You and I - Exit - 2001

“This album is based on and inspired
by the knowledge found in the Tibetan
Book of the dead (Bar-do' thos-grol),
the eternal wisdom of
Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha Sakyamuni),
and the words of the ”

Lebanese writer Kahlil Gibran.


The Hungarian band You and I was formed in November 1992. Their goal was to carry on the traditions of the progressive bands of the 70's (e.g. Yes and Genesis). Besides their own music, the repertoire of You and I included some titles of Yes. The band used to give Yes memorial concerts, and played songs like "Siberian Khatru", "And you and I", "Heart of the sunrise" etc. The band believes that some of the best pieces of music in the progressive rock heritage will still be played many decades later, perhaps centuries, by future generations of musicians just like pieces of classical music. So far the band has published two CD's. But in fact only the first one called simply "You and I" was a real You and I CD. Because the second one "Go" was the solo CD ("Dawning") of the female vocalist of the band, Fanni Völgyessy Smomor. The first one had a progressive character and the second had a more popular sound. On the second album "Go" the band introduced the new keyboard player Gergö Szabó, and on the new album "Exit" they have a new drummer, Tamás Nádházy.

"They would like to get their music to as many people as possible, because they believe that music can bring people calmness, cheerfulness and high spirits"

(Excerpt from their web page)


You and I line-up:
Fanni Völgyessy Smomor - lead and background vocals, Károly Dorogi - bass guitar and narration, Gergö Szabó - keyboards, Zsolt Kosztyu - guitars, Tamás Nádházy - drums.


The first track of the album is called "Don't ever fear" (3:36) and starts with a heavily breathing (don't get the wrong idea now!) Fanni Völgyessy Smomor, which slowly develops into a vocal line. The kind of voice treatments remembers me of the English singer Claire Hammill who made a complete album with only her voice as an instrument. Károly Dorogi, who happens to have the right voice for it, does his first narration lines accompanied only by a tasteful synth. After Fanni has sung the first lyrics, this kind of intro is followed by track two "Ancient light" (7:52) and for the first time we hear the complete band. This track is one of the better ones on this album. Fanni's voice is beautiful and she is becoming better and better. She sings like an angel. There are some nice melodies and we can hear the sound of the band lies still close to the old Yes sound. Especially the guitar of Zsolt Kosztyu and the bass of Károly Dorogi remind us of Yes. But I wouldn't describe You and I as a Yes clone. You and I has developed an own sound and is bringing a kind of mix to us. "Now listen" (1:00) is a small narration with this time keys and guitar. This bridge brings us to the highlight of the album "Gods of death" (12:07). This track has it all, beautiful vocal lines with great melodies, the Yes guitar and last but not least fantastic keyboard work of Gergö Szabó. Some synthesizer sounds are close to Rick Wakeman. This is the best work I ever heard of the band. I am delighted that the band is growing into a mature progressive rock band. "Who are you" (2:17) is again a piece of narration with very tasteful keyboard sounds. The narration is done in Hungarian and it gives the same atmosphere as in some After Crying pieces. "North" (2:40) has again that Claire Hammill / Judie Tzuke sound in the vocals and the track has a dark atmosphere. After "North" comes "East" (7:11) which slowly develop into a beautiful track. The keys are very tasteful, again some references to Yes. Old ones but you can also discover bits of guitar in the Trevor Rabin style. "South" (3:09) is special because of the handclaps that give some flamenco atmosphere to the piece. "West" (5:45) is an up-tempo song with nice vocal lines and beautiful guitar and keyboard pieces. A nice fat bass sound and the music is building slowly up to a climax. "Another beginning" (1:51) exists of keys with the beautiful voice of Károly Dorogi and is an intro to the last track "Matrix" (8:26) which opens with nice drums of Tamás Nádházy. In this instrumental piece the band are showing us what they are capable of. This is a really symphonic piece and a worthy end of this third CD of the Hungarian band.


If we compare this third effort of the band with the first two, we can hear that the band is growing and developing. The sound of the band is mature, and has with the female singer Fanni Völgyessy Smomor something special. I like the combination of a female voice with symphonic music. And Fanni sings like an angel on this album. Also Gergö Szabó does a great job with his keyboards. The biggest compliment is that You and I sounds as a mature band. The best compositions are the long one's "Ancient light" (7:52) "Gods of death" (12:07) and "Matrix" (8:26). I hope the band will continue to sing in their mother language Hungarian. This gives some extra atmosphere to the tracks. And the lyrics are translated into English, and can be found in the booklet of the CD. I enjoyed listening to this album very much.

author - date - rating - label

Douwe Fledderus - April 2001 -   - Periferic Records