Yes - Open Your Eyes  CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.04 | 614 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars The solution: open your eyes and enter a new state of mind!

I can hardly believe the low ratings and the bad reviews this album gets. Open Your Eyes is by no means as bad as people seem to think. I can really enjoy this album. Steve Howe is back in the band here and his instantly recognizable guitar sound is clearly present. But the real star of this album is Chris Squire; his unmistakeable bass guitar sound is as heavy and loud as ever and his bass lines are all over the place. Chris also does a lot of backing vocals that blend perfectly with those of the eternal Jon Anderson.

Billy Sherwood joined the band full time for this album and I suspect that Chris and Billy had a big part in the song writing for this album, the style of these songs reminding me of Conspiracy - the band that Chris and Billy would found a couple of years later. This similarity is not a bad thing for me, Conspiracy made some good music too in my opinion.

Open Your Eyes consists of good, very melodic songs. The three first ones are even great! I agree that this music is a bit less instrumental and perhaps more "commercial" in some sense than many other Yes albums, but it is still miles above 90125 and also better than Talk and Big Generator. Open Your Eyes is very much an album by the Yes of old, much more so than the albums just mentioned. The long standing and classic rhythm section of White and Squire is intact; the distinctive vocals of Anderson are as strong as ever; the distinctive backing vocals of Squire and Howe; the aforementioned distinctive guitars and basses are also strongly present. In addition, the classic Yes logo by Roger Dean once again graces the cover (quite boring cover art overall though).

Some songs are quite heavy - Yes rocks harder here! But they have not lost their subtlety. The relative scarcity of keyboards might be a reason for complaint since there is no Wakeman or Moraz here, or even a Tony Kaye for that matter. But there are indeed still keyboards on this album, played by Billy Sherwood and also by guests Igor Koroshev (who will join the band for their next album and tour) and a Steve Porcaro.

Somehow...Someday is based on the song O'er that has been on some Jon Anderson albums under different titles and in different arrangements. It is a very folky song. The Folk influence goes beyond this too, Steve plays mandolin and banjo on this album to nice effect.

Open Your Eyes is by no means among the best Yes albums, indeed it is among the least good ones, but hardly the worst - and it is still very good! I can understand why people are not too impressed by this, but I cannot understand how you can think that this is a poor album. I will not fall for the temptation to give it four stars just to compensate for other people's low ratings. I always give an album what I consider a fair rating and I give Open Your Eyes three solid stars.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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