Like Tranquilizer yesterday, Yes is a song in which the lead vocal becomes almost one with the orchestral accompaniment. On this occasion it’s the extraordinary sound of David McAlmont, former Thieves lead singer but heard here during his short-lived collaboration with (at the time) ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler. Without him, this track would be so-so, a long-forgotten relic of the britpop era. With McAlmont throwing out pure but powerful vocals, and producer Mike Hedges at the helm (Hedges’ long line of credits includes The Associates: having worked with Billy MacKenzie he was no stranger to figuring out how to get the most out of a unique vocal talent), its a triumph of sound and energy. It’s also a serious earworm, thanks to the first line of the chorus (Yes I do feel better): once it’s in your head, it’s almost impossible to dislodge.
Both McAlmont and Butler had parted ways from their previous groups rather acrimoniously; Yes was a barely veiled statement from the duo to let their former comrades know there were no regrets, and plenty of relief. McAlmont’s vocal firework display took Yes into the top 10, eventually topping out at 8. The pair would go on to release four more singles, each of which failed to reach the heights of its predecessor, finishing with Speed in 2006. By that time McAlmont and Butler had fallen out, got back together again, and split once more. In the meantime Butler had made up with Suede’s Brett Anderson to form The Tears; later the two would even manage to get Suede back together and release the critically acclaimed comeback album Bloodsports.