s replacement in Yes. The former frontman from a Montreal Yes cover band was awarded the coveted gig in 2008. That job has now resulted in Fly From Here, the first Yes studio album since 2001.
There’s a creepy resemblance to Anderson’s vocals on the album and for the most part the music is vintage Yes and takes on an epic feel similar to Fragile or even Close To The Edge. The album takes its name from its main track, "Fly from Here", a 25-minute song split up into six parts. The basis of the song was a demo originally recorded by Downes and Trevor Horn of The Buggles before joining Yes in 1980. After Yes disbanded in 1981, Horn and Downes recorded a second demo, and both recordings became the foundation of the tracks We Can Fly and Sad Night at the Airfield.
Life On A Film Set has a Pink Floyd “The Wall” feel to it, while We Can Fly is an outstanding showcase of David’s voice. Although there is nothing commercial on the album (ie. No hit singles), that’s the best part of the Yes catalog.
The entire Fly From Here epic is an essential Yes piece and might have justified its own album release in the 70s had it been written back then. Fly From Here is the band’s 11th epic-length piece and their first in 15 years, so it’s worthy of noting and most definitely, worthy of the attention.
To some, Fly From Here might sound a bit dated and non-progressive, but it’s also a return to what makes the band unique and charming in the first place. Fans of 70s Yes should love the release and they’ll certainly appreciate David’s outstanding vocals.