ALBUM REVIEW: Yes – Mirror To The Sky


Mirror To The Sky (Inside Out Music) is Yes’ 23rd album and sees them in somewhat of a productive patch, coming just two years after the previous offering The Quest. Steve Howe is on production duties and is the only surviving member from the band’s heyday after the sad passing of longtime drummer Alan White last year. Despite this Mirror… is undeniably Yes, from the punchy bass lines, fantastical lyrics, and soaring vocals to the dramatic orchestration, long Prog Rock epics, and the obligatory Roger Dean artwork.


Inspired by Joshua Tree national park, ‘Cut from the Stars’ starts things off in sprightly fashion, lit up by some effervescent guitar work from Mr. Howe. At 5 minutes 25 seconds, it eases you in, as this album is fond of an epic track and unfortunately, they are a bit hit or miss. The next two tracks ‘All Connected’ and ‘Luminosity’ clock in at over nine minutes, the former is a philosophical tale with Howe’s soaring guitar work gliding over a soft bed of keyboards and is slightly reminiscent of the Drama era. ‘Luminosity’ takes you on a softer, more gentle journey but is overly long and it just floats by without much impact – and having two longer and airy tracks side by side this early on hampers the flow of the album.


‘Living Out Their Dreams’ is refreshingly breezy, its melodic urgency and bubbling bass line cuts through the weightier tracks nicely, acting as a breather before the grand centrepiece that is the title track. It is a grandiose, if too long, fourteen-minute piece that expands on the similar ‘Dare to Know’ from The Quest by adding a huge amount of bombast, and a cinematic sense of scale.



The latter half of the record has shorter and snappier tracks, from the sweet acoustic ballad ‘Circles of Time’ to the enticing melody of ‘One Second is Enough’. The one exception to this is the album highlight ‘Unknown Place’, with its jaunty riff, moody backing vocals and gothic climax, bringing much-needed energy with it.


Like its predecessor, it’s a good album of well-produced prog rock that is hampered by one too many moments you struggle to recall. It is lacking in a bit of the spark and energy that made their classic records so great.


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6 / 10