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Yes - Big Generator CD (album) cover

BIG GENERATOR

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

2.46 | 785 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

freyacat
4 stars You have to consider the time.

The 80's were a decade that wanted to look to the future and distinguish itself from the past. In music, the idea of rock as art had been soundly rejected in favor of leaner, aggressive, songs with quick payoff in the riffs and melodies.

That's just what you had to deal with. If you listen to any music of the time period, you don't hear a culture that's listening to things like "Close to the Edge" anymore.

In addition, the late 80's are a particularly difficult time for music because of the advent of digital recording and digital synthesizers. Both technologies held promise, and sounded new and interesting at the time, but both of these elements sound tinny, artificial, and hollow today.

But in the midst of a very restrictive time, Yes tried to continue to make music. Our guys were fully committed to remaining relevant, even though the ears of the public had turned away from their original sound.

"Big Generator," like the Rush albums of this period, arguably makes the most of a musical language and technology that pervaded the 80's. I think that, given that these are the tools they had to work with, Yes did much more interesting things with them than, say, Mr. Mister or the Hooters.

And with Jon as a real part of the writing process, you do hear some of that lovely, hopeful, dreamy-eyed spirit that defined Yes in the 70's. "Final Eyes," "I'm Running," and "Holy Lamb" are authentic manifestations of the Yes sound within the late 80's context. Even lust is transformed into poetry in "The Rhythm of Love."

If you compare this album, where Yes were honestly and earnestly trying to make good new music in a changed marketplace, to later efforts like "Keys to Ascension," where they appear to be trying anything to re-ignite their fan base, I think you will find that "Big Generator" sounds more authentic and vital, given the time period in which it was recorded.

freyacat | 4/5 |

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