Does The Ladder really suck?

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Greenglade
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Does The Ladder really suck?

Post: # 4369Post Greenglade
Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:37 am

Maybe it's Talk or Ladder for my next purchase or ...90125 and BG, alternates if Best Buy or Tower or Borders doesn't have the former.

OYE sort of sucks. Onion as two good songs--Got that determined.

Isn't "Holy Lamb" that really powerful building serious emotional song?

I guess Talk must have at least 75% good stuff on it. Not too many chick-flick type songs, but sensitive.

Whatever, got a month to decide.

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Post: # 71843Post jackalz
Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:17 am

I think your best bet is to go into any choice you make without expectations or maybe even with low expectations. It is all OK (doesn't suck) IMO. But there will be an adjustment period to get used to the unique sound. I've learned to love just about every song on every album by excepting it for what it is. They didn't want to remake the same songs, so they experiment a lot. It takes a while to get it, but once I did get it, I was able to listen over and over with the same ecstatic smile on my face to all these releases. But not at first.

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Post: # 71852Post Jon Flanagan
Mon Jun 21, 2004 4:16 pm

No it doesn't suck...it just has a highly inflated reputation...very overrated. This album begins with a bang...and I mean a BANG...and then goes flaccid for about four songs until " Finally," meanders again, and ends in gentle beauty with " nine Voices." Yes, as they do now, needed a producer to weed out the garbage and make it more concise and to the point, and with Bruce Fairbain, they were able to accomplish that...albeit briefly; It's a shame he died, as I think a more nutured relationship with the band, along with Rick Wakeman and better material, could have resulted in a more cohesive effort. For all my knocks on Billy Sherwood, I think he really came up with some great stuff, as did Igor...fresh blood can help...though it does have Alan White's worst drumming on a Yes album...plods along, and his sound is so compressed...ugggghhh...c'mon Alan...let's get the mojo going again!

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He heard you saying that, Jon.

Post: # 71894Post N2yes
Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:08 am

<---------Even while he's playing, he heard that!
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Post: # 71902Post Astral traveller
Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:12 am

The Ladder is certainly not one of my fav. Yes albums. Though the two highlights for me (Homeworld and Nine Voices) are very strong songs, the stuff in between it, doesn't really hold up after repeated listenings.

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Post: # 72042Post Chris2210
Thu Jun 24, 2004 11:47 am

The Ladder is a very commercial album which I liked for quite a while. But as others have said it seems to be relatively lacking in depth and doesn't bear up too well on over repeated listening.

Even the two tracks everyone seems to agree are highlights I have some reservations on. Homeworld is really rather too much of a patiche of their 70s style, whilst Nine Voices (IMO) is let down by a musically banal first chorus.

As a commercial album Talk is far more consistent and successful by those lights. I think Jacalz is right though; go in with no expectations and you should be able to find something to enjoy on just about any album the band has produced (even :gasp: OYE).
I used to be agnostic. These days I'm not so sure.

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Post: # 72072Post Vaguson
Thu Jun 24, 2004 9:09 pm

I agree with everything Chris just posted here, Ladder, Talk, OYE: the works.

How true.
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In Defense of Climbing ( [i]THE LADDER[/i])

Post: # 72073Post N2yes
Thu Jun 24, 2004 10:12 pm

I can see where one could confuse the positive sounds of THE LADDER with an attempt at commercialism. However, I don't think this is what they were after at all. For me, THE LADDER, with Steve back in full force and with Fairbairn at the production helm, there was a musical statement to be made. I hear echoes of the past in this record and there is also a full-force drive to erase the banal aspects that much of OYE regrettably possessed. High energy and a fresh approach, a successful combination in my book.
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Post: # 72398Post Fishes
Tue Jun 29, 2004 8:36 pm

the ladder is one of my favorite contempoary yes albums. it took a while to grow on me, but when it did i absolutely loved it. the vocal harmonies and the sheer musicianship are beyond words amazing
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Post: # 72403Post Greenglade's Frog
Tue Jun 29, 2004 9:41 pm

:) Cool, maybe I'll get it then. Where's the best place to get it online?
My local record stores don't carry it.
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Post: # 72454Post Relayer
Wed Jun 30, 2004 9:36 pm

I like CD Universe myself, they seem to have most every disc I want in stock,
you can always check you're order status at any time, and cancel stuff if you find it before it is shipped, disc's that are on backordered sometimes take a month or so to fill, but that's typical of small run, hard to find disc's.
The Ladder doesn't suck, it is much better,IMHO, than OYE, Talk is my favorite, but that usually doesn't appeal to those who dislike Trevor Rabin,
both disc's have strong songs, some better than others, but neither disc disappoints me,just an opinion. same goes for 90125 and BG.

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Post: # 72988Post TenVoices
Mon Jul 12, 2004 11:52 pm

N2yes wrote:I can see where one could confuse the positive sounds of THE LADDER with an attempt at commercialism. However, I don't think this is what they were after at all. For me, THE LADDER, with Steve back in full force and with Fairbairn at the production helm, there was a musical statement to be made. I hear echoes of the past in this record and there is also a full-force drive to erase the banal aspects that much of OYE regrettably possessed. High energy and a fresh approach, a successful combination in my book.
If I could only state the above as clearly...N2 and I have the exact same feelings on this album. It is a better than average Yes album. Thank the maker Fairbairn was producing. I still think he made the difference.

I don't see commercialism in this album at all. Just great Yes music.

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Post: # 72998Post tardistraveler
Tue Jul 13, 2004 1:57 am

I LOVE The Ladder!

I'm not good at dissecting things musically - did someone play better on this or that, or more complicated? I just know what I enjoy, and how the music makes me feel. And The Ladder fills me with joy! I love the entire album as a whole.

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Post: # 73225Post yesireebob
Sun Jul 18, 2004 3:35 am

I love the Ladder, too! I did take a while for it to grow on me as a whole; I started out loving a few songs and skipping others. Now I love the whole thing start to finish! The only questionable number is If Only You Knew, a little Carpenters for my taste, but a good pop tune if you are up for that.

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Post: # 74998Post flowering
Mon Aug 23, 2004 3:43 pm

Some songs on the album are quite uninteresting to me and i think Open your eyes has greater moments (universal garden) but however the ladder definetly has its place in yesdiscography and thats ok. i like homeworld!

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Post: # 75009Post Yessong
Mon Aug 23, 2004 7:45 pm

I'll take ladder over OYE, or, for that matter, "Talk" which I have never liked - I listen to it once a year and everytime I dislike it more - sorry - Ladder is definately the way to go.

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Post: # 75238Post aitomies
Fri Aug 27, 2004 10:08 pm

For me, The Ladder is a fine album, better(*) than Magnification, (and therefore OYE, Keystudio, Drama, BG, etc) and I'm disappointed that the band have left it out of the setlist on recent tours. However, there's no contest with Talk which is Rabin's Yes masterpiece and a 'must buy' after the TYA to GFTO sequence.

(*)I wish I could give an account of how one album is to me better than another, but it's purely the subjective thing of how often it gets played, and how much I like hearing it
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Post: # 75319Post YesJodi
Mon Aug 30, 2004 4:20 am

I enjoy the Ladder, and Mag, not crazy about OYE though. Talk is good too. :)

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Post: # 75350Post happytheman
Tue Aug 31, 2004 1:40 am

I too enjoy the Ladder very much, I only wished Igor had done more albums with Yes, I think there was a lot of potential with him in the band. Oh well we can only "hope" the band does some "new" material with Rick rather than year after year of touring the "same" set list they played in the 70's. This may seem harsh but Yes needs to "grow up". Do they realize it's 2004?

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Post: # 75403Post flowering
Wed Sep 01, 2004 11:54 am

It does not really suck but i hope that they won't do an album like that again.

To me this is not progressive Rock! Open your Eyes is even more progressive than the ladder.

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Post: # 78695Post Klerxst
Mon Nov 15, 2004 7:23 am

I am a big fan of The Ladder. It was such a big shock to hear a great Yes album after the disappointing Keys and Open Your Eyes(both of which have their moments, but are lacking as cohesive wholes IMO). Once Rabin left the band, I didn't think Yes would ever make a great album or even a truly great songs ever again. The Ladder is a great album and has at least three or four great songs on it.

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I LIKE IT!

Post: # 78765Post soul warrior
Wed Nov 17, 2004 4:01 am

i like the ladder very much. i was very surprised by the direction this cd took when i first heard it and like alot of new music, some of it took a while to grow on me. the surprise fav for me was "lightning strikes". i find it an infectous 7/4 groove. i love it when squire plays in that time signature! for me, "nine voices" is possibly the best yes song since since the GFTO cd. should have been about 10 minutes longer though. although i am a fan of the old yes sound, i would not be dissappointed with another cd in this direction.

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Post: # 79618Post IWas Sam
Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:22 pm

I don't think this one aged particularly well. I sort of liked it when it came out, but I listened to it last week in my car and found it not so good. They tried to hard (I think) to recapture the 70s sound and missed .

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Post: # 79628Post Terry Shea
Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:15 am

IWas Sam wrote:I don't think this one aged particularly well. I sort of liked it when it came out, but I listened to it last week in my car and found it not so good. They tried to hard (I think) to recapture the 70s sound and missed .
Well, they tried on a few songs and that was about it. I think that's the main reason the album came off as such a disappointing effort for a lot of us. They promised us a progressive album and really only delivered 2 or 3 songs that could really be classified as progressive. I think they spread themselves too thin trying to please everyone and ended up pleasing no one. Too many easy listening, reggae and downright silly songs for my taste. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy all of the aforementioned at least to some degree, but that isn't why I listen to Yes.
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Post: # 79639Post YesFanfromSA
Sat Dec 11, 2004 2:03 am

I like The Ladder very much even thogh it's far from being the best Yes album ever. I love the classic Yes even though I still love the Yes from the 80's which I don't think will be around anywhere in the near future. Homeworld is my absolute favourite song on the CD. Great arrangement, great vocals, great everything.
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Post: # 79677Post topographic_drama1980
Sun Dec 12, 2004 2:21 am

Yeah, Homeworld is the best song on the album, IMO. The Ladder's not the best Yes, but it's not the worst either. It has its good moments and it has its not so good moments. My major faves from the album are Homeworld, Lightning Strikes, Finally, If Only You Knew, and Nine Voices. Did anyone notice that various parts of the album rip off certain themes from the band's past? Like Nine Voices is just a glorified version of Your Move, Can I? is practically We Have Heaven (it even has the words We Have Heaven sang in the tune), and in the middle section of New Language is bassline from Roundabout. Not that I'm totally criticizing the album, but it's really progressive as it is "regressive," but overall a good album.
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Post: # 79705Post CoinsAndCrosses
Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:12 am

YesFanfromSA wrote:I like The Ladder very much even thogh it's far from being the best Yes album ever. I love the classic Yes even though I still love the Yes from the 80's which I don't think will be around anywhere in the near future.
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Post: # 79706Post CoinsAndCrosses
Sun Dec 12, 2004 9:16 am

Terry Shea wrote:Well, they tried on a few songs and that was about it. I think that's the main reason the album came off as such a disappointing effort for a lot of us. They promised us a progressive album and really only delivered 2 or 3 songs that could really be classified as progressive. I think they spread themselves too thin trying to please everyone and ended up pleasing no one. Too many easy listening, reggae and downright silly songs for my taste. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy all of the aforementioned at least to some degree, but that isn't why I listen to Yes.
I like the album but it has some blah parts on it. I remember when they were promoting the album over the Internet. They had this little montage from all the songs that you could listen to. They picked all the blah parts. Will YES (or its ever-revolving management) ever learn?... chris
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Post: # 79788Post doogee
Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:42 am

Put in simple Brit terms it's a BLOODY GOOD ALBUM ! and if you knock it i will come to your house and bite your bum :p
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The Ladder

Post: # 79789Post EricBliss12345
Tue Dec 14, 2004 12:48 am

Overall, it's not too bad. It's also not too good either, but leans more towards the good side.

It's a very light album, bordering fluffy for most of the tracks. What saves some the mostly mediocre songs is the excellent world music instrumentation and the classic yes keyboard sounds, courtesy of Igor. The production is also very colorful, and interesting accents in the tonal picture make tolerable tunes out of what would otherwise be a trifle unbearable. Take "Lightning Strikes" for example. The horns really add to the energy of the track a lot. And you know what, those tribal drums on the middle-8 are also very cool, not to mention Chris's short but powerful bass run before the verse kicks back in. Also, after one part of the verse theres this very brief sub-bass analog synth surge, just for an accent. The digeredoo is also a surprising, yet welcome addition to the "Your Move" ripoff "Nine Voices" and the koto intro to "The River" is also quite refreshing. It's the little things like that that make this album. "The Messenger" catches Yes playing in a tastefully out-of-character groove for them. Sonically, this album is a real treat, but the songs are of such little substance that I rarely feel the urge to revisit them, and when I do, I wouldn't be mad if the batteries ran out in my cd player mid-play.

They scored big-time with the nostalgic "Homeworld (The Ladder)" which is one of the top-three best songs they've done since Going For The One. Regressive it may be, but I like the vintage Yes sound the best, thank you very much. "New Language" also comes close to classic Yes as well, and has some great jammy sections, rippin' Howe guitar and hammond organ duels, and a great chorus. Very, VERY bad verse, which is where it loses points. A little too Doogie Howser for my tastes.

"Nine Voices" I'm also a big fan of, and "Hep Yadda" is ok and the second half of "Finally." I'd also like to mention that the album contains one of their most disgusting songs ever, the sickening ballad "If Only You Knew." Thankfully, it doesn't take up much of the album.

Overall its definately one of the more solid efforts of theirs in the last 20 years, and far better than the previous album or its follow-up.

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