It's been a long crawl back to credibility for prog titans Yes, but things seem to be shifting in their favour of late. There's a new wave of young bands emerging, unafraid to wear their prog influences on their sleeves (The Mars Volta, Cave In, Beecher) and the old sods themselves are attracting 'celebrity' plaudits (The Flaming Lips, PiL's Keith Levene, Vincent Gallo). This is as it should be—contrary to post-punk dogma, Yes were never a joyless listen.
Set fire to anything. Set fire to the air," urged John Cale at the beginning of Music For A New Society. That 1982 masterpiece was the evisceration of a man whose fractured psyche was mirrored perfectly by songs arranged in jagged, improvisatory style; a knife held at the throat of sweetness. Now he reappears with his first album of songs for seven years, and his finest album in any genre for over two decades.