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Yes - Big Generator CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.54 | 1249 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I can't think of a good way to start this review, so I'm just going to come out and admit it: I like Big Generator and I think it's the best of the Rabin-era albums.

There we go. I think I just managed to offend everybody.

Old time Yes fans hate Big Generator because you won't hear anything truly "progressive" on it. There are no progressive songs here, despite a couple of reviewers who will try to convince you that one or two songs have progressive echoes here and there. "I'm Running" is a really interesting and complex song with a lot of world influences, but to claim that it is progressive is an act of desperation on the part of fans intent on rationalizing the Yes canon. "Holy Lamb" is one of those slow, spiritual meditations that Jon does that would fit in perfectly with his solo work. It's nice work, but you can't really claim that it's progressive. The same goes for "Shoot High, Aim Low," which demonstrates better than any other song just how strong Yes was vocally when Anderson and Rabin played off each other's voices. These guys really brought out the best in each other. And "Final Eyes," the last song where fans look in vain for some hints of progressive sounds, isn't progressive. It's a pop ballad with an awkward verse section, (probably the only part of this album where the word awkward is appropriate.) The rest of the album contains straightforward pop songs where no one would even dream of looking for progressive sounds.

That said, this a collection of pop songs where the quality of composition and execution is fairly high (although without the brilliant production that 90125 enjoyed.) Love Will Find a Way was the single and is a very likable song, although it lacks a bit of the edge that made the 90125 songs so popular. Rhythm of Love, Big Generator, and Almost Like Love are all cut from the same mold and are all generally likable but a bit too sugary songs.

What really makes this album stand out is the vocal work. Jon and Trevor combine so well on this album, whether it is the antiphonal parts on Shoot High, Aim Low, Love Will Find a Way or the amazing group vocals that end I'm Running. This album easily contains the best written vocal arrangements Yes has ever used, and they are executed flawlessly.

ghost_of_morphy | 3/5 |


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