(12 October 2011) Yesterdays is a progressive rock band based in Cluj Napoca (Romania/Transylvania). They live in Romania as romanians but they are ethnically Hungarians. Formed in 2000 the band plays progressive rock, a mixture of the wonderful vintage sound of the seventies and the modern sound of the progressive rock including elements from jazz and pop music. Since their first full length album, the band contributed to an array of compilation albums.
Yesterdays long-awaited second album, is entitled Colours Caffé (Yesterdays (Hungary) Rockszerviz, 2011). Also sung in the artists' native tongue, the eleven track record is a more accessible project than the band's first full length album Holdfénykert (Moonlit Garden) (2007). Colours Caffé has also been released in Japan with an eight track bonus disc.
The new album is fronted by Yesterdays' stunning new lead singer Linda Horváth. Linda takes over for the band's former vocalist Hannah who sang with Yesterdays on their contributions to various artist compilations. The balance of the lineup is: Ákos Bogáti-Bokor (guitars, keyboards, vocals); Zsolt Enyedi (keyboards); Zoltán Kolumbán (bass); Domokos Csergõ (drums); Gábor Kecskeméti (flute). The revised lineup builds on the individuals' talents and the band's songwriting as well as Linda's crystalline lead vocal work.
The new Yesterdays album begins with the upbeat pop-oriented "Játék" and percussive "Forog a tánc." Listen to power of Linda's lead vocal work and the very lush backing harmonies in the Yesterday's sound. Guitar and keyboards are also perfectly arranged, paying tribute to the band's muse. Gábor's flute solo during the instrumental break in "Forog a tánc" adds great contrast and is superb!
Although several of individual tracks are very accessible, make no mistake: Colours Caffé is a progressive album. The three track "Némafilm" suite is clearly a testament to both the band's progressive influences and artistic growth. In the first movement "éjszaka," Linda's powerful lead vocals are jointed by band member harmonies and are balanced with plenty of keyboard- and guitar-based instrumental riffs during the instrumental breaks by Zsolt and Ákos respectively. Gábor's flute solo that concludes the piece is tremendous.
The second and jazzier self-titled movement not only includes some of Linda's most evocative and diversified vocal work, rich band harmonies and additional layers by the lead singer, but also some of the most remarkable instrumental arrangements on the record. Allusions to Magenta are evoked with the chime parts. The third and memorable movement "mélyrepülés" features keyboard washes and a crisp guitar part providing a solid foundation for Linda's tremendous lead vocal.
The short, accessible and upbeat folk-styled track "Tükör" is built on flute melody with chimes and acoustic guitar to provide the foundation for the lead vocal part. The jazzy sound of "Bábu" follow with flute, guitar and keyboard underscoring Linda's powerful vocal. The instrumental break explores the virtuousity of the band's individual players and would work well in a live setting to introduce the members and was likely completed with that in mind.
Vocal harmonies and lush arrangements grace gentle rocker "Flautoccatta Megpihensz egyben" while the short instrumental "Prelúdium egy esőhöz" provides the bridge to the album's two concluding tracks. Listen for the recurring theme from "mélyrepülés" that builds further in "Zápor." "Kerdes" is the shortest and most tender of the tracks on Colours Caffé. Linda's sweet vocal is accompanied by just acoustic guitar and flute.
The 38-minute bonus CD of the Disk Union Japanese Limited Edition includes songs for the Yesterdays completist. Says Ákos, "We dug deep into the archives of Yesterdays and found songs, versions of songs that in the past meant the world to me. We got very nostalgic about it and now, that the end of this process is near, we are really thankful to Tetsuo and our friends in Japan that they made this thing happen."
The new version of "Seven," arranged more in the Colours Caffé style and fronted by Linda, is stunning. Two versions of "Hol Vagy" with the band's former lead singer--one an early recording and the other half as long--is the second track reissued from the band's debut album. The flute part in the early recording is stunning. Yesterdays have also included the acoustic jazz-styled "Cherry Pie" ("It's So Divine") taken from the band's Yesterdays' 2004 Dream is Now (A Whole Half), the one piece sung Andrea Emese Ercsey in English.
The upbeat and melodic "33 (Paradiso)," was a contribution to the Dante's Paradiso - The Divine Comedy Part III album, sung by former vocalist Hannah. The funky rock number "Way Back Home" is also sung in English but features male vocals. The acoustic track "Don't Be Afraid"--with a Camel- or Quidam-allusioned flute solo--appears to be from the Moonlit Garden sessions and sung by Andrea Emese Ercsey. An even jazzier alternative mix of Coulours Caffé "Bábu" concludes the disc.
The Colours Caffé album is available from CDBaby in both physical and digital formats. Those that wish to obtain the bonus disc should shop for the Japanese version online. The individual tracks on this album are outstanding and illlustrate the significant artistic growth since the band's debut. Colours Caffé is also a fantastic progressive rock album.