Tony Kaye – End Of Innocence

Posted: 030821

Review Erik Neuteboom

On 9/11, 2001 I was on a holiday with a group of psychiatric clients, after a busy day we returned to the hotel (around 0400PM), and switched on the television. Then we all watched the horrible scenes of a burning WTC tower, it was told that a plane had crashed into one of the two the towers. Soon we all were shocked by a second plane that crashed into the other tower, terrifying live scenes and moments, some even thought World War 3 had started!

Of course legendary Yes keyboard player Tony Kaye (he left the band in 1996) also watched the 9/11 horrors that were unfold on his tv screen. "The next day I unpacked my keyboards for the first time in a long time," he recalls. "I didn't know what I was going to do. It was one of those things that happened, inspiration on a musical level." Eventually this has resulted in Tony Kaye his first solo album, it will be released on September 10th, 2021, one day before 9/11 will be 20 years ago.

The 16 short tracks (mainly between 1 and 4 minutes) are written as the soundtrack of the horrible, very emotional television images of that unforgettable day. Often featuring orchestral keyboards (Vangelis comes to my mind), like in Twinkle Twinkle Little Star/Twilight Time, 911 Overture, Flight 11 and The Battle, sumptuous and compelling. A serie of compositions contain a dark or ominous undertone, especially Battle Cry (with voices of the weather forecast and spacey sounds), Tug Of War (bombastic), Towers Fall (tight beat, SF atmosphere) and Hero’s (most dark track with chaotic sounds). NYC Blues delivers swinging bluesy piano runs, blended with soaring strings. And Let’s Roll sounds as a mix of electronic music and jazzy piano, the atmosphere is at some moments chaotic, a strong musical translating of those horror hours.

A very special song is Sweetest Dreams featuring Tony Kaye his wife Dani Torchia on vocals, very fragile, blended with cheerful syntheiszer flights, a sweet lullaby, just before the horror started. In the final 4 tracks the focus is on positive feelings and emotions. Glorious keyboards in Aftermath, militairy drums, spoken words and bombastic synthesizers in the patrioc sounding Hope And Triumph, tender Spanish guitar-like keyboards, blended with soaring sgtrings in the dreamy Homecoming, and an intense atmosphere in Ground Zero. What a wonderful, pretty emotional piece that sounds like an hommage to the victims, and as a  voice of hope, featuring beautiful work on keyboards (strings and piano).

To me this album sounds as an impressive effort by Tony Kaye to translate all those emotions and feelings on 9/11 into music, not too dark, but well balanced between horror and hope.