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Yes - Big Generator CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.54 | 1249 ratings

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3 stars First, I must say that I love this album. For me personally, it's four stars. However, I recognize that it's not *really* prog... and therefore "excellent addition to any prog rock music collection" doesn't make too much sense. Taken as an island unto itself, though, without any previous expectations that Big Generator *should* be prog, I think this is a great album. The whole thing has a super '80s feel to it - you can date it immediately upon hearing the first few bars - and I rather think Yes managed to do that style much more successfully than a lot of other bands did. I think this is, in no small part, due to Chris Squire's choirboy-like voice (and Trevor Rabin's, too) combining with Anderson's. They sound very thick together and make satisfying vocal walls-of-sound that don't come off as hokey as a lot of other 80's rock vocals did.

In the context of Yes' history, this is one of few albums on which they came up with some incredibly catchy tunes. Big Generator is nowhere near as artistically ambitious as the vast majority of Yes' discography, but it *is* fun. I think of it in a completely different light from serious, artsy prog.

1. Rhythm Of Love - Catchy and fun right off the bat. Morning daydream, midnight fever - one notices that the lyrics here make considerably more sense than those on some other Yes albums. However, they don't have that sense of awe that I find Anderson's usual lyrics-for-their-sound inspire. 2. Big Generator - Okay. A little plodding. Still rather fun to listen to. 3. Shoot High Aim Low - A much more laid-back song with lyrics that seem to either be talking about making out in a car or getting caught in the middle of a slaughter. It has an expansive feel, a lot of organ, and a lot of thick vocals. 4. Almost Like Love - Another catchy fun one in the vein of Rhythm of Love, but I enjoy this one more. Somehow Yes injected some of that "awe" quality they usually have in more proggy songs into this one, and it's one of my favorites on the album. 5. Love Will Find A Way - A heartstring-tugging song about resisting becoming involved in a relationship - rather similar in topic to Owner of a Lonely Heart. However, I find this song more emotionally compelling. The guitar work in this one is at once melancholy and quick/catchy - a nice combination, making the song relatively light but still carrying a lot of feeling. 6. Final Eyes - Definitely my favorite of the tracks. It's basically a proggy ballad done seamlessly well. Every part of it has a hook and it sounds so thick I feel fully immersed in it the entire time. Some nice shiver-inducing chord changes. The lyrics in this one are a high for Anderson, not only understandable but emotionally engaging. 7. I'm Running - I think this is Yes' attempt to still be "progressive" on this album, but in my opinion it falls flat. It loses that catchiness that many of the songs on here have, and yet does not recover the performance flair of their earlier work. 8. Holy Lamb (3:15) - Unfortunately, a waste of a track. Nothing much occurs in it at all, and it makes for a disappointing ending to an album that previously had a great deal of energy.

So... not one of my favorite albums of all time, but an '80s rock album executed well overall.

Star_Song_Age_Less | 3/5 |


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