Release Date: 1975

Track Listing
1)  Hold Out Your Hand
2)  You By My Side
3)  Silently Falling
4)  Lucky Seven
5)  Safe (Canon Song)

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Member: Rickenbacker
Date: 5/26/2003

I'd seen this solo album sitting in the bins & was always curious to hear it, but put it off until very recently. I was left wondering what in the hell took me so long! What struck me right away was hearing Chris' voice on it's own without Jon Anderson & the others backing him up & I'd say he's quite good for what he does.

The album's opener, "Hold Out Your Hand" greets you with majestic pipe organs- a familiar sound to Yes fans, yet after the vocals begin, you know it isn't Yes. It's a fine blend of prog elements & easy to swallow pop sense. Squire has an orchestra backing him on this track without overpowering him. As expected, Chris' trademark potent, flowery playing on his Rickenbacker bass is to the fore on this & the rest of the album. Fans of his thick, chunky tones will not be disappointed.

"...Hand" flows directly into "You By My Side". I couldn't help but think the Beach Boys during some of the harmonic vocals here at roughly the 1:50 minute mark. This is a pretty & subtle love song with a slower waltz feel, but it slowly builds in grandeur with the orchestra & brass then gently descends back to earth like a feather. Almost sounding like the end of a church hymn. Beautiful.

It again flows straight into what is to me, the album's center piece- "Silently Falling". The flutes & wind instruments play like a soundtrack to a prog rock opera. If you'd heard the opening to this song on its own, you wouldn't guess in a thousand years it was off an album by the same guy who came up w/ the rocking bassline to "Roundabout". But as soon as that familiar Rick' bass cautiously walks its way into the scene, you know you'll be in for a ride! Chris takes us on a hopeful, positive journey on this track which begins as soon as you hear that buzzing Rick' & the band kicks in. He & Bill Bruford work perfectly on it. This song is one you're bound to play again & again. The colorfully melodic 1st half comes to a sudden end when the tempo picks up & we're soaring through the air on a Bruford/Squire-led, wild, swirling, jazzy flight to anywhere. It gradually swells with intensity & then as suddenly as it began, you're softly awakened from it all w/ another sung verse & a return to the original musical theme. This song could've easily been divided into 3 'suites' as Yes were so prone to doing. The final section is a slow motion goodbye to the listener w/ the strings & band melding together perfectly.

"Lucky Seven" reminded me somehow of the 70s jazz albums I'd heard as a kid. Maybe Bob James? I think Bruford's influence is strong on this album & it would've had a completely different atmosphere had Alan White taken drumming duty. Squire's playing sounding almost funky in a 70s way with the hammer-ons etc. You get the impression he had fun with this one & it almost sounds like he improvised it. The sax occasionally reminding you of its presence & then soloing on it's own in the fade-out accompanied nicely again by Bruford.

We seamlessly glide into the album closer, "Safe (Canon Song)". Lyrically, it's a song of reassurance. That things will be fine. A perfect way to leave the listener. Chris once again getting some unique tones from his Rick'. This time more on the trebly, "ringing" end. Almost like an 8-string bass at some points. (though I suspect it's Chris on an electric 12-string guitar) It culminates dramatically & melodically along w/ the orchestra without forgetting the rock'n'roll side of this outfit. Reminiscent of what ELP was doing on almost all of their albums. The bass synth fading it out & then what sounds like Chris' bass(?) quietly giving the finishing touch to a great album.

This album was written & recorded in a surprisingly short amount of time; in roughly 2 months following Yes' Relayer tour. And the fact that it turned out to be such a quality project from The Prog Bassist only further proves Chris Squire's songwriting prowess & importance to Yes.

I've heard this album described as "the lost Yes album", but y'know, I'd have to disagree. There certainly are parts of it that'll no doubt remind you of Yes, but to my ears, the finished product is "un-Yes". It sounds precisely like what it is- solo Chris Squire.
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Member: Sean (Profile) (All Album Reviews by Sean)
Date: 12/31/2003
Format: CD (Album)

This is one beaut of an album! The best of the mid 70s solo Yes man albums. No, it dosen't exactly sound like a lost Yes album, but it has fooled more than a few people I have played it for! It's a shame Chris never went and made another album this lush and ambitious. Seems he prefers to do glossy pop prog rock now days. One can wish though....
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