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Yesterdays - 2014 - "Holdfenykert"

(54:24, Seacrest Oy Records)


*****+
                 
TRACK LIST:

1.  Napfenykert 1:58
2.  Vegtelen 4:36
3.  Ne Felj 5:50
4.  Ha Majd Egyszer 3:10
5.  It's So Divine 4:49
6.  Hol Vagy? 8:02
7.  Varj Meg 5:33
8.  Holdfenykert 2:15
9.  Seven 11:48
10. Valahol a Terben 6:23

LINEUP:

Bogati-Bokor Akos  guitars, bass; synthesizers, vocals 
Enyedi Zsolt  vintage keyboards 
Kozma Kis Emese  flutes 
Csergo Domokos  drums 
Vitalyos Lehel  basses 
Janosi Kinga  vocals 
Fulop Timea  vocals 
Baszo Tibor  vocals 
Kosa David  percussion; vocals

Prolusion. The Romania-based band YESTERDAYS was formed back in 2000, and revolves around the talents of composer and musician Bogati-Bokor Akos. They released their debut album "Holdfenykert" back in 2006, and two years later a rearranged and remastered English-language edition of the recording was released by the French label Musea Records. This third edition of the album is a remastered version of the original 2006 outing, and was released through the Finnish label Seacrest Oy in 2014. Most, if not all, of the band members are ethnic Hungarians, by the way.

Analysis. I understand that the original version of this CD, by now long out of print, suffered from some flaws in the mix and production department, and that the band was actually approached by the label who wanted to rework the weaker technical aspects of the album and subsequently reissue it again. And while I haven't heard the original edition and my memories of the Musea version have faded over the years, I can at least vouch for the qualities of this edition. The mix and production are excellent throughout this reworked version of Yesterdays debut album. My impression about their music has changed somewhat over the years though, at least when it comes to their general style. The greater part of the compositions on the album are all fairly mellow in expression, and even the compositions featuring more energetic moments are, by and large, rather delicate affairs in general. Wandering plucked acoustic guitars and careful rhythm backing are key elements, a liberal amount of mostly playful and uplifting flute solo runs a fairly common feature throughout, and the mournful textures provided by the Mellotron appear in just about all of the compositions here. There's a nod or three in the direction of folk music that plays out here, especially in the earlier parts of the CD, though the band also opts to explore more of a jazz-inspired tangent now and then, occasionally blending this aspect of their style with the gentler, folk-oriented escapades, all the time striking and carefully beautiful, and the female lead vocals add an emphasis to the beauty of these dream-laden landscapes. In the latter part of the CD, and most prominently on the semi-epic Seven at that, Yesterdays venture into landscapes of a more adventurous kind as well. Most often by way of soaring, elegant keyboard textures that have something of a classic-era Yes spirit to them at times, although an argument could probably be made for Genesis to be named the likeliest influence on these passages as well. The rather rare and occasional guitar solo runs are ones that also have a touch of Yes (and possibly Steve Howe too) to them. In this case these interludes are not all that elongated though, as mentioned, but they do add depth and scope to the album as a total experience.

Conclusion. My conclusion for this CD is pretty much the same as the one I wrote for the English edition of the album: This is a quality release, and YESTERDAYS should appeal strongly to followers of 70s progressive, and then especially among those fond of gentler and pastoral landscapes. A certain taste for jazz elements to appear here and there is probably warranted though, as well as occasional keyboard motifs of a striking and dramatic role. A strong album that sounds marginally better in this remastered version.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: May 7, 2016
The Rating Room


Related Links:

Seacrest Oy Records
Yesterdays


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