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Yes - Open Your Eyes  CD (album) cover

OPEN YOUR EYES

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

2.04 | 593 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Brendan
3 stars TWO AND A HALF STARS FOR A MESSY, MEDIOCRE ALBUM

BACKGROUND: Yes were a highly successful progressive rock band from the 70's. To this day they are one of the most popular progressive rock bands around, if not the most popular.

However, in the 1980's they reformed with an altered line-up. At this time they were lead by a South African guitarist by the name of Trevor Rabin. He took the band into more pop music territory, especially with the commercially successful albums '90125' and 'Big Generator'. In 1991 Yes tried to go back to the more progressive sound of their early days, mainly because the music was written largely by people other than Trevor Rabin. 'Union', however, is one of their least popular albums, to this day.

Although dominated by Rabin, 1994's 'Talk' continued Yes' progression back to their roots. After the 'Talk' album, Rabin quit the band and key members of their 70's heyday rejoined for the live/studio mixed albums 'Keys to Ascencion' and 'Keys to Ascencion 2', most notably guitarist 'Steve Howe'. They also acquired multi-talented 'Billy Sherwood' around this time, who could sing, play guitar and keyboards. This studio album followed in 1997, 'Open your eyes'.

ANALYSIS: The songwriting varies from song to song. The opening 'New state of mind' feels like a dull remake of 'Shock to the system' from 'Union'. The title track, the second song on the album, is the best song on the album, nice and hummable, and that is followed by a fairly good spiritual-sounding song 'Universal Garden'. However, the songs that follow are all meandering messes that have good ideas that soon disappear. 'Fortune Seller' is almost fun but there is a lack of focus in the song, and a lot of the music is padding rather than the 'meat'. The acoustic 'From the balcony' is nice, and the joyous'love shone' is another excellent song, very enjoyable. 'Somehow someday' has two parts, acoustic parts and more loud parts, the acoustic parts are much prettier but this song is better than most of the others. The closing 'The solution' is nothing special.

A lot of fans complain about Rabin but I think he was a wonderful influence for the band. I find that when he was in the band the music was more heartfelt. There is definitely a lot less feeling in 'Open your eyes' than there was in 'Talk'.

As for being progressive, well, it is true this album makes a few strides towards their 70's sound, which could be expected with Steve back in the band, but there is also a strong influence from 90's Brit-pop, which is not a bad thing.

Many of the songs on this album are a jumbled mess, forever going from one style to another, or from one riff to another.The production is very muddled and garbled, everything is more or less the same volume and rarely something comes into the foreground to capture your attention.

CONCLUSION: This album is quite enjoyable as background noise, and there are a few good songs in there, but ultimately it is unfocused and messy, and from what I have read it is unfinished too. It's not bad music but not particularly satisfying from beginning to end, a middle of the range rating should work fine, so 2 1/2, rounded up to 3.

Brendan | 3/5 |

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