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Yes - Talk CD (album) cover

TALK

Yes

Symphonic Prog


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3 stars Yes continues to display their unique, melodic mix of natural and synth sounds, though they delve into a more pop-oriented state with "The Calling" and "Walls" which barely capture the album's full mood.
Report this review (#13867)
Posted Friday, January 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Tthe last two songs gives a realy good reason to buy this cd. Because, for me, it was their best composition till Drama. Rabin leave with honnor with his most creative contribution to the group with Endless dream, a 15 min tune that the fans was'nt wait for in that time... It was a great surprise, if we consider that the rest of the album was a pieces to skip !
Report this review (#13862)
Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Contains an overlooked Yes masterpiece

Yes were really in turmoil around the time this album came out. Anderson, White and Squire are still present, but Howe, and Wakeman have gone off separately in other directions. In their place, Trevor Rabin comes in to contribute guitar, production, engineering, co-writing of the songs, keyboards, vocals, and programming (not to mention running the canteen, and curing all know diseases!), and Tony Kaye returns with his Hammond organ.

The resulting album is more in the "Big Generator", "Open your eyes" mould, than "Close to the edge" or "Relayer".

That said, it does have two quite stunning tracks. "I am waiting" is a melodic soft rock song, the sort Boston are so good at. The track has a magnificent slide guitar riff which alternates with Anderson's vocals on the verses to create a beautiful piece.

Notable as "I am waiting" is, it is easily surpassed by "The endless dream". Had this track been recorded by the "classic" line up, it would by now be a regular part of the Yes live set. This 15 minute masterpiece weaves its way through the serenity of "Awaken", the drama of "Gates of Delirium", and the pomp of "And you and I" to form something which ranks among the absolute best pieces Yes have ever recorded. Rabin's guitar work on the track is superb, and vocally the harmonies are as strong as Yes have ever achieved.

The remaining tracks are more standard Rabin-with-Yes fare. Be assured though, this album is essential for anyone who enjoys Yes, or indeed melodic prog in general, for "The endless dream" alone.

Report this review (#13871)
Posted Wednesday, May 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars If you're not a fan of Rabin era Yes, this album won't change your mind much. Rabin's name is all over this one. Along with guitars, keyboards, vocals, programming, engineer, he acts as both producer and main songwriter. This is a louder more ambitious effort than those of the previously released Big Generator and Union are. However, there are some shortcomings. Tony Kayes keyboard seems almost entirely missing here. While Chris Squire's trademark bass lines are for the most part unheard. Alan White's drumming may seem louder than you've ever heard before. Also, Rabin's blending of Anderson and Squire's vocals with his own creates almost a chorus like effect that may sound too strong at times. There's no doubt though that the music is of high quality. "The Calling" is definitely the strongest track. The fifteen-minute multi-part "Endless Dream" is reminiscent of some of their earlier work. Perhaps if it had been a bit more of a group collaboration, and not so heavily resting upon Rabin's shoulders, this may have been a stronger release.
Report this review (#13873)
Posted Friday, September 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Between 1992-94, Yes had the bad luck to sign a contract with a new label which went bankrupt later. The new label wanted the 90125 line-up, so the main responsibility fell in Trevor Rabin, who again did the best job he could, recording this album in his studio, using computers and advanced recording technology. So, one of the things I don`t like very much from this album is the very "clear and clean" sound of the tracks, very processed by studio technology. But the album is still good, maybe the most "progressive" done by this line-up, with also having the most Radio oriented song from all the songs of this album (I heard it in the Radio), "Walls", a song composed by Rabin with Roger Hodgson (ex- Supertramp) and Jon Anderson. The best songs are: "I am Waiting" (the best of all), "State of Play" (the heaviest of all) and "Endless Dream" (Rabin`s "Awaken", as I call it). "I Am Waiting" is a very good ballad. "State of Play" is almost heavy metal, with very good drums and guitars. "Endless Dream" has a mixture of Rabin`s style with some of the old Yes of the seventies. As Rabin played the main keyboards in this album, Tony Kaye`s organ is there only sometimes.Sometimes in the past I called this album "Talk, by Trevor Rabin AND Yes".

Update (21-March-2011): After watching in youtube to some videos recorded during the "Talk" tour, now I can say that this album is the best that YES recorded with Trevor Rabin. But the live versions are much better, less "polished" and played with energy and feeling, particularly in the case of "Endless Dream", with longer guitar solos by Rabin, and "I am Waiting". The only song they didn´t play from this album was "State of Play", but all the other songs from this album sound much better played live. For all these reasons this album now deserves a four star rating from me.

Report this review (#13874)
Posted Friday, September 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars With three really great songs and four mediocre ones, this album gets 3 stars from me. The Calling, I am Waiting, and Endless Dream are all splendid. Endless Dream reminds me of the song "Crisis" by Mike Oldfied - it is so complete and perfect in and of itself. With a great "story line", a beginning, middle, and ending, it could be a stand-alone album. Actually, if you took these three tracks and put them off by themselves, you would have a 5 STAR album! If you took the middle bits, tracks 3,4,5, & 6, you would end up with a one or two star album. Those songs are colorless and souless. But the sound of the album is very '90s, it wont hold up well over time. That said, the boys are in fine form on their instruments - as always - and Jon's voice continues to amaze me.
Report this review (#13876)
Posted Saturday, January 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars This is by far my least favorite of all Yes albums. Everything on this album sounds completely uninspired to me. I would much rather listen to albums where they at least try to do something new and perhaps come up short (like "Tormato"), than this peice of formulaic musicloaf. The only positive thing I can say about thtis album is that crsip, clear sound quality is quite nice. It might be ok for background music, as long as you have something else for your mind to occupy itself with. I like Yes from all persiods, but I found this album very dissapointing.
Report this review (#13879)
Posted Sunday, February 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is without question the best YES album featuring Trevor Rabin. It is the heaviest sounding YES album (with the possible exception of DRAMA, another underrated album), and it has some great moments, most specifically "The Endless Dream." Every track is solid, and some are quite strong. I was actually saddened that this lineup didn't make a follow-up album; they finally seemed to hit their stride here.

Once again, this is another classic example of YES prog-heads being close-minded because this isn't the "classic" lineup with Howe and Wakeman. Get over it. This was my second favorite album to come out in 1994 (after Marillion's "Brave"), and I think it has held up remarkably well over time. Don't listen to the "purists" who dismiss this album; if you want to buy a good prog YES album from the 80s and 90s, this is your best choice.

Report this review (#13880)
Posted Tuesday, March 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars The aestethics of the album covers of this record describe it's overall quality from my viewpoint : Terrible! I loaned this abomination from my friend's father, and I was devastated by the fact that the band was still being steered by TREVOR RABIN, and the focus was on commercial oriented pop rock. I'm sorry that I can't appreciate this. But if you are open to this kind of music, maybe you should try to give this album a listen then...
Report this review (#13884)
Posted Friday, April 1, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Yes is often controversial. There's even debate about which of the band's albums is most controversial, and "Talk" is certainly a leading contender.

Released in 1994 by the "90125" line-up (Anderson-Kaye-Rabin-Squire-White), the album was this line-up's closest to 70s-style prog. And for that reason, many Yes fans praise "Talk." In contrast, many simply reject anything associated with Rabin, the heavy-handed, jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none.

And indeed, it's Rabin's ego that's the biggest problem with "Talk." Sure, he's multi- talented, but "Talk" is practically a solo album. He produced it, engineered it, played all guitars, and sang some lead vocals. He wrote almost all the music, digitally 'fixed' the drums, seized all keyboard duties except the Hammond organ (Yes had heretofore always had a full-time keyword player), and apparently even played some uncredited bass. This left for very little room for contributions from Anderson, Kaye, Squire and White.

Before 'Talk,' Yes was mostly a democratic affair, with strong input from five highly- talented musicians. If Rabin had simply synergized with the incredible talents of Anderson, Squire, et al, instead of trying to prove to the world that he could make a Yes album all by himself, "Talk" would have been great instead of just good.

So how's the album? Reasonably good, with a solid opening and closing, and an awful middle.

The opening "The Calling" is pleasant AOR-prog, with a spine-tingling instrumental middle and Hammond solo. "I Am Waiting" is hauntingly romantic, and features some wonderful Yes harmonies.

Closing out the album, "Where Will You Be?" is classic, spaced-out Anderson at his celestial best. And "Silent Spring" is Rabin's relatively good attempt at a Yes epic.

However, the three songs in the middle leave much to be desired. "True Love" is an ugly, lumbering grunge work out. "State of Play" is simplistic and discordant. "Walls," the all-time worst Yes single, is a complete disaster. Sung by Rabin and featuring a distinctly country vibe, it doesn't sound like Yes - and doesn't even sound like good country. It could have ended the band's career.

While "Talk" isn't one of Yes' best albums, it's still a worthwhile addition to this band's catalogue and your collection.

Report this review (#13885)
Posted Friday, May 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I agree that this album is not one of the best albums by YES but whenever I consider this album with an open mind, it's a very good one. Musically, it's mostly a straight forward rock music but it has some enrichment in its composition. Take an example the album opener "The Calling" which is basically a straight forward and upbeat rock music. But when I look into details there are some important elements that are rarely found in typical rock music. This includes the opening acoustic guitar parts by Rabin or the guitar solo in alternate with keyboard during interlude; it's different kind of rock music. "I Am Waiting" is a nice song that starts with a soft guitar work followed with a bit symphonic music featuring Rabin's guitar solo. This is the kind of music you would never imagined YES would have ever played, knowing their classic albums like "Fragile" or "The Album" or "Close To The Edge". But, forgetting the classic albums, you will find that enjoying this album is quite rewarding. Trevor Rabin, a young guitarist, is a very talented musician where he could infuse the new Yes sound that can be enjoyed by a wider audience.

"Where Will You Be" (6:03) brings the band to another venture in their musical journey as this song is a percussion-based music with acoustic instruments. "Endless Dream" (15:41) is an excellent track which starts with nice repeated piano chords followed with guitar solo and fast tempo music. Duration-wise it qualifies the YES oldies with 15 minutes duration. But most interestingly is the richness of composition the band offers with this track. A combination of piano, distant vocal and guitar works has characterized this song.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#44545)
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars As a very, very long time Yes freak, I had this CD on the shelf for years after I bought it. After the first listen, it just wasn't what I was used to so I ignored it. Some time later, about three years ago, I decided to give it another try. Let me tell you, that this disc grows on you! It's definitely crunchier than previous albums, but that's partly what I like about it. Maybe it's just music for a certain time and place, because now it always reminds me of that winter in Colorado when I was listening to it daily! Great production, arrangements, vocals, guitars - much more of a rock album than a progressive effort. I don't mind. I still love it. Not crazy about the Peter Max logo, but it sort of ephamsizes the point that this is a slightly different Yes.
Report this review (#49438)
Posted Thursday, September 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars By the 1990's, Yes' evolution saw a reverse trend in terms of creativity and uptrend in terms of recording technology. The music content of this album is as good as the cover-- not memorable. But the recording technology used here was brilliant-- resulting in crystal clear sounds. If I remember clearly, they used hard disk recording in the industry for the first time-- or something like that. Back to the album's music. I tell you what I don't like about the albums after Big Generator (well to some degree 90125)-- the drums sound too imposing and too hard, there is a lack of use of any acoustic guitars and all songs nearly use the same instrument timbres. Jon is my favourite vocalist, but I must say there is not much of nuances in the vocal works in this album (or big generator and the later ones)-- mainly because of the compositions. They tried 'progging' up the album through the 12 minute talk-- but it was not a Yes prog, it was a Rabin prog. And Rabin used a lot of sequencers here (the piano opening of the song is a sequencer job)-- too bad when coming from a band that always had world's top class musicians. Then again, the album is not a trash. You can hear it, but you'll probably forget the songs after two years.
Report this review (#50698)
Posted Saturday, October 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yes has recorded four studio albuns with Trevor Rabin. They are all generally very criticized or underrated by Yes fans, although marked a very important time for the band history. The 1983 release "90125", ,is without doubt essential in Yes carier,both musically -a fresh air in the band musical aproach-and comercially-sold around 7 million copies, scored a tour with 3 million goers and hit a number one single- the only US Yes #1 to date. "Big Generator" from 1986 was comercially not so succesfull,although it has sold around 2 million copies and performed a tour for an audience of 1.5 milllion peoples, clearly didn't get close to 90125 numbers. Musically speaking it has some good moments such "shoot high aim low" and "I'm running", but generally it lacks in consistence and for sure will desapoint many listeners who where looking for the same "90125" aproach or something like an 70s Yes material.

"Union" from 1989 is probably the worse Yes album ever , but it cannot be considered as a real Yes work. Besides the overall bad production from Jonathan Elias , it started as a phonecall from Jon Anderson asking Trevor Rabin to compose some songs for the 2nd ABWH album(?!?!?!?)and finished as a Frankenstein release. Actually, record company was making some pressure over ABWH for a single , and ,as you can realise, single was not(and still isn't) those guys area. Trevor gave his help with "Lift me up" ,"Miracle of Life" and "Saving my Heart", but he never intended to be in one Yes effort untill Chris Squire told him about his vocal work in the album and ask him to consider the idea. Actually Trevor contribution can be stated as one of the best moments in the overally weak "Union", but , like the whole album, it's not very interesting either.The only thing that can be really considered positive in "Union"(which Rick Wakeman defines as "Onion")was the "Union Tour", when the banded performed one of their best live apearances.

Let's talk about the 4th and more consistent release - the 1994 "Talk". With more than 55 minutes,it was the 1st album ever comprehensively recorded on a non linear computer sistem , which means that album was recorded directly to disk rather than to tape. Trevor contribution on "Talk" was more than important . He played keyboards, guitars and vocals,produces and engineered it. For the 1st time ,he got in to a calm beach resort and composed together with Jon Anderson almost the whole album material. Apart for some weak moments -mainly "State of Play" and "Where will you be" - "Talk" is one of the most inpired and underrated Yes releases ever, a real gem, besides you do not have a keyboard work in the same level of a genuine Yes classic demands.

"Talk" opens with "The Calling" (6:52) the album postcard, although not a good composition,very well performed indeed.The 2nd music is " I Am Waiting "(7:22), a classic in all point of view,perfectly recorded and produced,one of the best Yes compositions,could be included in any bands work. "Real Love" (8:42) ,another underrated melody, should be listen in high volume level to be understanded. Intrincate arrangements, outstanding performance and production as any Yes classic requires,it is difficult to realise why several Yes fans dislike it. "State Of Play" (4:58) and "Where will you be"(6:03) where, as said before, the album weakest moments ,however "Walls" (4:52), a typical "90125"song ,is very melodic and well executed,maybe intended to be the album hit. "Talk" ends with the suite "Endless Dream" (15:41) . Splited in 3 parts , was the last Rabin effort to praise Yes fans . Musically is very inspired , with beautifull lirics,arrangement and instrumentation,though unsuccessfull in the original target .The 1st Yes big suite since "Awaken",marked the end of the called "Rabin Era", the farewell song of a time that surely should be more respected by the Yes audience.

Report this review (#51369)
Posted Wednesday, October 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars I just recently bought this album at a used resale shop. I was not expecting anything much out of it, but it was I figured it had to be worth the price. I bought it and I fell in love with some of the tracks on it. "The Calling" is an upbeat rock song with just awesome vocal harmonies. Its a really exciting song. "I am waiting" almost sounds like a Phil Collins song, but Jon Anderson's voice and the beautiful slide guitar bring it over the top. Real Love, State of Plays, and Walls are all songs that shine in their own way. One song I real like is Where Will You Be. It has almost celtic feel to it with 6/8 time. The vocal harmonies again make this song real pleasent to listen to. There is a cool timpani background as well. The guitar solo is excellent. Endless Dream is just a work of art. Another epic song with so much emotion. I would recomend this album to anyone who is looking for a more upbeat album with beautiful blendinging of sound and texture. If you are looking for a complex and dissonant album this is not for you.
Report this review (#59173)
Posted Sunday, December 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 3.5 stars

This is one of Yes' strongest albums after their brilliant Going for the One and easily their best with Rabin (even if he controls the band here more than ever). This album sounds very different from Yes and sounds more like a collaboration from Trevor and Jon Anderson in the vocal department. The production is perfect, althrough that isn't necesarily good for some prog purists. The moods vary from rockers to ballads to some weird stuff in the epic. All the songs are at least good and have some of the best melodies from Jon on the mid-late Yes career.

The Calling starts the album with a bang! This is not the standard big dumb pop-rocker that heads to the charts. This album has some interesting things like keyboard/guitar interplay in the instrumental section, and the way the outro is done which aren't very common on the radio. Besides that, it frickin' rocks and has some sweet guitar and hammond organ soloing. The choruses are catchy and the guitar riff in the intro and outro is a great way to start/finish the song. 7/10

I am Waiting is a great ballad with some simple, yet effective melodies sung with passion, and talk and response elements in vocalizations as well as harmonies. The instrumentation compliments the mood very well and makes this piece one of the best efforts from Rabin. There are also heavier parts, but don't feel out of place. 7.5/10

Real Love a highlight here with one of the best choruses I've ever heard from Yes. The guitar riffing in the beginning is very interesting and holds my attention while the instrumentation is very inspired and proggy. A similar guitar riff is played on distorted guitars after its first chorus. By the way, the choruses have extremely beautiful vocals. Also, the guitar solo at the end is unusually wild and interesting. 8/10

State of Play has a harder edge with a guitar riff close to metal. The choruses sadly are not as great as the ones in hte previous tracks but they end with a bang and lead to the great verses. There's a neat instrumental section in the middle. 6.5/10

Walls is a basic pop/rocker that seems to be aimed for radioplay. Pretty good actually, but I prefer The Calling. 5.5/10

Where Will You Be is yet another highlight of the album. It is a spacey, celestial, percussion-driven piece with absolutely wonderful playing (including a heavenly laid- back guitar solo at minutes 3-4). The singing here is great. 8.5/10

Endless Dream is overall a well done epic, although not as good as their epics in the past. It begins with a bombastic intro full of electric guitar and fast pianos. The second section "talk" has distorted vocals and restrained piano playing. The great "talk talk listening" melody is introduced here and after a short instrumental break, a weird section occurs. While at first it made me imagine a guitar vomiting all over the studio, I kinda got used to this unusual electronic moment and admit that the arrangements are pretty well done. The talk talk listening melody is played again and is followed by a somewhat spacey part which brings back the piano playing of the first section. The guitars here soar. Talk talk listening is played again which is never bad as the theme is strong althrough the climax is not as strong as I would have wished it to be. The third is a soft finale bringing back the melodies of Endless Dream and those weird guitar effects. 6/10

So there you have it, a strong album that some yes fans didn't bother to approach. This is the proggiest and most inspired album from their mid-late career, even if the lineup doesn't seem promising, and the already good members don't seem to do a lot (chris Squire). However, Jon Anderson sings as good as always with his celestial voice, Alan White pounds the drums with power and style, and Trevor sings great vocals while playing at his best.

I recommend it, it is a great album.

Highlights: Real Love, Where Will You Be

Let Downs: Walls

My Grade: B-

Report this review (#79149)
Posted Tuesday, May 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars The two parallel Yes bands pretend to join forces and turn out a fractured, overproduced stinker in Union, but that was rushed, so the followup must be better. Right?

Wrong.

Deathly dull in a way that no Yes album has the right to be (if nothing else, they should entertainingly, heart-stoppingly awful), sonically sterile and featureless.

It's an album you put on, wince at once or twice ("The Calling", "Walls"), then completely forget until it stops playing.

I'm not saying that catchiness is a desired feature in music, but having heard the 17+ minutes of Endless Dream (ah, how well the adjective suits it) approximately 40-50 times in my life, I cannot recall single thing about it. That's not a good sign, however you slice it.

The one good thing that can be said about Talk is that it lost Yes 95% of its fan base in one fell swoop, which left far fewer people to even notice the release of their greatest embarrassment Open Your Eyes.

Report this review (#79348)
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
richardh
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Most Yes beyond 1980 is c**p so it was quite refreshing to discover this very underrated gem from the early nineties.

This is still the Rabin era but it has a freshness and quality of sound that is far better than 90125 and The Big Generator. Alan White plays the drums as well as I've heard him while the songs are strong. Certainly not one to be avoided.

You might be pleasantly surprised in fact!

Report this review (#79374)
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Having hugely enjoyed Yes' masterpiece 'Tales From Topographic Oceans' and other earlier works, I was somewhat curious to experience something of the band's later efforts. If this album is typical of Yes' work with Trevor Rabin however, I would prefer not to delve further. How can a band that embodies so fully in earlier times the genius of Synphonic Prog, have stooped so low as to attach their names to 'Talk' - practically a synonym for trash?

Fortunately it's not all bad. In 'The Calling' Yes have created an up beat track which cannot but put one in a good mood. There is for example a pleasent guitar solo, and Alan White's loud, uncomplicated drumming is almost bearable. Don't be fooled; this is a far cry from the rest of 'Talk'.

'I Am Waiting' is awful, revolving around one riff more or less exclusivly repeated for a full seven minutes. Allan White's lead-ins are clumsy, his drumming loud and uninspiring. Chris Squire's presence on the track is almost non-existant. The only saving grace for this song are Anderson's vocals, which have a fullness generally missing when sung at this pitch by other singers.

'Real Love' goes on for far too long for such an uninspring pop imitation. This entails much pointless repetition of uninteresting material. There is an incredibly naff electronic pitched percussive sound played at the beggining of the track, heralding Alan White's clumsy lead in and utterly monotonous drum part. Granted, the song does have the occasional good moment, but all things considered, it's little more than trash. The same may equally be said of 'State of Play' and 'Walls', the latter in which Trevor Rabin actually sings. Anderson's vocals are more or less the only positive aspect to much of the 'Talk'; his taking back stage makes 'Walls' about the worst thing present on the enitre album.

Not that it bring any consolation, but 'Where Will You Be' is perhaps a little better. That doesn't mean its good - just slightly less obtuse. Feuturing a nice keyboard opening sequence and interesting percussion, White at least drops his horrible, load, clumsy drumming. The music however, is childish. The lyrics are particularly infantile. The whole song reminds me of 'The Lion King'.

Another interesting keyboard texture opens 'Endless Dream', an extended piece of music, but my no means an epic. Crashing chords are imposed on top of this Hillage like texture, before the tempo picks up for an instrumental passage, at times almost reminiscant of Rush. Alan White's drumming is a little more complex and Squire a little more prominent than elsewhere on 'Talk'. The tempo and volume subsequently drop again, and a gong heralds the end of part one: 'Silent Spring'. Part two: 'Talk', sees vocals first introduced into the piece, accompanied by fairly pleasant keyboard from Tony Kaye. The vocals at this stage are masked electronicly (but not unpleasantly) and can be attributed to Trevor Rabin. Anderson takes over, his naturally high, full voice in pleasant contrast to the electronic Rabin. A rather silly musical passage briefly marrs this promising start, approximately five minutes into the piece, before a guitar solo and breath taking return back onto the main theme restores the music to its former self. The music ebbs and flows, before yet another return to the main theme, Rabin and Anderson's vocals intertwined effectivly. The concluding section to the piece is quiet and peacefull, pleasantly bringing 'Endless Dream' to its conclusion. Sometimes pop, sometimes new age, occasionally just silly, 'Endless Dream' is however a little better than most of the material elsewhere on the album.

Much of 'Talk' is only really worthy of one star. 'Endless Dream' and 'The Calling' might make a case for three, if considered outwith the context of the album as a whole. Perhaps two stars is therefor the most fitting, however I seriously doubt that any Yes fan actually likes 'Talk', so even a two star rating would serve only to mislead. Probably best left then, for rabid completionists - and awarded only one.

Report this review (#80124)
Posted Friday, June 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yes' Talk was the first album I ever heard from this group. And I have to say, this is a great album. Talk is an album that is quiet different from thier other stuff. But has plenty a moments to make it one of my absolute favorites of what I've heard. I haven't heard much from Yes, being mostly a prog metal freak. But Talk has always been an album I put in my CD collection when I go on trips as a must listen CD. It has some great tunes such as "Real Love", "The Calling", "State of Play, and many others.

This ten track album includes some great emotions to it. The last three tracks for example, Talk, is a great trio that sounds great. This album is also very entergetic and proves some excellent muscian mastery behind the scenes. Of course, we're talking about a very influencetail band. Bands such as Dream Theater, who happens to be very good, was influenced by these guys' highly melodic music and odd rythms. This album, to me, shows some of these great features that Yes has dished out, at least with the albums I own.

Songs, there are plenty of songs to enjoy on this album. "Real Love" is by far my personal favorite of all the songs Yes has released, also has some good heavy guitar around 4 mintues. Give it a listen! "The Calling" is also a great song that really kicks the album off into a good direction. "State of Play" is an incredible song that I absolutely love! "I am Waiting" is a good soft hit along with the great upbeat tune of "Walls". Now, the last three songs, taking on the epic title "talk" are great. The first and third are only about 2 minutes long while the second is 11 mintues. It's a great song that I listen to frequently. This album is full of great songs.

Over all, I'd have to say that Yes - Talk is an excellent album, and a great addition to your colleciton of Prog music. It's one of my favorites and was definetly worth the buy! Give the album a try, it's great.

Report this review (#89400)
Posted Sunday, September 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As a huge Yes fan I must say I was somewhat disappointed by this ablum. I do like it, don't get me wrong (hence the 3 stars) but something about it just isn't right. This could be the presence of Trevor Rabin as opposed to the great Steve Howe, and it could also be the fact that we're in the 90s now. For the record, this album does sound very 90s, from the mellowness of most of the tracks (both a strong and weak point for the album) and the almost hip-hop beat of some of the songs (State of play, I'm looking at you!).

Let's take at some of the songs, shall we?

The Calling - I like this track a lot, it's a nice little ditty that's not too long and not too short, it has a nice tempo, but I think it could have been better still. Overall, a good opener, and likely one of the best tracks on the album.

I am waiting - This is where the album starts to lose me. I'd like to say I can really get into this song, because it's fairly well written, but it's too quiet, for one, and it drags on for far too long in my opinion.

Real Love - This is a cool song, and I like it a lot. It's eerie, and this one is obne of the songs I think could have been made longer! That's not a complaint against the song either, I think it's great.

State Of Play - OKay, here's what you get when a 70s band tries to land a hit in the 90s. I have a soft spot for this song, because it's kind of fun. However! I don't think Yes should be in this kind of territoy! It's far too poppy, far to mainstream and well... I have things against it like people have things against "Don't Go" from Magnification.

Walls - This is a track where it all seems to come together well. It is, I'll admit, still a little too mainstream, but it's still a good track overall. It's nice and mellow, suiting the mood of the album, and it is still a little poppy. But again, overall a good song.

Where Will You Be - This one is way too much like I am Waiting. Slow and quiet! So... there's really not much left to say about this song... It's the album's absolute low-point.

Endless Dream - I'm going to review this 3-track song as one song. This is a great little 90s "epic" that clocks at almost 16 minutes total, and is where Yes Should have been going on this album. It starts with the intro, Silent Spring, which is likely the best instrumental opener since Cinema, which, even if you didn't like 90215, was a cool song. Ths gives way to the middle part of the song and album's title track "Talk" which is quiet again, but very well written and put together. The song ends with Endless Dream, which doesn't sound much different from Talk. All in all, this song is probably the only thing that keeps me coming back to this record.

All in all this is a record that's good as background music, or maybe to entertain some friends that like Hip-hop. I don't know, whatever you want. I personally think it's a good album in a musical sence, but I think it's a bad Yes album.

Report this review (#89679)
Posted Thursday, September 14, 2006 | Review Permalink
ClemofNazareth
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This is kind of a forgotten Yes album in some ways. It failed to really make any waves when it came out in the midst of a heavy college indie and grunge period in music, which is partially reflected in the generic Victory label that released it.

This certainly isn’t much of a progressive work, but it is several standards above where many of the former prog heroes were at the time. And I will say it iis nowhere near as vapid as the previous two albums 90125 and Big Generator (Union only partially counts since it’s really more like two bands who decided to split production costs by releasing on the same album). The songs here are mostly quite mellow, although Trevor Rabin manages several soaring guitar-scream solos that for the most part seem contrived and out-of- place. It’s also an album with compositions that seem geared toward a concert setting. I would imagine there were plenty of disposable lighter tributes in the live shows for this tour, especially during songs like “I Am Waiting” and “Where Will You Be”. One of those two was chosen as a class song by some midwestern American high-school graduating class I’m quite sure. Maybe both of them. And “Walls” sounds like some kind of Peter Cetera solo work for sure. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, but it's worth pointing out.

The music here is much more guitar-focused than the band’s previous albums, and there is a great deal of collaboration between Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, and Rabin on both songwriting and vocals.

The strongest tracks here are the two opening “The Calling” and to a lesser extent "I Am Waiting”. Both are centered on Rabin’s guitar and Anderson’s sappy lyrics, but for the first time in several years the band takes the time to develop each song to include some interesting instrumentation to augment the angst-a-thon singing. “I Am Waiting” in particular has several modest guitar features that are lightly accented by Squire’s bass.

The band revives an almost forgotten tradition of including an extended, multi-section piece at the end entitled “Endless Dream”. The differences between this and some of the epic tracks in the band’s early album are significant. The lyrics are quite trite compared to the majesty of “Gates of Delirium” or “Heart of the Sunrise” or “Awaken”. And the keyboards (where they stand out at all) are very mild-mannered. But the track has several extended instrumentals that highlight mostly Rabin and Squire but are more interesting than two or three more slow-dance tunes.

I guess Rabin and Tony Kaye left after this album, which maybe is a good thing or Keys to Ascension might not have happened. Who knows.

This is a step up from most of what the band had been churning out up till this point in the decade or so since the music started being more about egos and income, and less about music. So it is what it is. If I were discovering Yes for the first time with this album there’s a good chance I wouldn’t pursue them any further. But for long-time fans, this is a good step in a positive direction after several years of really annoying diversions. Three stars is probably ever-so-slightly too high, but two is definitely not enough – this is better than just a collector’s piece. And better times are ahead for the band, at least for a few years.

peace

Report this review (#89747)
Posted Saturday, September 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is the first album by Yes I bought in 1994. Later on I bought "Close to the edge" I have to admit that I listen much more to "Talk" than to the supposed masterpiece of 1972. It is more fun, because of the slight overproduction and the bombast on this record. But to me it is only to some extent prog. Some gimmicks on the record give a hint towards that. Overall it contains long(er) tracks, but that doesn't make the album necessarily prog. No elements of fromer Yes-glory here. Still it gives me pleasure to lsiten to it (State of play, Real love and Endless Dream are my favourites) So I say it is a godd album, but since we are TALKing about prog here: only two points. t.
Report this review (#94921)
Posted Wednesday, October 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This albums not too bad. Definitely better than Union and Open Your Eyes.

The production of this album is similar to Big Generator, but sounds even colder. I think Chris Squire said it sounds like a computer because it was recorded on a computer. It reminds me of the old Monty Python sketch about "woody" words and "tinny" words. The Yes Album, Fragile, and Tales from Topographic Oceans are "woody" while "Talk" is definitely tinny.

All the parts are crystal clear.

The vocal harmonies are big and chorus-like. They're so flawless it seems almost inhuman.

The drums are pretty loud in the mix. I don't think I've ever heard another album where the drums are so upfront. Sometimes I feel as if they are wacking me in the head with a baseball bat. I suppose the closest analogy I can think of is the Def Leppard Hysteria album. That has a huge drum sound.

The clean electric guitars sound like they skipped the guitar amp and just recorded directly to the board. They have a cold, thin, wirey quality.

Similarly, the acoustic guitars have no warmth. It sounds like they recorded an acoustic guitar with a piezo under-the-bridge-pickup directly into the board.

Most of the songs on the album are actually pretty laid back and slow with slow guitar melodies.

Like the Open Your Eyes album, this album doesn't really sound like a group effort. It sounds like a Trevor Rabin/Jon Anderson project. Chris Squire's bass seems missing in action. Tony Kaye is only credited as playing Hammond Organ, and I only noticed the organ in one song. I wonder how many tracks he actually plays on.

1. The Calling This song is sort of a pop song, but it is more complex than a typical pop song.

There doesn't really seem to be a lead vocalist, since every word seems to be harmonized. This is an example of a song with huge harmonies.

This song also has the "big" drum sound.

I was surprised to hear Trevor Rabin playing country licks, although they sound like country licks running through a rack of guitar processors.

This is the only song I know that Tony Kaye plays since it contains a Hammond Organ solo.

I respect the vocals, musicianship, and composition of this song, yet it never really grabs me.

2. I Am Waiting This is a pretty mellow song based around a simple guitar riff which is repeated ad nauseum. You find yourself waiting for it to end. The repetition is finally interrupted by an aggressive guitar break that seems totally out-of-character with the rest of the song. For some reason, this song evokes images of grandma and grandpa sitting in their rocking chairs on the front porch. And then all of a sudden the Kool-Aid man bursts through the walls.. "Oh Yeaaah!". Then the Kool-aid man apologizes, cleans up his mess, and everything is peaceful again. This song is OK. It really could be edited down to half it's length.

3. Real Love Now here is one of my favorites. It basically is based around another simple riff, but breaks into a huge symphonic-like choruses with deep bass-pedal tones. This song sounded even more powerful when I saw them play it on the supporting tour for this album. It is the "The More We Live - Let Go" song of the album. This is the Chris Squire song of the album.

4. State Of Play This song is kind of poppy too. It starts out with some aggressive Rabin-style guitar, but also breaks into a nice big chorus where Anderson's high-pitched vocals float over a bed of synthesizer pads. It seems like Anderson sounds best when singing over keyboard pads ala "Soon", "Awaken", etc.

5. Walls This song is definitely a pop song, and a boring one at that. I can never make it past the first line of the chorus before I hit the Next button. When I saw the tour for this album, everyone went crazy over this song. I'm assuming it must've got a lot of radio play. But I don't think there were really that many hardcore Yes fans at that concert since "And You and I" barely got any audience response. I consider this the "Saving My Heart" song of the album. It is boring and trite.

6. Where Will You Be Here is another of my favorites. This song has an almost "new age" feel to it. It is one of the few songs on this album where Jon Anderson sings by himself for the most part. It is definitely a Jon Anderson song. It is basically Jon sing over a marimba-sounding sequence while Trevor Rabin plays his "John McLaughlin Shakti"-style acoustic guitar parts. Kind of like a more new agey sounding "Holy Lamb".

7. Endless Dream As others have said, this is the "Awaken" song of this album. It starts out with a really rocking and complex intro. But after that it gets mellow and pretty much loses my interest. Then it ends with some nice choral harmonies. This song was a highlight for me when I saw it on the accompanying tour. However, I think "Awaken" or "And You and I" is better.

Report this review (#104771)
Posted Thursday, December 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars I felt in love with Yes in 1973 (I was fourteen) when I discovered YesSongs. You can easily understand that this album is not really my cup of tea. Their good studio times (IMO) stopped in 1980 with "Drama" (although "Tormato" was rather weak) and they recovered in 1996 releasing some new ones on "Keys" I and II. In the meantime well ...a live album, some compilation ones and very, very poor original work (although "90125" was better than average).

This album is almost as bad as Big Generator ! AOR tunes without heart nor emotion; bunch of loudy drumming, repetitive songs etc. Like "The Calling", "Real Love" (real bad), or "Walls". "Same for "Where Will You Be" : over six minutes of the most boring stuff you can think of : completely useless. "I am Waiting" is just above par (which is not difficult on this album). At least it has a good catchy melody and some emotional guitar play.

The bottom is probably "State Of Play" : hard rock oriented at times, not oriented at all during most of the song : dreadful. Then the suite "Endless Dream" (almost forteen minutes). It only starts being OK after almost seven minutes. So, even this one is half boring. Do not spend any money on this one. One star, what else can I say ? I wish that Yes never produced this one either.

Report this review (#106350)
Posted Saturday, January 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars (Two and a half stars, really.)

What I hear in the music of "Talk" is TREVOR RABIN's gambit to (finally) create some actual prog music, and while he doesn't fail at it really, Other than that JON's voice is still here, this is not a YES album in any way at all. This is actually a strong album, with a definite cohesion and atmosphere about it, but it's downfall is that a lot of it it is quite bland, and again that it is by No means any kind of a YES album.

The strong points are the beautifully emotive "I am Wating" and the redeeming moment of the entire RABIN era of YES, the beautiful epic title piece, "Talk" which manages to almost rival some of the band's classic, truely progressive work while not actually recalling any of it. Lovely emotional moments, but it's missing complexity and musical ingenuity that would make it truely progressive and link it to the band's revered classic work.

Report this review (#109385)
Posted Monday, January 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
3 stars THE LAST RABIN CONTRIBUTION!

I don't know what happened exactly between UNION and TALK, but the 80s line-up reunited tp produce one last album. This is the last TREVOR RABIN appearance with YES, but he will leave with a bang. On TALK, RABIN is not sharing any leadership with Anderson. This is a RABIN album with YES members as back-up band; no less. I think the only contribution of JON ANDERSON is limited to the lyrics.

TREVOR RABIN plays guitar ,sings, plays keyboards (yes,Tony KAYE playsonly hammond) , programs, engineers, and of course produces the album through a computer; did i mention he composes the songs as well?? and of course, i am sure he told the other 4 members that the services of designer ROGER DEAN were again no longer needed, thus back to ugly and dull cover artwork; i guess his choice of covers is not his strong point.

Like any other RABIN-era Yes album, we have a mixed bag of horrible plain pop songs that tend to sound all the same after a while.Trevor RABIN knows how to find hooks when composing, the problem after a while, it's always a little bit the same thing, repeated ad nauseam.

So what's good, what's bad? Let start with the ugly, the cold production of the album.The album is like the cover,it has no warmth, no coziness, that's bland sound with almost all the time, horrible drums on the forefront. And believe me , ALAN WHITE is not being asked to copy BILL BRUFORD; You could have put a drum machine and it would sound the same. Also The bass playing from CHRIS SQUIRE has become almost non-existent. Whatever happened to the old glorious basslines from YESteryear? That's the very bad part.Some songs are irritating like the horrible ''state of play'' or the dull ''walls'' .

But after that, that's not bad at all: ''The Calling'' is classic pop songs but with good hooks and nice arrangements. ''I am waiting'' is just plain beautiful ballad as is ''where will you be'', which could sound like old YES. And for the first time in years, YES comes back with an epic ''endless dream''. I guess RABIN wanted to show that he could compose an epic too as he was about to leave the band. Oh! this is not ''The gates of delirium'' or other good oldie from the glorious times, but that's a very interesting 15mn piece of music with a lot of rythm changes, sometimes hard-rocking, sometimes sweet and peaceful. This is almost a solo piece as TREVOR RABIN is in charge of guitars and keyboards and do a lot of vocals l I guess it was his swansong, his testament when saying goodbye to YES.

So with some good parts, some excellent parts, some dull parts and some ugly parts, with a horrible production, i would put classify this album as average..... so let's go with 3 stars. But good news: the great YES is about to return soon!!

Report this review (#127195)
Posted Saturday, June 30, 2007 | Review Permalink
E-Dub
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Speaking as a fan of both Rabin and Rabin-less Yes, I feel that both eras have something to offer. As much as the purists may dislike what Rabin had to offer, there is no denying that Yes was introduced to legions of new fans with the more radio friendly of 90125. Although there was a bit of a hiccup with Big Generator, and an on and off again flirtation with the classic lineup, the 90125 lineup reconvened in 1994 with Talk. This is a brilliantly performed album that embodies the spirit of Yes. Sorry, purists, but it really does.

The albums initial track "The Calling" has a pretty driving rhythmic beat held down by Squire and White, mixed in with some excellent exchanges of Hammond organ work by Kaye, and Rabin's flashy guitar wizardry. A very nice anthemic way to begin Talk.

"I Am Waiting" is a bit soft spoken kicked off with an almost Hawaiian-esque guitar slide. Anderson's vocals displays that almost whisper-like tone one minute, but he can definitely turn on the jets when the emotion dictates...and this song is pure emotion. Maybe on the light side of Yes in any form, but I'm not above recognizing beauty in a song. Absolutely sublime.

"Real Love" takes on a more 'grunge" sounding guitar riff and a bit more down and dirty for Yes. Not my favorite from this disc, but they really turn it on for "State Of Play", which is excellent. Excellent rhythm anchoring by White and Squire, which soaring, heartfelt vocals. Rabin really paints a nice image with his playing with both light and heavy sections. Probably the best song on the disc.

"Walls" sounds like something leftover from 90125. Simply a great tune with stellar production and with one of Rabin's best guitar solos towards the end that sounds a bit like Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac. The acoustic guitar adds a nice tone to the song.

"Where Will You Be" has a bit of a Tangerine Dream/Shadowfax sound to it. Very atmospheric and low in tonal quality. Not a lot of changes or anything dynamic with this one, but a good song. Rabin (again) displays his virtuosity on the guitar. Nice stuff.

Well lookie here!!! A Yes epic from the Rabin era!!! "Endless Dream" clocks in at around 13 minutes and is divided into 3 sections. I'm sure old Yes fans would still find something wrong with this; however, this is a brilliantly executed Yes ballad. Sure, it's not "Gates Of Delirium" or "Close To The Edge", but it's so nice to see what this incarnation of Yes are capable of when they prog out...and they do a damn fine job. Different mood changes with strong vocal harmonies. This and "Real Love" are my two favorites, but I find the whole disc excellent!

I'm one of a handful of people on this site that enjoys the Rabin era of Yes. 90125 is what really introduced me to Yes and provoked me into getting...well....almost everything they've ever released. I would have hoped that a strong disc like Talk would've seen more releases from this lineup, but I don't think it's going to happen...unfortunately. With Talk you have the best of both worlds as it pertains to West Yes: very melodic with a bit more of a hard rock sound, but lovely balance of layers and harmonies. A brilliant disc.

Report this review (#129939)
Posted Monday, July 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
progaardvark
COLLABORATOR
Crossover/Symphonic Teams
3 stars After the Union tour, Wakeman, Bruford, and Howe left the unwieldy group of eight, leaving behind the 90125 formation of Yes. Rabin wanted to reintroduce Yes to the 1990's with a leaner, more guitar-oriented style. In taking this role, Rabin ensured that he would have a hand in every song on the album Talk, released in 1994. The results were surprisingly better than expected for the Rabin version of Yes. This sounded only vaguely similar to their previous works of Big Generator and 90125. Talk was also many miles better than the terrible Union album of 1991.

Much of Talk is again radio friendly AOR material, but it has a good number of longer tracks. Some of these are not very memorable and a few are easily "skippable" events on your CD player. Rabin's guitar work is probably at the best it has ever been. Many of the solos are reminiscent of his Can't Look Away solo album from 1989. He certainly has come a long way from 90125. The best and most creative song on the album is the three-part Endless Dream, timing in at over 15 minutes. It is the answer to what would a Trevor Rabin prog rock song sound like. In my opinion it's the best song under the Yes moniker since the Drama album.

Endless Dream unfortunately does not save Talk from various levels of mediocrity from the shorter material. But it does keep it from being a one-star or two-star affair. Fans of classic Yes will probably not like this album. Fans of the 1980s Yes might like some of it. Die-hard Yes fans will have mixed feelings, some enjoying it, some not. A mixed bag. I think it's fairly good, but not a chance at being essential in any way. Three stars.

Report this review (#130312)
Posted Thursday, July 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars At least for me, the best Yes Rabin-era album... No, I'm not joking. Maybe is the worst cover Yes album but "Talk" has at least three decent Yes songs that you could put into the better tracks made by this band during the last 70's, 80's and early 90''s.

Definetively is not a masterpiece, but the pop-prog-rock made by Yes with Rabin inffluences really works here. Solid songs as the beautiful "I'm Waiting", with a perfect mix of sections of Jon's vocals and almost metal and epic guitar riffs. The heavy State of Play, a strong song with powerful guitar sections. The epical "The Calling", maybe one of the best album starters made by Yes during their entire career and the awsome "Endless Dream", a kind of modern "Awaken" with a superb intro and well elaborated changes during the 15 minutes of the song.

In my opinion, far better than "Union", more compromised and honest. Yeah, sometimes the album sound closer of Rabin solo album "I Can't Look Away" than the classic Yes but so what? Because of Rabin, Yes could survive the 80's and the early 90's so, in this range, "Talk" is a very good album: sometimes proggy, sometimes poppish, sometmes heavy but overall, solid and musically strong.

3.4*

Report this review (#147510)
Posted Saturday, October 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yes totally aren't playing fair here. Opening with one of the most melodic, driving, groove-laden and CATCHY songs I've ever heard, lead track THE CALLING is a total earworm. It's got a hook that embeds itself in your brainpad and stays there for days. Couple that with the fact that Jon is singing better than ever, it's a sure shot for one of the best songs I've ever heard; no mean feat.

I AM WAITING is almost power-balladish. Beautiful guitars, great Hammond playing by Tony, and once again, a lead vocal to die for. Jon is singing wonderfully here, with lyrics about believing in love set against an arrangement that is at once pastoral yet aggressive.

After all this, the rest is gonna be a buzzkill, right? Not totally. WALLS is soft prog, with, once again, a wonderful vocal and great vocal interplay from Anderson and Rabin. If Rabin wanted to take center stage, this is where he did it. And he did a BRILLIANT job. STATE OF PLAY has a driving drum groove, slashing guitars, and a neat little acoustic breakdown. I give it 4 stars. It's no CTTE or TFTO (two of my faves), but it's definitely up there with some of their best work.

Report this review (#162387)
Posted Friday, February 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of the most controversial and underrated of Yes albums. (similar case as Big Generator) This album is amazing by all means. It uses innovative techniques, shows one of the greatest skills of musicianship that was ever seen even in Yes standards. But most important are the ideas. This is extremely creative album, truly progressive (unlike regressive prog studio tracks of Keys of Ascension). Beautifully melodic, epic, psychedelic, poppy, heavy, mellow, unconventional.. every single moment has its place. It is truly emotional journey. Extremely varied, colourful yet tight and cohesive musical experience. Most of credit is of course Rabin's. But his team work with Anderson is the greatest essence, both creative minds enjoyed great time making this and it is clearly visible on the result! Recommened in the highest possible way to open-minded fans of progressive and rock music in general, as well as to musicians.
Report this review (#164212)
Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars Endless dream!

After Union, Yes reverted back to the line-up of Big Generator and 90125. Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Tony Kaye, Alan White, and Trevor Rabin created Talk, the third and final album by this particular version of Yes. It is also, in my opinion, the best of these three albums. Actually, I find it to be much better than both 90125 and Big Generator. Perhaps touring with Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Bill Bruford on the Union tour injected some of the classic Yes spirit into the 80's line-up. They feel refreshed here somehow and deliver these songs with a new-found passion and energy. A return to form!

While Trevor Rabin's best songs ever had been of the Union album, he continues to (co-)write some really good ones here. Of special interest is the three-part epic Endless Dream which is an excellent return to more adventurous musical territory, but the whole album is solid. I didn't always appreciate this album as much as I do now, but it has grown on me since I first heard it years ago.

Highly recommended!

Report this review (#176987)
Posted Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | Review Permalink
Gooner
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars _Talk_ along with _The Ladder_ and _Magnification_ are all excellent addtions to any prog.rock collection. Admittedly, I curiously checked out Yes in the '80s and was sadly disappointed save a few decent tracks (can't throw the baby out with the bathwater). _Talk_ is return to form for Yes since _Going For The One_ and some may say _Drama_. Yes doing as Yes does. If hits the radio...great! If not, so what! :-)

The Calling was the single on _Talk_. I remember hearing it on the radio in London, Ontario, Canada back in the day...and had the same feeling when I heard Deep Purple's _Perfect Strangers_ LP in 1984. They're back! Sadly, _Talk_ was a diamond in the rough for Yes since _Open Your Eyes_(the follow up) was a real turkey(corrected on _The Ladder_). _Talk_ is a pleasant sounding album, very reminiscent of tracks like Turn Of The Century(from Going For The One) and Onward(Tormato!). As mentioned, _Endless Dream_ is the classic here, some parts quite heavy bordering on _metal_ without the cliches. A highly enjoyable set recommended for any prog. rock collection.

Report this review (#178200)
Posted Friday, July 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the third album by Rabin line-up called YesWest. I'd like to say that this one is on the order better than the previous, Union, which i gave 3 stars because of that amount of useless songs. The band decided to create much more progressive stuff, and even the epic! The result does not dissapoint, here is still the sound like in Union, but on the other hand, we hear the continuing of Big Generator.

1. The Calling - 5/5 - great beginning, the way better than I Would Have Waited Forever, last sounds good but this is a real thing, and more progressive too. 2. I Am Waiting - 5/5 - my favourite on the album. I think this song is one of the examples of masterpieces of Rabin era of Yes, such modern-prog! 3. Real Love - 4,5/5 - sometimes boring one, the main theme and hard-rock riffs are rather good, specific style 4. State Of Play - 5/5 - such a clockwork song, one of favourites! Ritars and melodies are brilliant, prog presents here too. What should i wish for happyness more? 5. Walls - 4,25/5 - not bad piece, sometimes sounding like alternative or pop-rock song. 6. Where Will You Be - 4/5 - boring one, Anderson vocals quiet and pleasant. Endless Dream: 7. A. Silent Spring - 5/5 -as like Cinema, one of the best Yes instrumentals i've ever heard, such clockwork prog piece, one lack - too short. 8. B. Talk - 4/5 - 12-minute epic, most of the time we hear Jon's wokals and keyboard passages. Rather good thing, but in my opinion this is not an epic really, this is somewhat the wasting of recording time. This is anything in comparison with Close to the Edge or Gates of Delirium. 9. C. Endless Dream - 3,75/5 - an endind part of Endless Dream presents nothing special, only quiet vocals with melodic keyboards.

The average mark is 4,5 stars really. It's certainly not a masterpiece, so i give 4 stars to it.

Report this review (#178302)
Posted Sunday, July 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars YES accidentally entered the prog metal lists with this album - or, at least it sometimes seems to me. I'm not sure how else to describe this rather heavy, somewhat turgid and one-dimensional offering other than as distinctly average prog metal.

A series of poor albums had rendered YES largely irrelevant by the time this effort emerged in 1994. The faux-union of 1991 had been abandoned, and YES Mk - er, whatever - had been abandoned. The personnel left were those of the '90125/Big Generator' period, which probably says enough for most users of this site. To my ear this album sits uncomfortably between the slick, progressive '90125' and the laboured, underwhelming 'Big Generator', with snippets of outstanding music unfortunately leavened by sections of insipid AOR and pointless repetition. It's not like YES - of any incarnation - to subject us to so many repetitive phrases. I'm used to creativity from this band, not procrastination. Get on with it!

In the 'outstanding music' camp is the track 'Real Love' - though even this goes on too long without offering meaningful progression of themes - and the superb guitar melody line from 'I Am Waiting'. The latter song is graced by a glorious motif, introduced first at the 20 second mark, a tune to make the heart break - and criminally wasted in a song that offers nothing else of significance apart from this minute-long phrase repeated twice more. I can't help wondering what a great songwriter would have made of this gift from the music gods.

So-so tracks include the three-part 'epic' that concludes the record, a series of heavier moments separated by rather pointless atmospherics; the pleasant, inoffensive opener 'The Calling'; and the eastern-sounding 'Where will You Be'. Unfortunately, their major 'commercial' thrust, the twin tracks 'State of Play' and 'Walls', are duds. If you want it to be played on the radio, it has to be fun, or catchy, anything but bland music that outstays its welcome on first listen. I've never wanted to hear either track again.

Good bits, poor bits, and ho-hum bits do not an excellent album make. At least it's of distinctly higher quality that its two predecessors: with a bit of work, and had it appeared a decade earlier, it might have been a worthy successor to the outstanding '90125'. But it didn't, and few people noticed this release. For all intents and purposes YES was history. And that's where they would retreat to after the poor reception this album received.

Report this review (#179559)
Posted Thursday, August 14, 2008 | Review Permalink
poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Oh...awful!Really the worst progressive album by Yes (if I don't count Big Generator,which is another genre).Totally boring and banal;I think the first and the last song are these things,that save the album from absolute failure.They are the only attempts for making something satisfying in this album.Obviously Trevor Rabin is the factor for destroying the musical capabilities of Yes.They have four albums with him and the three of them (without Union) are poor clones of Yes' music.Union is classic for me,but because of Steve Howe.Every little thing from the album goes wrong.The musical synchrony between the musicians and the songwriting are totally poor!.The reason for this maybe is the crisis of progressive rock as whole at the time - the second worst period for progressive rock after the middle of the 80's,which is the worst one.1.5 stars from me,because of The Calling and partly - Endless Dream.
Report this review (#184731)
Posted Saturday, October 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars The commercialised Yes of the Rabin era return with Talk. From the pop song Walls to the ethereal Where will you be, Yes continues down the road travelled with 90125 and Big Generator......but with even less success.

Rabin's guitar work is middle of the road at best. The vocals of Jon Anderson are wonderful as always. Original Yes man Tony Kaye on keyboards creates literally nothing worth noting on the album, but his work on Where will you Be is the exception. Alan White is solid as usual, as is Chris Squire.

Walls is the biggest disappointment on the album, co-written by Roger Hodgson of Supertramp fame. The song reminds me why I never was a Supertramp fan. A very generic, forgettable pop song.

The heaviest song is the starting movement to the last track Endless Dream. A fine overture subtitled Silent Spring, it is over much too quickly. But it leads into the next to movements Talk and Endless Dream and give the album some of the sounds we've come to expect from Yes. Only the distorted vocal section of the middle movement struck me the wrong way. Jon Anderson's voice is too good to distort in any way, shape or form!

Good for Yes completionists............Wonderful if you like the Rabin era..........but this is not your father's Yes.

Report this review (#189798)
Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Following the disaster that was Union, Wakeman, Howe, and Bruford quit (again) leaving the future of the band in serious doubt. However, Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun approached the Yes West incarnation to ask them to record an LP on his new Victory Records label, assuming that the world would rush out and buy son of 90125 in their masses. Unfortunately, it didn't quite work out like that - the album was very poorly publicised, the critics all but ignored it, and the label went bust. This incarnation of the band would never record again. Oh well....

All of this is a shame, because this is a criminally underrated album. Rabin did just about all of the writing and production, but, crucially, he allowed Anderson a strong voice in its making that had been absent from previous albums, and Jon responded in kind, producing an incredible vocal performance and willing the band to succeed.

The Calling opens the album in fine style. This is an old fashioned rock track, and Alan White is on particularly good form with loud drums.

I am Waiting is one of the finest love songs produced by the band, starting with a deceptively thoughtful guitar piece by Rabin, opening up to a full blown rock anthem, before settling down again. Rabin is tremendous on this. One of the best tracks the band produced after the so called classic period ended.

Real Love and State of Play are both fine rock epics, and the band really push out their credentials as both a progressive band and a rock band credible to fans in an era when grunge dominated.

Walls slows the tempo down a great deal. This is the one track that survived to CD the daliance Squire, Rabin, and White had with Roger Hodgson, formerly of Supertramp.. It has some of that band's quirkiness, with Rabin and Anderson certainly enjoying a great deal the vocal interplay on the chorus.

Where will you Be is a fine atmospheric piece that again shows Rabin at his finest. The man really did bring a lot to Yes. He's no Howe (who is?), but a distinct vocal and guitar style of his own added to the band certainly.

The Endless Dream trilogy has long been painted as this incarnation's Close to the Edge. To compare the two is ridiculous. It is, though, fantastic. Some exceptionally brooding guitar work, contrasts with Anderson's soaring lyrics. When he sings It's the first time, telling us this life, you realise just what a return to form this song and album are. The Talk Talk section features some fine vocal harmonies and band instrumental interplay. Over 15 minutes of pure prog heaven, this is amongst the finest pieces by any incarnartion of the band.

Very much misunderstood by some fans and critics alike, I would urge all prog fans to get this LP. It really is a fine example of a band supposedly on its last legs shouting out to the world that they still had the creativity and musical nouse to produce a great work. What a shame it didn't translate into vast success at the time.

Report this review (#205867)
Posted Monday, March 9, 2009 | Review Permalink
Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars This is a great Yes album that I think gets bundled together with the lackluster music they were producing after the thankfully temporary departure of their guitarist. For the year it was made, it is great work from an amazing band.

"The Calling" Heavy vocal arrangements and instrumentation begin the album after some springy guitar work, and it's clear that in spite of not being a progressive rock masterpiece, Yes had a good thing going with this album. Trevor Rabin's country-tinged guitar licks and Tony Kaye's soulful organ make me forget for a while the glorious days of Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman.

"I am Waiting" Perhaps my favorite song is this fantastic interplay between Rabin's screaming electric guitar and Anderson's vocals. It has a gentle verse with sweet guitar and lovely vocals. This is easily one of my favorites on this album.

"Real Love" This song has an unconventional melody and some great music. The arrangement is full of shimmering guitar and keyboards, as well as some heavy-hitting bass and percussion.

"State of Play" Gritty, screaming guitar begins this throwback to the 1980s. The verses are fast-paced and over acoustic guitar. It becomes a more beautiful and palatable piece of music about halfway through though.

"Walls" A great pop song that I'd heard on the radio a few times (I remember hearing it on the album for the first time and going, that was Yes?), this song has an excellent verse melody and an even better chorus. Rabin's vocals are exceptionally good as Anderson pops in and out between lines. Rabin's sweet countrified guitar licks are also clear evidence that he is one of the best guitarists in music.

"Where Will You Be" Soft keyboards and hand percussion begin this pleasing but somewhat bland track. Once more, the guitar is tasteful and gorgeous.

"Endless Dream: Silent Spring" The beginning of this epic piece, which was allegedly leftover from a 1979 demo, has been compared to "Awaken" with its lovely piano introduction, but this is a darker work, with heavy guitar, thundering drums, an odd time signature and a complex arrangement.

"The Endless Dream: Talk" After the onslaught that came prior, there is a calm. Plinking piano introduces Rabin's distant and thin voice before the music gradually builds. There's definitely a 1980s groove to part of this amazing track, but not so much that the music becomes cringe-inducing. Anderson's vocals are absolutely gorgeous over the acoustic guitar and Squire backing him up. The dark instrumental section over halfway in is a tad on the experimental side, with haunting piano and explosive punctuations from the rest of the band. This is a lost masterpiece.

"Endless Dream: Endless Dream" In summary, had "Endless Dream" been recorded with the classic lineup in the 1970s, this would probably get the attention and praise is deserves but doesn't get from Yes fans. The last bit is a soft revisiting of one of the main melodies, and is such a serene way to end a sadly overlooked work.

Report this review (#218721)
Posted Thursday, May 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Talk was one of the first Yes albums I heard, and I only stumbled upon it by chance. It was in a bargain bin in my local supermarket, I think I paid only a few euros for it. Definitely one of the best bargains I've made!

I remember that I had Close to the Edge and Going For The One before this one, and I was at first a bit disappointed with it. The disappointment soon subsided when I listened to the album more. In fact, almost all of the songs are top notch. The music is of course different than on the albums from their heyday, but the songs are different in a very good way in my opinion. This album is full of soothing and relaxing melodies and soundscapes.

The only song I would classify as a filler is Walls, but it is still an ok pop song, with Rabin doing most of the singing. Rest of the songs are great in their own ways, but the absolute highlight is the epic Endless Dream which is right there with the best epics of Yes. And on the other songs especially the choruses are impressive.

Rabin and Anderson are the ones who steal the show with this album. Rabin's varied and classy playing is especially enjoyable. The others seem to take more of a backseat, while Squires playing is great as always. The production is impressive, but it almost sounds too clinical and clean. That's a minor point though.

Overall the album is a great one, but has its own flaws too (Walls, production, White being quite bland). 4 stars!

Report this review (#231005)
Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Talk with Trevor Rabin about Prog and this album will pop up in the conversation...

Back in the 80s Yes had transformed into a successful Pop Rock band with some pretty catchy hit singles, however that only lasted for two albums(90125 and Big Generator). When the band or record label decided to join all line-ups Yes had had up to that moment(well, most of them), a new disaster, even more disastrous than Tormato, surged; this was Union (a.k.a.''Onion''). However I'm sure all members who participated in that album realized what was the quality of that album and soon decided to ''disband'' even if they really didn't play all together with the exception on the tour of it. The Rabin-era returned in full form to release another Pop Rock record in the likes of their 80s hit albums. This time, heavier and proggier: definitely not a soft love songs pop rock band they were anymore, Trevor delivers some pretty heavy riffs and Alan White supports a very loud, typical 90s, drumming. Jon and Chris play nicely, though no wonders to be expected, while Tony can bring back some of his prog momentum, though not much, but definitely greater than that from his 80s simple playing.

Talk is indeed a massive great hard rockin', AOR, record with prog leanings here and there, in which culminate with the longest song, Endless Dream, an overlooked gem dealing with Rabin's most accomplished effort with the band, pop sensibilities are also featured, so don't expect a modern Close to the Edge. Though it's indeed unique and brilliant by its own means.

Real Love is a tune that shows perfectly what I mean by hard rockin' and different to their 80's Pop stuff. Yes it's catchy and it's indeed Pop, yet it's pretty dark and daring from what you expect from a typical Pop song, the dark and daring aspects are due to Rabin's menacing guitar bites and riffs including some good back up from Tony's organ.

The Calling is the perfect balance between both sides from the album, being the single, it's a damn good one. A catchy riff to beg for if you're a AOR fan or even a man with sensibilities about good rockin' riffs. It shares, like you may have noticed, the rock edge from its riff and White's loud, unstoppable, drumming beat, while the pop sensibilities are from its chorus.

Buy this album if you're in a need of good pop rock that rocks pretty loud for it being pop music. While also those who are curious about what Rabin could really support to the band, this album is it, you got his superb solos and riffs, and an entire 15 minute symphonic-inspired rock song written by him and Mr. Anderson. However don't get this if you can't digest loud drum beats and 90s style hard-rock. And of course, if you can't listen to any tiny bit of Pop/AOR music, this should get crossed-out from your buy-list.

Report this review (#234926)
Posted Monday, August 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Talk" is the 14th full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act Yes. The album was released through Victory Music in March 1994. "Talk" features the same lineup which recorded both "90125 (1983)" and "Big Generator (1987)". So if we consider the "Union (1991)" album as a project idea, the recording lineup had actually been quite stabile since the early eighties. "Talk" is produced by guitarist/vocalist Trevor Rabin and features a very clean sound.

Most of the songs on the album are actually surprisingly good IMO. It´s only "The Calling" and "Walls" with their AOR influenced sound that don´t appeal much to me. Songs like "State of Play", the epic "Endless Dream" and especially my favorite on the album "Real Love" really gave me a good listening experience. While the album isn´t overtly progressive there are sections here and there that keeps the album interesting. The vocal harmonies are as present as ever and I´m actually quite impressed by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire on this album. The musicianship is excellent and the compositions are generally of high quality on the album.

While this is by no means Yes most interesting or memorable effort to date, it´s a pretty good album and a 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is deserved. Some albums end up surprising you and the quality of "Talk" was certainly a surprise to me.

Report this review (#250468)
Posted Saturday, November 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
TheGazzardian
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Bruford, Wakeman, and Howe depart Yes for the second (or in Wakeman's case, third) time, and we are left with the '80s lineup that brought us such hits as Owner of a Lonely Heart and Big Generator. But this time, they actually manage to make some interesting music.

To be fair, this is still radio oriented rock, but it has more prog than it has before, and I must be honest, some of my favorite pop Yes tracks come off this album. (Something about the track Walls has me loving it). But not much else can be said about this album ... the production was a bit slicker, the methods used to record this album were a bit more modern, but it is really just more of the same stuff we've heard in the '80s, if pulled off a bit better (in my opinion).

But there is Endless Dream. Somehow, I just absolutely love this song. From the airy vocals, to the pleasant piano parts, to the distorted guitars, this song always pumps me up. It is the only epic that Yes did during the Rabin era, and it makes me wish they had spent more time writing music like this instead of the stuff that they did in the '80s. This is a great marriage between Jon and Trevor's songwriting, this is them doing it right!

If you are a Yes fan, it is worth hearing for this track alone. If you are not, this album still isn't as bad as their other stuff, and Endless Dream should still be enjoyable. Unfortunately, there's really not much else here to appeal to the prog fan.

Report this review (#255755)
Posted Saturday, December 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars ...AND JUSTICE FOR THIS!!! I'm here quoting "Easy Livin" review, to appeal for Yes' "Talk". I like Yes' masterpieces of early 70s, I have been put aside from "Union" and "Open Your Eyes", but please consider that "Talk" contains highly enjoyable music, served with over-the-top production (it was 1994! Still now it show an amazing dynamic spectrum of sounds). Maybe - just a suggestion - one could probably appreciate much this record putting down the "glasses" of previous Yes' production perspective (thanks mr.Kant), and instead putting on... good headphones to join a real sonic ride! The highlights starts with "I'm Waiting", that I clearly remember when I got the record in '94, from the very first notes of the wonderful melody - "this one is one of the best song ever". The clear guitar by Rabin melody intertwines so beautifully with Jon's voice and backing vocals that is everytime melting me away. The mellow parts are burst alternately by stunning drummming & bass by White & Squire. "The Calling" is another excellent track (the opener), though a straight rock tune. In the middle are a series of track (n.4-n.5-n.6) that are good, but not on line with the other ones: "Walls" written with R.Hodgson (Supertramp) contribute. I can understand that for many negative reviewers this part was the less digestible. But I find "Real Love" an underestimated track (even by myself at first spins), with lots of changes in the development, still today! And then we come to the shining sun of the entire work: "Endless dream". For me this has everything, length, fantastic melody, singing, dynamics, all of instrumentation on board, truly symphonic. Really one of the best of my "Best long composition" playlist. Rating: 1. The Calling(6:56): 8/10 2. I Am Waiting (7:25): 9/10 3. Real Love (8:49): 8,5/10 4. State Of Play (5:00): 7/10 5. Walls (4:57): 7/10 6. Where Will You Be (6:09): 7/10 7. Endless Dream (Rabin - Anderson) (15:44): 10/10 FINAL: 8,07/10 = 4 stars. Special mention for the production - extreme dynamic array of sounds, that are really a benchmark-test for your sound system...Best regards!
Report this review (#259200)
Posted Monday, January 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Here is another Trevor Rabin contribution, in the mid-90's which have seen changes in the standard Yes formation. Was it for good or for bad ? Opinions are diverse in the 'around-Yes world'... I personally think it was going away from the classic sound of the '70's but there are still some good classical moments.

In my view, for a CD to get a 5-star mark, it has to be overall good, i.e. every track is super good, or there can be some weaker spots wherein masterpieces are present, giving the whole CD an 'essential' quote. Here, I think it is not that far from '5', in reference to my 2nd way to get 5, in the sense that the CD contains 'Endless Dreams', which a truly classical prog composition, marvelous, complex, powerful and beautiful. It has everything, including a charming ending, symphonic parts, sound effects, piano virtuosis, the main musical theme coming and going everywhere, the special voice of Jon, etc. The CD is worth the buying, only because of this track !

The rest is too various in quality for equalling the epic 'Endless Dream', but I like quite good 'The Calling', for a central part where the musical tones are changing as 'hell', and 'State of Play' for its extreme power. An average of a hypothetical quoting of each track gives a score at around '4', given the fabulous epic, which is in my view one of the best ever, by any group ! And which is at least equally good as any of past Yes epics !

Report this review (#276954)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
thehallway
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I don't like this album because it doesn't like me. I listen to it and find no [major] flaws, yet theres a feeling it gives me which makes me very disastisfied. The cutting edge production may have something to do with it. It's so clean and processed that you can tell (without knowing beforehand) that it's been recorded track by track, overdub by overdub, as opposed to "live". I get an image of Trevor Rabin frantically pressing buttons on a home pc while various Yes members enter the studio one at a time and lay down their part. It's just not very real.

Once I get past this hurdle, the music itself has little to offer as well. The first few songs are a compositional improvement from previous 'Yes-West' albums, or they seem to be on the surface anyway. But their lengths are actually rather unecessary; themes are repeated too often and nothing is developed in an original or "un-generic" way. The more radio-friendly tracks are dire (in a really cringe-worthy way, not like the '90125' singles which actually had some groove). Then there is 'Endless Dream'. The structure of this 15-minute let down is VERY amateurish, with random gaps in the music where Rabin shows off his production skills and clever sound effects. It could be appropiately cropped and become an epic 10-minuter with a much better pace. The artwork for 'Talk' (if you can call it that) is childish [lazy], and the members of Yes sound constantly confused or bored throughout the whole album. Only Rabin knows what he's doing, but it's him that is responsible for general poor quality. Unlike an album where you can ignore anything you don't like, I actually feel like these songs were designed to annoy me; it has this hidden darkness about it that forces me beyond mere indifference.

I gave 'Talk' a fair chance, listening to it over and over. But it's one of the few albums where my first impressions haven't changed. And my first impressions were that Trevor Rabin accidentally wrote the word Yes on his evil 1994 solo album.

Report this review (#278995)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
Sinusoid
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars There really isn't that much to say.

Having been a Yes fan for quite some time now, and having exhausted much of their classic discography, I was due for a major disappointment from them. The only era I had not yet sought out was the Trevor Rabin era. However, I've had slight familiarity with scattered songs from 90125, BIG GENERATOR, and UNION, all of them being shallow or annoying. I had not heard anything from TALK before buying, and I have been told that TALK is the best Rabin-era Yes album. I took a chance.

To say I felt duped would be too insulting, so let me say that TALK is one of the most deceiving albums I have purchased. We're not in prog territory here; we're in the lame 90's pop arena. Even if I've heard later Yes albums chronologically, this batch of tunes contains the worst Jon Anderson vocals I've ever heard. The backing vocals aren't cringeworthy, but follow the corniest patterns. Being more of a pop record, the instruments are all subdued save for ''Silent Spring'' and a couple of solos in ''The Calling''; I sometimes wonder if Tony Kaye acutally played on the album because he's only credited with playing the Hammond organ, and that instrument only shows up in patches.

The most insulting thing about TALK is that most songs are hideously longer than they need to be. I will always be waiting for ''I Am Waiting'' and ''Real Love'' to go somewhere, but neither do; just two sterile pop songs with prog lengths. Most of the rest, save the epic, fall into banal, forgettable pop. ''Endless Dream'' had a chance to save the album from doom; it's length alone made you think of the Yes of old, and on ''Silent Spring'', the band is finally able to cut loose and lay out a full frontal assault on your ears. Even the main ''Endless Dream'' starts off nicely with a quiet piano section. However, by minute two, we're in overly dressed AOR territory with the most sterile sound Yes has ever embraced. ''Endless Dream'' slowly de-generates itself over the elongated fifteen minutes it's given.

Yes let me down here. It sounds as if they're trying to look hip and cool to the 90's youngsters by catering to their musical style. Unfortunately, it sounds so awkward coming from a band that gave us tracks like ''Perpetual Change''. It's like if your grandmother started speaking in texting lingo to impress you. It just doesn't work. Unless AOR is your thing, stay away.

Report this review (#291097)
Posted Monday, July 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Talk is a kind of ´forgotten´ Yes album. It made no impact at all when it was released and even fans don´t usually mention much about this CD. Even if the line up was the the same as the highly commercial successful 90126 and Big Generator, the timing seemed to be wrong. After all it was the year of the grunge movement and I guess most long time fans were tired of so many personell and musical changes. After that frankesntein project called Union, people seemed to get fed up with Yes. And I can´t say I was not one of them. I only got this CD a few weeks ago. And I must say I was surprised by the good quality of this work.

Unlike a lot of latter day Yes albums, this one does not have a few good tracks in the beginning and then boring or repetitive stuff to fill it up. All the songs here are good and although the quality varies, none is really bad or even weak to my ears. Ok, this is not up to their classic stuff (except one, see more about it below) and the sound here is quite different. This is Trevor Rabin´s brain child: the guy wrote just about everything (Anderson and Squire do share some credits, but after reading the story behind this album on the book Close to The Edge, The Story Of Yes, I believe their contributions were minimal). Rabins also plays all the guitars, most of the keyboards, sings a little, does the production, programming and engineering. So it is no wonder that sometimes Talk sounds like a Rabin´s solo album backed by Yes. Considering the group´s last effords, that was not a bad idea.

I was not expecting much. Most of the sutff here is not surprisingly similar to their early 80´s output, but definitly Rabin seemed to be in tune with the times and the album is much more guitar oriented (the keyboards are always in the background). But they did produce one great song: the epic Endless Dream is one of Yes best tunes ever: a wonderful symphonic track in all its glorious 15 minutes. I agree with the reviewer who said that if it was recorded by the classic line up it would be feature in any best of compilation. This track alone is worth the price of the CD. But there is more, even if a bit AOR-like much of the time. Songs like State Of Play and Real Love are other highlights. And the remaining ones are all good, with some great vocal harmonies and very good playing. The down side of the CD is the drum sound: too mechanical for my liking. Production overall is quite good.

Conclusion: not one of Yes best albums, of course, but still much better than I thought. Different, but very good. A nice goodbye to the Trevor Rabin era. If you liked 90125 and Big Generator then you should not miss this one. Rating: 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#297701)
Posted Monday, September 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4 STARS just because ENDLESS DREAM

Yes, Endless Dream is a masterpiece of modern progressive rock. A 15 minutes epic track which is fantastic, and in my opinion the best progressive track of Yes since Awaken. It has Trevor Rabin as the main songwriter, but I`m not a purist so no problem with this. A track for five stars or even more.

The rest is not prog (maybe some prog-pop sometimes) and have lights and shadows.

The opener (The Calling) is a good track, good melody line and great guitar job. Not prog and maybe pop, but good.

I am waiting is a superb ballad based on a stunning electric guitar motive. Very good

State of Play is another strong and good track. Nothing special but good.

Walls is the pop one. Surely the presence of Hodgson in the songwriting has something to do with the pop feel. Anyway I like this track. Here Anderson is not the main voice.

Real love is a bit mediocre and Where will you be is the weakest by far.

Just because Endless Dream this album is great addition for any progressive rock collection

Report this review (#300458)
Posted Saturday, September 25, 2010 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars In mid 90-s Yes became a half-forgotten dinosaur, living from his past more than from some new music they could release. It looked no-one expected they can record something at the level of their works from mid 70-s, and as rule such expectation have their confirmation with each new band's release.

Talk is Yes characteristic recording from that period of time. Being one of inventors of keys/synth based bombastic melodic rock, they transformed their experience to sound music market requested in 90-s.

In all this album isn't bad, but musically it's really different from symphonic prog. Keyboards-led melodic pop-rock with soft-rock and some pure pop elements it is. Being an experienced and skilled musicians, music they play is of good quality even if genre is such faceless and hopeless, as stated above.

Compositions are all straightforward, music is simplified till maximum, but Anderson's vocals still sound great and album just confirms even such ersatz music could be played at professional level.

Hardly could imagine any real prog rock fan will be satisfied by listening of such Yes version, but from other hand big army of melodic pop-rock fans can be really attracted by this music's level of quality. Possibly, not a bad release for newcomers to prog (from pop music side).

My rating is 2+.

Report this review (#308192)
Posted Thursday, November 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Yes album 'Talk' is a very good album.

Most of the songs have very simple structures, actually. The songs will be verse chorus verse chorus maybe a bit of soloing then verse chorus again, maybe a brief bridge, the bridge being sung by Chris Squire usually. Yet, the music is really engaging, innovative and enjoyable, and really catchy.

The beautiful 'I am waiting' is highly melodic and very atmospheric. The verse is so gentle and gorgeous, colourful melody, and the verse is emotionally cathartic, with Jon declaring 'I am waiting! Are you ready!' I think it is about waiting for a love. Also excellent is the soft, romantic, medieval 'Where will you be' with poetic love song lyrics, and Walls, an excellent, joyous number that is so catchy.

This song, Walls, is interesting because it is sung by Trevor Rabin and was co-written by Rodger Hodgson, who was formerly of Supertramp. I think these dinosaur bands should collaborate more often because when they do the results usually come up great. One very well known example are the travelling Wilburys, which mostly stood head and shoulders above anything that those artists were making at the time. The same here, 'Walls' is a highly memorable song, admittedly it may not interest a person who wants more progressive music, but it's an extremely memorable pop song, and there are few memorable ones coming out now. Mostly these bands eventually fracture and go it alone, because of personal disputes and the like... what a shame. They might put out much better music is they worked together.... enough of that, on with the other songs on this album.

They are all quite good, sometimes the vocals are a bit sloppy, or they are produced a bit sloppily, but the music is good. 'True Love' is a more haunting tune, 'State of play' is a groovy rocker, but the chorus is a bit weak, really loses the momentum that was built up with that killer opening riff and vocal harmonies about 'this is the revolution'. The closing 'Endless Dream' is a token prog-epic, the boys probably feeling the pressure to add one to their albums, but it's not anywhere near as boring as it could have been. There are some interesting sci-fi sounds, and that frantic piano followed by heavy guitars, near the start, that's quite good.

The opening 'calling' seems like a great anthemic AOR pop-rock song, but really fails, I think.. The main riff of the song is actually very similar to a Van Halen song 'Best of Both Worlds', which, itself, sounds very similar to 'Celebrate Good Times' by Kool and the Gang. Not sure if the Yes boys had inadvertently heard one of these songs on the radio, forgot about it and regurgitated it from their memories when writing this song!

Sometimes I feel these songs have been dragged out to a long time, like 7 minutes, just to please fans. Although this music is catchy, sometimes I feel like the songs are floundering around, repeating the chorus and the like just to take up time.

Anyway, sorry for the long review, 7 out of ten, which, I know, is 3.5 stars, but this is too good to chuck a three at it, I think.

Report this review (#321949)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a very underrated album, in my opinion. Is it anything like CTTE, TFTO, or Relayer? No, of course not. Yes's musical style has changed quite a bit since then, moving to more of a crossover prog sound rather than their earlier symphonic stuff. The few albums before this one were pretty disappointing for me. 90125 definitely had it's moments, but Big Generator and Union are filled with mostly forgettable pop tunes. While Talk certainly isn't an extremely progressive album, it shows that the band can still create some very interesting and well- crafted songs. The highlight of the album is, of course, Endless Dream. It's an amazing song that, while not quite having the complexity of a lot of their earlier stuff, is full of emotion and passion. And really, that can be said about this entire album. I definitely urge you to check out this album. Even if you decide that it's not for you, it's certainly worth hearing. Like I said before, as long as your not expecting another CTTE, it is quite an enjoyable album.
Report this review (#366669)
Posted Tuesday, December 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars THE BEST ALBUM OF PHASE OF POP YES

Talk drew me in full since I first heard time.Not is as good as CTTE or Relayer (and never would be), but is light-years from 90125 or Big Generator (although I enjoy these albums.) Listen to "Endless Dream"and you'll understand what I'm talking about!This music is one of my favorites of Yes from ever!

This epic 15 minutes of music composed by three tracks the best thing since the band recorded "Machine Messiah" from Drama (although I have a crush on "Final Eyes" and "Love Will Find A Way" from Big Generator). There are other highlights here, as "State of Play" (Yes performing Hard rock) and commercial "Walls".The rest of the album surprised me in quality, while "Where willl you be" not that great.

This is a great album farewell to Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye.ApĂłs here lentalmente the band returned to his usual style, but before they left us this great album that is Talk.

Report this review (#394246)
Posted Friday, February 4, 2011 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars At least there is a sort of continuity from 90125 to this album. It's evident since "The Calling". Rabin's songwriting is a trademark, one can like it or not, but this is the sound of YES in the 80s and the 90s.

It's the western side of YES, so this album can't be different from what it is. It's the pop side of the band, but as in 90125 and in Union, it doesn't mean bad. ( I can't say the same of Big Generator).

The melodies are catchy and even the instrumental interludes are "easy" compared to what Steve Howe and Peter Banks before have made us used to in the early days. Is it bad? No, it's just different. I think the reason of the quite poor ratings given to the YES albums after Drama are because of fans disappointment, but would those discs have been released by anybody else, they would probably be considered differently.

Try to imagine "I Am Waiting" sitting in a neo-prog album and not sung by Anderson. How would you rate it? What I mean is that from an absolute point of view this is a good album with some highlights and without moments really weak. Forget that under this name have been released things like The Yes Album, CTTE and TFTO. This is a different band that makes different music.

This album is an improvement respect to Big Generator (easy to be) and Union. I don't consider ABWH as that's another band again.

"Real Love" is more interesting than most of the songs on the two mentioned albums, and not so pop, too regardless the very catchy chorus.

"State of Play" and "Walls" are the poppier songs, and the second is effectively TOO POP, but a radio-friendly song in an album can be tolerated.

"Where Will You Be" seems to be more an Anderson's effort. It's the kind of songs that are easy to find in his solo works, including the excellent Olias of Sunhillow. I cosider it a highlight.

"Endless Dream " would have been a side-long song in the vinyl era, now it's just a long one. This track is the only one reminding really to the old masterpieces. I can't compare it to CTTE, but after the chaotic intro that reminds to the more famous intro of CTTE, Anderson sings a melody over a piano. It's not Wakeman, but this song sends me to "Going For The One" (The album not the song). The main theme of The Calling is reprised by the piano, like this song is closing a circle. Well it's not a concept album (or if it is I'm not aware), however reminds of this kind are typical of concept albums.

3 stars, but rounded down.

Report this review (#401001)
Posted Tuesday, February 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
1 stars This album just might beat "Open Your Eyes" as the worst Yes album of all time. If you took away Endless Dream it would certainly have that prize. The first six tracks are drab, forgettable, uninspired, middle of the road pieces that do not belong under the Yes banner.

It's so bad it elevates "Union" and "Big Generator" to a higher status.

Endless Dream, although it tries to be a progressive Yes epic, has a problem as well. It's like a big ball rolling down Quality Hill. The first (all too short) section, Silent Spring, is the best thing to come out of this Yes lineup. The second part, Talk, begins as a fair sounding Yes piece, but gets blander and blander as it meanders along, until the ending section, Endless Dream, brings us back to what is wrong with the first six songs.

You know what? Even with Endless Dream, this is the worst Yes album of all time.

Report this review (#401506)
Posted Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Talk is a much better album than the previous three by Yes. This album marks strengthened songwriting, which was greatly missed during the '80s. Still incredibly poppy overall, but definitely more fun to listen to. The progressive elements of Yes finally make a return as well.

One thing that is definitely noticeable while listening to this album is that the sound isn't just a bombardment of '80s sound effects anymore. There is actual song writing, and the instruments sound much more organic. The band also start using their technical ability much more to craft music that is progressive, but also fun and probably still appealing to the pop fans that they most likely gained during the '80s.

Like with the previous three albums, there isn't really much to say about Talk. It's far more enjoyable than the previous three, and definitely more progressive with far improved songwriting, but this is another album in the Yes discography that can safely be skipped over. If you were a fan of Yes in the '80 then this album will most likely be very nice to listen to, otherwise I would stay away.

Report this review (#429358)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 | Review Permalink
tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars After the complete and utter disaster of Union, it's understandable that the band took a couple of years off to try and regain some semblance of direction in its sound. Bill Bruford took his paycheck and bolted, never to return, while Steve Howe (supposedly) was becoming enough of an irritant to other band members that he was paid to go away and leave Yes alone. Rabin and Wakeman actually became good friends on the Union tour (it's obvious that Wakeman enjoyed playing YesWest material, as evidenced by recordings from that tour), and there were rumors of both Rabin and Wakeman working together on the next Yes album. But alas, it was not to be. A new record label, Victory, had recently opened for business under the ownership of an associate of Yes, and offered Yes a recording contract on certain grounds. These grounds were (a) that they use the 90125 lineup (so no Wakeman) and that (b) Trevor Rabin produce. It might not have been the direction fans wanted, but it was a direction, and that was good enough for the band.

Now, as a result of this condition, many fans automatically dismiss this album as a Rabin solo-project with only marginal input from Anderson. I fell into this trap once, but actual historical fact shows something substantially different. Fact is, with Rabin in control, he was free from any outside pressures to produce Owner-like hit singles, and this meant he could freely collaborate with Anderson without looking over his shoulder for the disapproval of record executives. The result, then, is that Anderson has FAR more input on this album than on any other YesWest record, and the focused vision of Jon and Trevor produced results that proved that Union was merely an unfortunate fluke. For the first time, Rabin was free to try and help create a Yes album, and in many ways he succeeded. The songwriting is very strong, the instrumental parts are powerful without sounding stupidly generic (like on much of BG), there's a good dose of atmospherics, and the harmonies are nice.

So why only a *** rating (albeit a high one)? Well, for a couple of reasons. The first is the production. It's very good from a technical standpoint, but the problem is it's too good. The sound has obviously been processed again and again to remove any blemishes, and the result is that the final product is sterile like nothing else in the Yes catalogue. It's squeaky clean and completely anti-septic, but at the price of sucking the very life out of the songs at times. It's no wonder then, that when placed in a live environment, these songs suddenly kick like few other things can, whereas here I'm somewhat left scratching my head.

The other problem is that there are a couple of cheeseball moments so severe that I can't help but lower the rating out of good conscience. One of these happens in the otherwise gorgeous "I Am Waiting," where the swaying anthemically beautiful melody is interrupted by a stupid hard-rock break with Trevor's generic screams making me ashamed to play an otherwise wonderful track in front of my friends. The other of these happens in "Endless Dream," during a section that honestly sounds like the guitars are belching and vomiting (even though it's just Trevor processing his guitar sound into oblivion. Bleh). A shame, since the piece is pretty damn much perfect otherwise.

But other than those the problems, the songs are pretty much fine. "The Calling" is an incredible anthemic opening, a jaw-droppingly ecstatic way to resume your Yes listening- experience after suffering through Onion. There's a neat wall-of-sound effect to the vocal harmonies, while Anderson serenades us with some of his usual metaphysical jibberish/goodness over a terrific vocal melody, and the instrumental parts are just fun to listen to. Tony Kaye gets a wonderfully energetic Hammond Organ solo in the middle (a side note: Trevor is credited with all the keyboard parts on this album except for Hammond Organ, which may seem egomaniacal at first but is actually an admission of how it'd been all along in YesWest. Where's Geoff Downes when you need him?), Trevor messes with a weird chord sequence that's incredibly engaging, and in the end it all fades out with a plaintive "In the beginning is the future ..." Wow.

Nothing else on the album ends up as start-to-finish entertaining as the opener, but that doesn't mean that parts of other songs don't exceed much of that one. "I Am Waiting" has some incredibly pretty, emotion-seeped guitar work from Trevor, and the actual song successfully weaves together enough solid balladeering ideas to make three good songs. Again, chop out the "It happened in the water" break in the middle, and you have a pretty much flawless track. In the pop vein, we have the terrific single (actually written originally by Trevor with Roger Hodgson, during the ABWH era) "Walls," with a chorus that will drive many "traditional" Yes fans up the wall but that makes the well-done-pop-lover in me smile with glee. And I'm not about to deny the goodness of the verse melody, even if it is sung exclusively by Trevor.

A few others don't grab me quite as much, but they're still good in the end. "Where Will You Be" doesn't really jump out at me in this version, as it seems to just kinda simmer at a sleepy level, but as a live version shows, it's a neat atmospheric piece after all. And besides, the lyrics are cute in their spirituality, a pondering of where current friends will be when you and they are reincarnated elsewhere. Elsewhere, "State of Play" is a little too "dancey" in places for me, but the main verse melody and the middle eight are just incredible in their catchiness and beauty - the only thing that ends up seriously bugging me is the excessive "sterilization" of Jon's voice when he sings "It's just a state of play" right before a generic hard riff in the middle of the track. And of course, there's "Real Love," the piece that suffers the most from the mellow production. It has a nice riff, a good melody, and I don't even mind the extended ending anymore, but the intensity is sucked out of it as if by a vacuum cleaner thanks to the production. This would especially become GREAT in live performance, with the percussion becoming deep and booming and giving it a drive the piece so desperately needs.

Closing things out, we have YesWest's stab at a Yes epic, entitled "Endless Dream." Jon and Trevor cowrote it, as with the rest of the material, and it should be no surprise that both expressed great love for the piece. It is somewhat derivative from a strictly prog perspective, but nobody here is claiming it exceeds "Gates" or anything like that. The opening is a powerful blast back to progressive days past, with thunderous drumming from Alan and powerful playing from Trevor, while the rest of the piece (except for the stupid guitar sounds in the "Tin Jesus" part) alternates between ethereal ambience and pretty vocal melodies graced with gorgeous harmonies. It is said by Anderson that the vocal harmonies literally brought him to tears while singing, and knowing Jon, I can believe it, because they really are so very very pretty (especially when it seems the voices are just melting around me during the climactic "We call this surrender slowly towards the north AND THIS ENDLESS DREEEEEAM"). And hey, the overall construction is very clever - there are thematic reprisals at just the right time, with effective alternations in intensity and beauty, and a wonderful coda that fades things out. Not to mention that Trevor pulls out some more of his pretty guitar work (a la in the end of "Hearts" or in the best parts of "I Am Waiting"), which makes the sound that much fuller and more powerful. The piece has its flaws, sure, and I was only able to really appreciate the magnificence of this version after sampling a live version, but it still deserves its place among the late-period classics of the band.

Unfortunately, the album sold horridly, mainly because Victory forgot to, you know, PUBLICIZE the album at all. Victory ended up going bankrupt fairly quickly, and unfortunately this has resulted in the album currently being out of print. Too bad - for all the (unwarranted) abuse Trevor has gotten from hardcore fans (and Steve Howe) for this album, it's really quite good.

Report this review (#480788)
Posted Tuesday, July 12, 2011 | Review Permalink
1 stars First of all, let me say that Yes is one of my favorite "progressive rock" groups. That is why, it pains me greatly to say that no matter how much I have tried, I could not enjoy this disc. It is unquestionably the absolute nadir of Yes' output. There should have been tell-tale signs. Certainly there was no Roger Dean artwork on the cover, which in my honest opinion, said, "Stay away, stay very far away!" In any event, I did enjoy only one song on this album, 'The Calling.' The rest of it, I had found to be quite derivative of itself; I could not differentiate between the remaining tunes. To me, it had seemed like a hodgepodge of ideas which had gone nowhere. I had found 'The Endless Dream' to be endlessly tedious. One song however, does not a good album make.

If this had been released as a Trevor Rabin solo album, it may not have been so atrocious. Unfortunately, I was expecting something better. I had been used to expecting greatness from Yes, even "90125," although "pop-oriented" was still a very good recording. Fortunately, Yes' next release was "Keys To Ascension," which was a brilliant recording. This recording however should never have been released as a part of Yes' catalogue. Would I recommend this recording to a Yes aficionado? Absolutely, not!

Report this review (#823708)
Posted Wednesday, September 19, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars I'm astonished at the level of antipathy to this album by so many members. Or I would be if it wasn't for the fact that I felt the same way when I first heard it in 1994. I bought it, as I did all latter-day Yes albums, with some trepidation; hated the cover, and when I played it, hated the album. But then, I knew that over the years, I'd hated most Yes albums the first time I heard them, so I persevered... and I still disliked it. Dislike was an improvement on hate, but there was a long way to go.

I came back to it a few years later, and started to like it, played it a lot more, and came to love it. !Endless Dream" is a forgotten and neglected masterpiece, and the rest of the album is at least the equal of Going for the One. "Real Love" has a superb atmosphere, one of Squire, Andreson and Rabin's very best.

Is it Close to the Edge? No. Is it Relayer? Absolutely not. But it's some pretty damn good tracks played by consummate musicians, and deserves much more recognition and appreciation! It would have got four stars from me but "Endless Dream bumps it up to essential listening.

Report this review (#911577)
Posted Friday, February 8, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Talk album by Yes is the last with Trevor Rabin. It is filled with many questions - how much involvement was there by Tony Kaye, did Rabin re-record Squire's bass parts so that he's almost not on the album? Thoses answers matter, but we will likely never know the full truth there.

I feel that this is a pretty darn good album, better than the one that came before (Union) and the one after (Open Your Eyes). Three of the songs, in my opinion, are as good as much of what Yes has put out - The Calling, I Am Waiting, and The Endless Dream. All of these are absolutely excellent additions to the Yes canon.

The rest of the album is just OK. But at least there are no real bad songs like the next album.

Report this review (#913550)
Posted Thursday, February 14, 2013 | Review Permalink
4 stars When Yes came out with this record, I was so pissed about how things went down after the 8-man Union tour that preceded this. I was hoping and praying that the "classic" line-up of Anderson, Bruford (or White), Wakeman, Howe and Squire will emerge as the new Yes. What do we get? The 90125, Big Generator crew. Bruford, Howe and Wakeman receiving their pink slips, being told "Your services are no longer required." I have been a big Yes fan for years and the way the band has been run like a corporation was a big turn-off. I don't hate the Yes west line-up but the early seventies crew is crazy good and I can never get enough Steve Howe. What they produced after their "downsizing" was Talk. Which was probably 80-90% Trevor Rabin's project, 10 -15% Jon Anderson with trace contibutions from the rest. Anyway I bought this album, the day it came out like a good obedient consumer and was actually mostly pleasantly surprised. I knew we weren't going to get another "Close To The Edge" but I thought that most of the stuff on this album was good and some was great. The album opens up with "The Calling" which is a radio friendly but very tight and rocking Yes song. Great vocals and backing instrumentation and a whole lotta fun. "I am Waiting" comes next. It starts off like it's going to be a syrupy love song but then gets you drawn in by it's melodic hook and trance-like verses. The song then builds up to a nice crescendo with a huge chorus. Great tune! Real Love continues this nice slower pace and is kind of reminiscent of "City of Love" with its chunky riff. The verse goes on for a little longer than expected like the previous song followed by the chunky riff before going into a great chorus. Another winner. Two songs in a row that are pleasantly unconventional-even for Yes. "State of Play" picks up the pace a little turns out to be another fun song in the vein of "The Calling." This one sporting a nice Anderson chorus, definitely his. "Walls comes next. It is like "Love Will Find A Way" part II. Thankfully this is the only one of its kind on this album. Not terrible but not great either. Very poppy. Someting that sounds like it should have been saved for a Rabin solo album but not a bad song. "Where will You Be" is another trancey tune but this one is built around a repetitive sequencer sounding synth pattern. Builds up nice. Something different from the Yes men, not bad. "Endless Dream" is the epic on the album. It is IMO the best thing that came out of this line- up and is also a great Yes song that sadly has been forgotten and ignored. Very powerful and one of Yes' best moments. The album does sound kind of sterile and lacks warmth but what you do get is amazing clarity and depth. Also Chris Squire's bass is reduced to more of a supporting role.

Report this review (#1010158)
Posted Friday, August 2, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This receives a criminally low rating in PA, whilst the reviewers in Amazon seem to nearer the mark, in my opinion.

Of all the incarnations that Yes became, this 'heavy' version suits the band perfectly. It certainly rocks!

What's more, track 2, 'I am waiting', is one of the best Prog. songs of all time. Miss this at your peril! The last track, 'Endless dreams' also has its moments.

Having listened to 'Desolation Rose' recently, I feel that I can hear in 'Talk' one of the ingredients that is sadly missing. Free and aggressive drumming! Alan White's on stupendous form here.

I can remember seeing Yes in 2003, and they blew the fans away because they rocked! An aggressive Yes is fine by me.

In all honesty, I can't see what there's not to like. The band work together a treat. It's a great effort, and well worthy.

Report this review (#1113600)
Posted Monday, January 13, 2014 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 'Talk' - Yes (43/100)

Talk is a point of confusion for me in so many ways. Long before I ever got around to checking out Yes' fourteenth album, I'd heard reports that it was the so-called saving grace of the Trevor Rabin era. Some rose-tinted listeners went as far to say it ranked up there with the band's classic material. This high regard was sharp contrast to the hideously sell-outish album art, which may very well be one of the least appealing covers I've ever seen. If anything, the cognitive dissonance going into Talk made the anticipation that much more compelling. I was excited to find out what I'd think of it- after all, it couldn't be any worse than Union... Right?

It's just my luck that there's no definitive, one-size-fits-all answer with Yes' 1994 would-be comeback. The disastrous collaboration of the old and new band incarnations on Union was a severe misstep, but nothing on that album was as mind-numbing and lifeless as some of the songs here. I mean, it's as if Yes suffered dementia for several songs' length and dawdled into the bleak abyss of Adult Contemporary soft rock anaesthesia, precisely true to what the awful cover might have suggested. At the same time, Talk manages to be a fulfilling swansong to the Rabin era, thanks exclusively to the fifteen minute suite "Endless Dream". You often hear people discussing progressive epics as the centrepiece or highlight of an album. In the case of Talk, "Endless Dream" is just the highlight; it's the only goddamned worthy cut Yes managed to conjure this time around. But all every estimate, it just about makes this awful mess worthwhile.

While the double-casting on Union gave the album a bi-polar strain between their prog and pop sides, Talk demonstrates conflicting halves to a far greater extent. The first five tracks, from the dreadful mid-tempo rocker "The Calling" to the pukey FM fodder "Walls" are a string of songs that showcase a lifeless, anaesthetized Yes, not even going through their own motions so much as taking part in the sterile AOR purgatory for rock stars who 'lost it' somewhere along the way. Say what you will about 90125 or Big Generator; they were far less sophisticated than what Yes was used to doing, but the songwriting was often fun and catchy. The aforementioned tracks are so queasy and saccharine that I can't see the catch or quality from any angle. I've always thought of AOR as the most nullifying genre of music out there, but the first half of Talk is bad even by that standard. I'd suggest that these songs be nice listening for someone on a solitary road trip who found themselves too meek to reach past the middle-of-the-road rock ennui, but that recommendation would make me liable in court if this crap made the driver died asleep at the wheel. I suppose "Real Love" has a decent punch to it, but I'm not going to bother splitting hairs any further than that.

Of the shorter songs, "Where Will You Be" is the only redemption. It's as if Yes wanted to offer a buffer zone between the comatose AOR and the suite; "Where Will You Be" isn't particularly impressive, but it's got a spacey Jon Anderson atmosphere that would have otherwise been missing from the album. I don't even think "Where Will You Be" could prepare the listener for what was to come though! Even "Machine Messiah" didn't impress me this much as the fifteen minute "Endless Dream" as Yes epics go. Even though they're pulling an old card from their sleeves in making an epic, Yes have made the clever decision to make it in the image of their modern incarnation, rather than something made to sound like classic prog. The post-production chopping, anthemic melodies and punchy rhythms all scream of Trevor Rabin's presence, and I'd say he earns the biggest credit as to the track's strength. Even as early as his tenure on 90125, Rabin and the rest of Yes struggled to fuse the classic prog style in with the modern pop, and most often they would come up empty- only 90125's "Changes" begged to show the combo was possible. If Union dispelled all notions that the two eras could function together, "Endless Dream" surprises by actively demonstrating that the new era can potentially perform and compose as well as Yes' original vision.

"Endless Dream" opens with some twisted rhythmic work that quickly reminds of "Changes", and showcases some instrumental fireworks rarely heard from the Rabin era. Keeping in tune with "Endless Dream"'s characteristic as a distinctly modern progressive epic, the studio itself becomes an instrument. The most compelling part of the epic comes about five minutes in, where a recording is chopped and sampled, creating a playfully robotic atmosphere unlike anything heard from 'real' instruments. The epic goes on plenty of instrumental detours, including a particularly intense rhythmic burst around the ten minute mark. All of it is held together by a beautiful vocal hook that sounds even more compelling by the album's end. This attempt to achieve the 'best of both worlds' from Yes' two styles is nothing new, but it's only on "Endless Dream" that they finally achieved it. At long last, the Rabin era offers a righteous retort to any of the purists that declared Yes ended with Drama. As it so happens, Rabin wouldn't be with the band past Talk, so even though they finally managed to achieve something big here with "Endless Dream", we wouldn't see this realized potential pursued any further. Instead, we were left with "Open Your Eyes". Go figure. The world is cruel!

Every positive thing people have said about "Endless Dream" is well-deserved and true. It's honestly one of the best tracks of both eras of Yes, and would find itself trailing not far behind "The Gates of Delirium" and "Awaken" if I made a list of their greatest tunes. The fact alone that it's the best thing they had created in close to twenty years makes it worth the experience for any would-be Yes fan. Ending on a note like that, I'm left with a feeling of warmth that only good albums give. I wish the feeling stuck, because as soon as it comes time to play the album again, I'm filled with a sense of dread as I'm reminded there's over half an hour of garbage to wade through before I get to the good stuff. I leave this album with two opinions. Sadly, the negative opinion covers a hell of a lot more of the album's width than the other. There's no single, all-encompassing way I can summarize my feelings towards Talk, maybe save for "What the hell were they thinking?" Check out "Endless Dream", but throw the rest of this forsaken album away.

Report this review (#1234845)
Posted Monday, August 4, 2014 | Review Permalink
Magnum Vaeltaja
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars This is without a doubt the finest Yes studio album to come since the 70's and is Trevor Rabin's musical triumph. While we all wish that the Close To The Edge line-up could have stuck around for 40 years making incredibly new progressive odysseys year after year, we all know that that'll never happen. So after two decades of inner tensions and changing musical climates, Yes creates with "Talk" a new, more accessible breed of prog that works on a much more human level while still staying true to the original spiritual nature of the group's early work. Is it as good as Close To The Edge or Relayer? Not really. But is it great music? Of course!

"The Calling" opens the album strong; Jon Anderson is in fine form, the lyrics invoke a wonderful sense of wanderlust, Rabin and Kaye offer great trade-off solos and the production (courtesy of Mr. Rabin) is some of the best I've heard since Boston's debut. Wow! What a start. Afterwards comes "I Am Waiting", a strong progressive song that transitions between quiet, mellow sections and thundering, emotive sections with guitar playing that's mildly reminiscent of Jeff Beck. "Real Love" and "State of Play" take the band into more of a heavy prog/metal territory but they both keep a certain degree of playful Jon Anderson energy. "Walls" is an upbeat, radio-friendly pop rock song that will undoubtedly irritate the most die-hard 70's Yes fans. It's not a terrible song, however, and will likely appeal to anyone who enjoyed Boston's debut album; there are some striking similarities in playing style and timbre.

The masterpiece of the album is its ending suite, "The Endless Dream". It not only features a return to symphonic elements and very strong instrumental cohesion by the group, but it is singlehandedly the most emotionally powerful Yes song I've ever heard, from any era. The lyrics are touching, insightful, encouraging and Trevor's compositional skills amplify their cathartic nature. The finished product is a 16 minute journey through the heart and soul of all humans struggling that fittingly mirrors the shifting political climates of Rabin's homeland South Africa at the time; the album was released only a month before the election that brought in Nelson Mandela as leader and brought an end to Apartheid.

"Talk" is an underrated gem in the Yes discography and more than redeems their 80's output. A 4 star album, if not just for "The Endless Dream" alone.

Report this review (#1456592)
Posted Wednesday, August 26, 2015 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album suffers from monotony in almost every track. Even some of the longer songs, "The Waiting" and "Real Love," have basically one musical idea that runs through the entire 7 or 8 minutes, with only a fat and sassy Rabin guitar solo to add any variety. That's not counting the extended version of "The Calling," which does have a nice middle section, but this is a review of the album as released. The lone exception fortunately takes up nearly 16 minutes. From the swirling keyboard opening, you know it's not going to be the same Trevor Rabin Yes formula. But what's with the first few verses of vocals being so muted and distorted as to be nearly inaudible? And then the haunting middle section sadly gives way to a rather disappointing penultimate section (though the final reprise of the "Endless Dream" harmonies is wonderful, giving the feeling of a Bach chorale. All in all, this is the best album of the Rabin era, but only because of Endless Dream. The rest of it? I'd rather listen to 90125!
Report this review (#1619318)
Posted Thursday, October 6, 2016 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars "Talk" is a very underrated Yes album stemming from the troubled 90s era of the band. Jon Anderson returns to the fray and sounds wonderful throughout. Then of course, in the wake of Rick Wakeman, Steve Howe left nice and quietly on request to pursue whatever interests he wanted, only to be replaced by Trevor Rabin who sounds terrific giving a new sound to this progressive music with his electric guitar trademark style. Indeed at times he lends a much heavier feel to the tracks and this sound permeates the 90s sound of the time when grunge was entering the scene. This is still a very progressive album and has a standout track, Endless Dream, so good it deserves its own place in the Yes catalogue alongside masterpieces such as And You And I and Starship Trooper.

Other outstanding tracks include the soulful beauty of I Am Waiting. Real Love is Rabin at his best, and State Of Play has an infectious chorus and Anderson on high pitched vocals. Where Will You Be has a hypnotic keyboard and very soft gentle vocals that lock into your mind after a few listens. However none can match the awesomeness of Endless Dream, a return to the epic format that have made Yes such a powerhouse in the prog scene. The first two minutes are Yes at their finest. The lyrics are so beautiful they could bring tears to the eyes.

I love the work of Roger Dean on the Yes catalogue, but this is missing here and the cover is dreadful, let's face it, so that in itself flies in the face of a very good album. However the songs are delightfully upbeat and the musicianship is first class. Chris Squire was one of the great bassists and he absolutely nails it on each song. Alan White's percussion is also terrific, and Tony Kaye's keyboard style is exemplary.

The album deserves some recognition as being a new approach for the band, and it stands up well to some of the more low key albums such as "Union", "Big Generator" and "Tormato". It is far superior to these, though not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. "Talk" is a real surprise to my ears as I have heard just about everything else the band have produced, and this has a great sound and the songs are well executed overall.

Report this review (#1819301)
Posted Saturday, November 4, 2017 | Review Permalink
GruvanDahlman
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Just like most people I made myself acquainted with the mighty Yes by discovering and exploring the early albums. I started with "Fragile", moved on to "Close to the edge" and from there I devoured every album they made between 1969 and 1980. Loving them all (apart from "Tormato" which I still find a bit hard to digest), despite or because of their differences, I was hooked. I came to avoid the albums after "Drama", feeling sick when hearing the things they put out on "90125" and "Big generator". While they performed immaculate on a musical level, the material in itself seemed devoid of the spirit and heart of the Yes I loved and adored. I never ventured further than that. There was no Eldorado to be found, however much jungle I was plowing through. The treasures had already been found.

As the years progress one's taste and interest in music and bands transform and alter the (by some given point) current state of affairs. "Union" wasn't the biggest thing since powdered milk, I think most people agree with me, but then the band found something of a renewed spirit on "Talk" from 1994. I was hesitant, reluctant and doubtful whether or not they actually had been able to record anything worth listening to. The simple answer is, yes they managed.

Don't get me wrong. This is the Yes (albeit with a different lineup) that went down Poppy Road ande never seemed to look back. The album is full of pop elements but, and there is a big but, they also looked back to the glory days to the times where they created some of the most wonderfully complex progressive rock ever to reach anyones ears. Considering that "Talk" was released 25 years after their first album and that the musical landscape had changed radically, and so also their own musical outlook, this is a in parts glorious return to form. And while a lot of the material is very, very pop I find so much to cherish on this album.

The first track that really stuck with me, even after a first listen, was "Real love" which is such a great song. The wondrous story (!) about this song is that it holds a section of unexpected heaviness. I have rarely heard them play in such a heavy mode. It really blew me away. The other great track, and the best of the lot, is the three part "Endless dream". It's not another "Close to the edge" or (one of my personal favorites) "Awaken" but it's really, really good and signals something that I really do appreciate, a slight return to the epic song writing of the past. There are other tracks aswell but these are my favorites on the album.

The cover, I must add, leaves a lot to wish for. There is absolutely nothing there to cherish. I mean "Union" had at least a great cover. This is just awful. It looks like commercial for some hip 90's shoes, or something. The other thing that is sort of regrettable is that most of the song titles are, if not daft, totally lacking the fantastic, mindboggling titles of the past. I mean, judging only by the title, I would rather listen to "The revealing science of God" than "I am waiting" or "Real love". But then again, this is the mid 90's. Only "Endless dream" gives me the urge to explore. All songs do however have a real quality to them, poppy-fied or not, and offers the listener a slice of really good (not extremely complex though) progressive rock the way it sounded back in the decade prior to the new millenium. Genesis went down the same path.

My advise to anyone reading this is that try this one out for size. It might just change the way you feel about Yes post-1980. It's bloody darn good for an album made long after the initial heyday of prog.

Report this review (#2053426)
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2018 | Review Permalink
patrickq
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars There are a lot of Yes fans who don't think much of this album, and I believe that the issue for many is not simply that it sounds like a solo album, but that it sounds like a Trevor Rabin solo album. To be fair, though, it's really closer to a Jon & Trevor album - - Jon Anderson, that is. Nonetheless, it's a fair criticism to say that this is the Yes album with the least band input. Bassist Chris Squire is listed as a co-writer, with Anderson and Rabin, on two songs, and while he plays and sings on each song, his presence is understated compared to any other Yes album (unless you want to include Union). Alan White, the drummer, is present and accounted for, but, it seems, as a session man, likely replacing drum-machine tracks laid down by Rabin. And keyboardist Tony Kaye suffers the indignity of being credited for "Hammond Organ;" Rabin is the keyboardist on Talk. In a significant change from this group's last album (again, I'm excluding Union from the discussion), neither White nor Kaye is credited with any songwriting (Kaye had co-written six of the eight songs on Big Generator, and White had been credited on three). Other than Squire's writing credits on "The Calling" and "Real Love," the only composer on Talk other than Rabin and Anderson is Roger Hodgson, formerly with Supertramp, on "Walls."

Rabin is also the album's sole producer, which is another anomaly in the Yes catalogue, as is the fact that the record company seems to have dictated who would and wouldn't be in the band for Talk. However, as I've discussed elsewhere, it seems ridiculous to believe that Jon Anderson was not fully complicit in Talk. Except for "Walls," Rabin's one solo turn (like "Changes" on 90125 and "Love Will Find a Way" on Big Generator), Anderson's vocals and lyrics are all over Talk. Interestingly, it's Anderson's wonderful coda ("Oh, this indecision...") that is the high point of "Walls."

In describing what they don't like about Talk, some have said that it sounds "sterile," "cold," or "digital." I used to assume this too, but it's baloney. The power of suggestion is at work here; the fact that the album was recorded on a primitive hard-disk system - - novel at the time - - provided an alternate, and seemingly objective, rationale for disliking the album. Rabin (and many others) didn't jump on straight-to-computer recording until its differences from analog were too fine for humans to discern. Compare the sound of Talk to other albums from the same time (The Division Bell, Counterparts, Peter Gabriel's Us) - - the idea that Talk sounds digital isn't objectively demonstrable. (That said, there are aspects of the dynamics that were only worth trying because of the digital technology. But those sections sound quieter or louder, not digitized.)

I'm no Talk fanboy, though; my issues with the album just differ from those I hear from others. While the production and performances are good, many of the songs are nothing special. Lead single "The Calling" has a certain Yes-like charm akin to that of "Lift Me Up," and features some guitar/organ interplay lifted from "Roundabout." But then begins a parade of uninspired songs: "I Am Waiting," "Real Love," "State of Play," each with some redeeming elements, but none of these songs has rewarded my repeated listens. Closing out the first half of the album is "Walls," a catchy number, and an obvious single, which is the second-best song here. But then it's back to the relative mundanity of "Where Will Be." It's not a bad song, but I expect more from Yes.

And finally, at the end of the album, I get what I wanted: the sixteen-minute "Endless Dream," which was the latter-day Yes "epic" until "Mind Drive" appeared in 1997. "Endless Dream" is five minutes longer than any Yes song had been since "Awaken" in 1977. Like "Awaken," and just about every long-form progressive-rock song, it has a few passages that are a bit drawn out, but "Endless Dream" is one of the very best Yes pieces of the Rabin era, especially the magnificent closing section, which makes great use of the voices of Anderson, Squire, and Rabin.

"Endless Dream" arrives to late for Talk to be classified with great Yes works like The Yes Album or Fragile, never mind masterpieces like Close to the Edge, Relayer, or Drama. On the other hand, Talk provides a solid listening experience from beginning to end, placing it ahead of Tormato or Union.

The sound is a bit heavier or harder than the average Yes album, so I'd recommend this album to heavy-prog fans interested in Yes, but only after listening to 90125 or Big Generator first. If you like those, I bet you'll like Talk as well.

Report this review (#2152421)
Posted Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | Review Permalink
4 stars To the members, contributors, and readers of Prog Archives.com: Happy Mardi Gras from the Greater New Orleans Area! To quote one of our favorites, 'Today is a day to celebrate; the foe has met its fate.' Earlier today, over my morning coffee, I read stevoz' review of 90125. Because 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,' I take stevoz' lead and submit a few words about Yes' 1994 album, Talk. It will become clear who the 'foes' might just be.

Stevoz intimates that, 'the only thing that is permanent is change. 'As a freshman and sophomore in high school from 1973-74, I distinctly recall the acrimony engendered upon the release of Tales from Topographic Oceans. On one level, it was not really a non sequitur to move from Close to the Edge to Topographic Oceans Primarily Anderson and Howe, through their lyrics, tell this great tale from the 'mind's eye.' And following the lead of the Paramahansa Yogananda, it remains a formidable 'tale to tell.' Rick Wakeman was a participant on and frequent critic of this album- - Fair enough, from his perspective. However, what else is 'Awaken' but what Wakeman would have liked each of the four sides of Topographic Oceans to have been?

So, now, we ponder Talk. I ask your forgiveness if I leave no comments on the history of Yes from 1974-1994 (I did write 'a few words' above). In lyrics and execution, 'The Calling' certainly advances extra-musical, thematic elements, not just exemplified by 'Classic' Yes, but also displays a true 'tightness' and energy ,expected of Yes. Here and on 'Real Love' and on the 'Silent Spring' opening to 'Endless Dream,' Tony Kaye demonstrates why his name may be synonymous with the Hammond Organ. Throughout this album, Chris Squire and Alan White elucidate, yet again, why in the early eighties Trevor Rabin found them to be such a compelling rhythm section.

Of course, in collaboration, Rabin and Anderson are the architects of Talk. I have always appreciated their comment on the Human Condition in 'Real Love,' 'Far away in the depths of Hawking's mind to the animal, the primalistic grind . . . .' Yes, the Killer Angels. I'd also like to take this opportunity to correct a serious error of omission I committed in my August of 2019 review of Distance over Time: how could I have left Robert Fripp from my list of the 'masters?'

And, who is the 'foe?' The foe is not so much a person or entity, but a way of thinking. Why must we insist on 'all or nothing'''either/or?' Happy Mardi Gras again from the Crescent City where we demonstrate the 'both/ and' as we move through the profane of today to the sacred of Ash Wednesday, tomorrow.

Report this review (#2338362)
Posted Tuesday, February 25, 2020 | Review Permalink
1 stars IMHO this is not a "Yes" album, it's not even a prog album. I have read Travor Rabin views in many interviews and he seems to believe he was leading Yes in a futuristic direction. I think he was leading the band in a pop direction. It may seem like the right decision on 1990, but from a 2020 perspective, it was clearly not a good idea. In fact in semms to me that he was believing that "He" was Yes. (of course he wasn't). When I listen to this album I heard to a bunch of pop songs, very well performed: great singing and great bass lines and a guitar player trying to sound "rocker". My problem is that YES is a prog band and to me here are no prog songs in this album, nor the sound is "Yessish". You may like pop, but pop is pop and Yes is Yes.
Report this review (#2453604)
Posted Saturday, October 3, 2020 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am honestly surprised that this album is this lowly rated. I personally think this album is a masterpiece from start to finish. But the highlight is of course Endless Dream. I think this was the best Yes since Drama. All the tracks on this album are a bit heavier then Yes usually are. I wish Yes stayed with this sound for a bit longer. Trevor Rabin and Jon Anderson are fantastic on this album. This Yes album would definitely be in my top 8 Yes albums. Everyone should give this album a listen or give it another chance because it's truly great.
Report this review (#2459193)
Posted Saturday, October 24, 2020 | Review Permalink
3 stars The fourteenth album by YES, with the same line up as '90125' and 'Big Generator'. Trevor Rabin again took a leading role in concept development and song writing in most of material (with close collaboration with Jon Anderson mainly). Most of the songs are nice and catchy, with a lot more accessible composition.

Trevor Rabin guitar works is really cool, both in sound exploration (he uses many sound effects) and solos. 'The Calling' has a great intro (I love the thick sound of the guitar) and riff. The end section of 'Real Love' also features great guitar solo.

'The Wall' is a nice melodic song, with a great vocal arrangement. 'Where Will You Be' has a different sound and atmosphere. This is written by Trevor Rabin as instrumental track but then include Jon Anderson voice in it. A fine track that would fit to an ABWH album.

Here are three of my favourite tracks : 'Endless Dream' - an epic 15-minute track that for me is an excellent music. This is in my opinion on how a new YES should sound; the composition has great complexity and nicely matched with the modern rock-oriented sound. There are many experimental sound in this track. The intro called 'Silent Spring' is a 2-minute short instrumental, mainly keyboard and guitar duet, with great complex rhythm. The second part 'Talk' is the main part. Started with backing vocals and Tony Kaye piano playing before the main theme and Jon Anderson lead vocal enters. There are several changes in mood and time signature that makes this track rich. The vocal harmony (or almost a choir in some phrases), as a signature element of YES, throughout this track is fascinating.

'I am Waiting' ' although has a quite simple structure, has a heart warming melody and a glorious guitar intro theme. 'State of Play' has a nice structure. From the striking guitar riff, the intro section is swiftly shifted to vocal harmony and acoustic guitar and after 2 verses, a nice chorus comes up. The guitar solo really awesome.

Among the three albums performed by the same line up, I vote for this album as their best (even it is very hard to pick between this and '90125'). This album has a strong vocal arrangement, and all songs seem to very nicely fit to Jon Anderson voice.

Report this review (#2507489)
Posted Sunday, February 21, 2021 | Review Permalink
4 stars Review - #23 (Yes - Talk)

Talk is the fourteenth studio album by Yes which was released in March of 1994. Recording for the album started in late 1992 with the line-up of Jon Anderson on vocals, Trevor Rabin on guitar, Chris Squire on bass, Alan White on drums and Tony Kaye on keyboards. Interestingly, keyboardist Rick Wakeman was supposed to be involved in the project before contractual problems led to his withdrawal. The album was recorded onto a hard disk at Trevor Rabin's home studio using an early version of the digital audio workstation software Digital Performer. The album was then supported by a tour in 1994 that ended in Trevor Rabin and Tony Kaye leaving the band in 1995. Retrospectively, the album has gotten a lot of praise as one of Trevor Rabin's best albums he created with Yes. I believe this is mainly due to the close collaboration Trevor Rabin decided to have with Jon Anderson when creating the album, mixing both of their styles into one. In addition, it is truly shocking to see Talk receive such low ratings on this website; I imagine people expect to receive another Close to the Edge when listening to this album and have some immediate distain whenever an ounce of pop enters the music without considering its quality. I consider this to be a strong highlight within the band's career while containing masterful songs throughout.

The album begins with The Calling, which receives an extended version on a few releases. The track was developed and soon evolved around the song's introductory guitar riff. The Calling immediately introduces itself as straying away from being yet another generic pop-orientated rock song, there are multiple strong melodies and instrumentations all over which lets the song clock in at just under seven minutes. Furthermore, Yes is at the most progressive they've been in years while still containing fantastic hooks throughout. Tony Kaye's Hammond organ also makes a triumphant return on top of the vocals being as powerful as ever. The Calling is a notable opener that displays the overall sound of the album! I Am Waiting is up next and it is absolutely breathtaking. The track was actually developed quite spontaneously which Jon Anderson has said made it "real pure music". As the track begins, a soft guitar riff is introduced that shifts into a powerful and emotionally driven guitar riff performed by Trevor Rabin. The section is then reprised with Jon Anderson adding vocals where he performs one of the most magnificent vocal deliveries he has done in years. If I had to say what the highlight of this album was, it would certainly be the remarkable vocals. The interplay between both Trevor Rabin and Jon Anderson on this track is done brilliantly in addition to the sound dynamic between both the loud and quiet parts. The next track is titled Real Love and displays the heaviest Yes has been since Machine Messiah on Drama. It was predominantly written by bassist Chris Squire with the lyrics being partly inspired by Rabin's reading of A Brief History of Time by British physicist Stephen Hawking. Trevor Rabin also does a fantastic job on guitar all through this track while incorporating powerful vocals that work in combination with Jon Anderson's. Furthermore, the rhythm section is well-produced and heavy hitting without being overly complicated. It is a quite dark piece at times but remains to be yet another surprisingly strong song on the album.

State of Play is the next track an unfortunately doesn't live up to the songs that came before it. Nevertheless, this is still a wonderful piece of music. There are various impressive moments found throughout such as the numerous superb instrumental sections (though somewhat short). In addition, there is a great transition found at the two minute and thirty six second mark which displays Trevor Rabin's wonderful performance on guitar. Walls was the last track produced for the album and was co-written with Supertramp vocalist Roger Hodgson, who declined an offer to be the band's lead singer following Jon Anderson's parting in 1988 following the Big Generator tour. Despite the track being particularly pop-orientated, I happen to really enjoy it. Rabin's vocals during the course of the song are well done with Jon Anderson's vocals popping in at just the right moments. In addition, Trevor Rabin also provides wonderful guitar interplay and licks whilst Chris Squire adds his superb bass work. The next track, Where Will You Be is absolutely beautiful. It is an atmospheric piece that can be compared to Angkor Wat from Union released in 1991. The guitar from Trevor Rabin is performed tastefully whilst being incredibly gorgeous at times. The combination of Jon Anderson's eloquent vocals and meaningful lyrics on this track are able to transfer the listener to a state of peace. This can almost be considered to be a poem first and a song second. Where Will You Be also works well as an introductory piece for the last track on the album, Endless Dream. This remains to be one of the best songs the band has ever recorded. Clocking in at over fifteen minutes, it is an epic through and through. The epic is divided into three parts, and begins with an instrumental section titled Silent Spring. It starts with a repeating piano riff that Rabin initially intended to use as part of a film score but chose to use it for the song instead. The piano focused intro then moves into a guitar section that exhibits the band performing at blazing speeds. Trevor Rabin's guitar playing is some of the finest of his career in addition to Alan White delivering his greatest drum work on the album. Not to mention, it is nice to see the band performing in an odd time signature once again! The epic then moves into its second part which is simply called Talk. This part contains the bulk of the track, clocking in at just under twelve minutes. The music found within is nothing less then incredible, it is some of the best music the band has ever recorded. A special mention also goes to the dubstep inspired section that feels particularly unique for the band. The track ultimately ends with its third and last part titled Endless Dream which takes a more atmospheric approach and reprises a vocal melody found earlier in the track. Even at the end, you can here a faint reprise of the dubstep inspired section echoing as the track fades. Jon Anderson has said the piece is "as good as anything" the band has done while rating it on par with "Close to the Edge" and "Awaken". Alan White has also praised this track highly since the time of its release. I happen to agree with both Jon Anderson and Alan White, this is truly one of the best tracks the band has ever recorded and a highlight of the progressive rock scene in the 90s. Endless Dream also remains to be the highlight of Trevor Rabin's long career in my view and is a beautiful send-off letter for his time in Yes.

When initially writing this review, I planned on giving this album a five-star rating. However, upon numerous relistens as of late I believe a four-star rating would be more appropriate. Despite the strength of Endless Dream and numerous moments found on the quote-on-quote side one of the album, there are also a few moments that ultimately make this a near-masterpiece for the band. Nevertheless, this is an album that remains to be criminally underrated within the band's discography. Talk is an excellent addition to any progressive rock collection! "So take your time, look round and see the most in time is where you're meant to be."

Report this review (#2569160)
Posted Sunday, June 6, 2021 | Review Permalink
4 stars That the "Union" project was destined to be short-lived was all too evident. Throughout the history of Yes, it has been difficult to keep five heads at bay for more than two consecutive albums, let alone eight brains. At the end of the massive tour, Wakeman, Bruford and Howe leave the band again, and in a single stroke they find themselves pecked and beaten, that is without either Yes or ABWH. Bruford returns happily to the court of the Crimson King. Wakeman is totally dedicated to his solo career, also starting to collaborate with his son Adam. Howe, begins to collaborate again with the Asia of the Payne era as a special guest, as well as to devote himself to a solo career. Jon Anderson instead remains, going to reconstitute the winning line-up of 90125. To tell the truth, Steve Howe had in mind a project to be able to continue working in eight, but shared only by the Arista record company but not by most of his colleagues. The solution involved selecting four elements who would take care of the compositions, later assisted by the rest of the large band for the arrangements. The Los Angeles headquarters, in particular, strongly opposed, deciding that three of the eight members were in surplus, so that 3/4 of ABWH withdrew, leaving the fate of Yes in the hands of Rabin. The South African guitarist began a close collaboration with Jon Anderson, laying down the foundations for the new album, which would be titled "Talk". Chris Squire also gave a good hand in the composition phase.

As usual, Rabin also took on the burdens of production and keyboard parts. After being played, the album was reworked entirely on hard disk, making use of four futuristic Apple Macintoshes at the time, connected to an IBM computer. What came out was a work with a cold and innovative sound, at times perhaps too perfect, but of considerable sonic impact. "Talk" was the first album released for an independent label, Victory Records, founded by former vice president of Atlantic Records Phil Carson, a small label used to working with genres diametrically opposed to progressive, such as hardcore, punk , indie rock and something of pop rock. Just at that time, the record company was going through a bad financial period, and this meant that the album was not promoted properly.

The music is "progressive stars and stripes", in a Yes key. Technically it is flawless. Sound with shovel technology. So perfect that it doesn't seem to be played by real instruments. White's drums are very powerful, at times ferocious and even too refined and filtered in the timbre. Sharp guitars, Anderson's usual voice in formalin, Squire's bass audible in notes with very low dynamics, almost air displacements. Tony Kaye is present only with the Hammond, enjoyable on "The Calling".

The album starts with "The Calling", a first-class AOR hit that opens the album strongly. The song follows on from the US sound of "Love will find a way", but comes up with a convincing riff and a surprisingly powerful sound, especially from the guitars and the rhythm section. Until you then listen more closely and cannot identify more than just four chords - and that with a song that is eight minutes long in its extended version (only through a few keyboard effects). So too long, no question about it, but it would be completely satisfactory as a four-minute drive. The album gets its first prog flight after about three minutes, with an instrumental passage with an ambivalent rhythm, which first leads to a country guitar solo and then to a rock solo, not at all uninteresting. I Am Waiting" (7:25) This song begins with a few measures that are almost new age in their sound before shifting briefly into a hard-rock version of the opening melody. "Real Love" follows. Admittedly, the song is a bit gimmicky, but the riffs achieve an immense effect with very little resources. There is also a strange vocal melody and a strange counter melody from the keyboard in the technoid-sounding bridge. For me in its entirety the roundest song on "Talk". "State of Play" is the little gem. Very energetic. Great piece. Sharp hi-tech guitar. "Where Will You Be" is a nice little ballad. The production is good, somewhere between classical instrumentation (keyboard strings) and tribal rhythms. The key changes are dramatic and don't miss their effect, tasteful and reserved, but no less virtuoso guitar contributions by Rabin are really great.

But now the long track. Rabin had actually resisted it, but it was Phil Carson who really wanted a piece in the classic Yes style. And Rabin and Anderson did not mess up and really cut one off. The song lives from two poles, between which tension builds up: the frenetic and insanely fast motif from "Silent Spring" and the great melody from "Talk", perhaps Anderson's most successful melody invention. Once again, Rabin shows himself to be a terrific arranger: with a shock effect, he reduces the mighty sound of the introduction to a silent piano passage. From then on, the song develops through acoustic moments, strongly technoid alienated passages up to its climax, which is reached through the gradual addition of more and more layers of sound and the declination of the "talk" motif. Anderson's melody is ideal for this, as it works as a small melody for acoustic piano accompaniment as well as a massively produced rock anthem. "Endless Dream", however, suffers from the technoid passages that are abruptly interposed in the piece and in this way pretty much tear it apart. This may not be so noticeable on the perfectly produced studio album, but it is all the more evident in the live versions that have since been released. But on "Talk" it works to a certain extent, and so the interplay between rhythm-heavy technoid passages and melody-heavy hymn passages seems like one of those epic musical stories with which Yes became so famous in the 1970s.

"Endless Dream" is the song that more than concludes "Talk" in a more forgiving way, an album that is generally of mixed quality. On the plus side, next to the longtrack, are "Where Will You Be" and "Real Love". "The Calling" and "I am Waiting" are rather mediocre as AOR songs, while "State of play" and "Walls" are the failures of the album. Still, "Talk" doesn't seem embarrassing: Yes neither try to produce flat radio feed as they did in the 80s, nor do they strive to reconnect with their glory days of the 70s as they did with the two following albums. Instead, "Talk" is an independent statement - this album is in a way the blueprint for a number of modern Prog / AOR albums.

Report this review (#2569346)
Posted Monday, June 7, 2021 | Review Permalink

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