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Yes - Open Your Eyes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.03 | 870 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars A disappointment.

Open Your Eyes is not 'pop' by any positive definitions of the word, it is rather, that cheesy, over-produced, too-thick-to-tell-what-the-hell-anyone-is-playing, very 90's kind of pop. Think S-Club 7 in their 50's; uninspired and unimpressive. The main problem is that this was the kind of sound Billy Sherwood was fond of (and good at creating), and here he is the album's primary writer along with Squire, who ran out of ideas 20 years before. It seems harsh, but I really can't pin the blame on anyone but these two; Anderson and Howe merely overdubbed their parts when the album was near its completion, adding only one song of their own (which just so happens to be beautiful, sweet, and under-produced) while White would have given his usual minimal contribution of increasingly annoying powerhouse drums. There are also no keyboards apart from those airy fairy, obligatory textures of the 1990s, something that I thought would make the album sound thin, but it is, in fact, overflowing with noise. Every instrument is maxed out and the vocal harmonies are just piercing. This removes any sense of separation between instruments and often, I can't even tell what sounds I'm hearing and who they are coming from.

It doesn't really matter because two thirds of the songs are boring anyway. 'New State of Mind', 'Wonderlove', 'From the Balcony' and particularly the title track, are the only ones worth listening to. And these are still a far cry from any of the music on good Yes albums. The deceptive 23-minute song is actually 5.... with the remaining 18 a shoddy amalgamation of random vocal snippets and tropical sound effects (like that's going to make us mistake the song for Close to the Edge).

I was wrong to assume that the lack of Trevor Rabin makes a Yes album worth listening to. 90125 beats this mess by two-stars, Big generator by one. Open your own bloody eyes and buy something else!

thehallway | 2/5 |


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