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Yes - Open Your Eyes CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.05 | 677 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Yes: Open Your Eyes [1997]

Rating: 4/10

After the sublime Keys to Ascension albums, it seemed like Yes had finally left their pop-rock dabbling behind. Those two albums represented a glorious return home, and it appeared that Yes was there to stay. However, the band quickly decided to embark on another inexplicable journey into mediocrity. That journey is Open Your Eyes. Much of the material on this album was originally intended to be part of a Squire/Sherwood collaboration called Conspiracy, but Anderson's interest turned it into a full Yes project. Open Your Eyes is a pop/hard-rock venture. It's similar to Union in many ways, even though it's a significant improvement over that album; there are some enjoyable moments here.

The opener "New State of Mind" is a heavy rock song centered upon an uncreative riff and vocal harmonies. The title track is an entirely vocally-driven pop song. It's nothing special at all, but I do like the chorus. The classical guitar intro to "Universal Garden" is a high point on the album. The rest is neither great nor terribly objectionable. "No Way We Can Lose" certainly doesn't contain any groundbreaking songwriting or musicianship, but it's too uplifting to inspire any sort of strongly negative reaction. "Fortune Seller" is another dull pop-rock song, even though Howe does do some decent work here. "Man on the Moon" is centered on a simple synth riff and is darker in tone. While indeed nothing amazing, it has subjective charm for me and is one of my favorites on the album. "Wonderlove" features unbelievably lame lyrics and boring musicianship. "From the Balcony" is a short ballad with decent acoustic guitar and crooning. The weak lyrics throw the song off, however. "Love Shine" is another vocally-driven pop-rock song. The "One Two Three Four Five Six Seven" sections are epitomes of lazy songwriting for the band. "Somehow, Someday" improves things; although stylistically similar to the rest of the album, it's uplifting and competently written. "The Solution" is another dull pop-rock song followed by a useless sixteen-minute hidden track of nature sounds.

Unlike many people, I don't consider Open Your Eyes to be Yes's worst album. It's surely the most disappointing considering Yes's status prior to its release, but there are some pleasant moments and nothing is entirely unlistenable. Regardless, it's an extremely mediocre album, and it's hard to understand why these incredible musicians, unrestricted by 80s cultural trends, settled for something this sub-par.

Anthony H. | 2/5 |


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