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Trevor Rabin

Crossover Prog

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Trevor Rabin Can't Look Away album cover
3.27 | 24 ratings | 4 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. I Can't Look Away (7:22)
2. Something To Hold On To (5:07)
3. Sorrow (Your Heart) (4:29)
4. Cover Up (5:17)
5. Promises (5:57)
6. Etoile Noir (1:03)
7. Eyes Of Love (6:24)
8. I Didn't Think It Would Last (4:08)
9. Hold On To Me (4:44)
10. Sludge (2:26)
11. I Miss You Now (5:38)
12. The Cape (2:56)

Total time: 55:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Trevor Rabin / lead vocals, guitar, guitar synthesizer, keyboards, bass, background vocals (tracks 2, 3, 5, 7?9)
- Alan White / drums (tracks 4, 11)
- Lou Molino III / drums (tracks 1?3, 8, 10)
- Denny Fongheiser / drums (track 7)

- Duncan Faure / background vocals (tracks 2, 3, 5, 7?9)
- Tsidii Le Loka / background vocals (tracks 3?5, 7)
- Beulah Hashe / background vocals (tracks 3?5, 7)
- Faith Kekana / background vocals (tracks 3?5, 7)
- Marilyn Nokwe / background vocals (tracks 3?5, 7)
- Bob Ezrin / background vocals (tracks 3, 7), engineering, production

Releases information

Release date: July 10, 1989
Label: Elektra
Format: LP & CD

CD Re-edition:
2006 - AMR Archive (AIRAC-1292)

Thanks to SouthSideoftheSky for the addition
and to progshine for the last updates
Edit this entry

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TREVOR RABIN Can't Look Away ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TREVOR RABIN Can't Look Away reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars Hold On!

Can't Look Away was Trevor Rabin's first solo album since he had joined Yes (but not his first solo album overall). At this point in his career he had already played on the Yes albums 90125 (released in 1983) and Big Generator (1987), but his days with Yes were not over and he would later go on to contribute to Union (1991) and Talk (1994). In addition to Rabin himself on guitars and lead vocals (among several other things), Can't Look Away also features another Yes member in Alan White on drums (on some tracks). The album will appeal to anyone who enjoys the Yes albums that Rabin played on, and in my opinion this album is actually better than both 90125 and Big Generator!

Rabin is not only an excellent guitarist, but also a strong vocalist and a good song writer. All of these qualities are amply represented here where he does not need to take the back seat behind anyone else. In my opinion, Rabin's very best compositions can be found on Yes' Union album in Lift Me Up and Miracle Of Life. But apart from those two excellent Yes songs, some of Rabin's finest songs are on the present album. The album opens with the title track which features an excellent riff very much in the style of Lift Me Up and showcases Rabin's powerful guitar styles. He is an incredible player!

Some songs here, most notably Sorrow (Your Heart), pay homage to Rabin's African origins by fusing Rock and traditional African sounds. I have never heard anything quite like it. There are many other styles of music as well subtly fused into an overall progressive Arena Rock foundation. The Cape, Sludge, and Etoile Noir are instrumentals that contribute to the variety of the album keeping it interesting throughout.

I think it is a real shame that Rabin didn't continue his solo career (after he left Yes the second time around) with more albums in the style of this one. I still hope that one day (preferably very soon!) he would form a strong band around himself and tour the world performing songs from this album as well as songs from his time in Yes. With the best songs from Talk, Union, Big Generator, 90125, and the present album, he could really put together a great set list.

Can't Look Away remains Rabin's greatest achievement as a solo artist, and a great album it is

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars For what it's worth, this album holds a special place to me, since I had a wonderful time at the release party held in Boston. I was at the party, and Trevor Rabin noticed that I was the only one there actually listening to the album. So, over continuous glasses of champagne, we had a nice discussion about the album, Yes, and prog rock in general.

I honestly didn't think much of the album at the time, as I was listening to bands like Doctor Nerve and Univers Zero mostly in those days, and didn't have much appreciation for this pop-ish style of music. But since Rabin's addition to the archives, I've taken a fresh look at the disk.

If you like the 80's Yes, then you may just enjoy this album. It definitely displays Rabin's influence, and points to him as the leader of Yes during that period. The song styling is similar in many ways, and quite often sounds like tracks that could have been on "Big Generator". It has a similar, clear production, with Rabin's rich harmonization of guitars, keyboards and vocals.

Much of it also sounds like classic Foreigner, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Rabin's undoing comes in his sometimes too schmaltzy lyrics, hitting the depths on "Hold On To Me". But those points don't totally overwhelm the fact that Rabin is a truly gifted guitarist. His solos throughout lift even the sappy love songs to a listenable level.

The album revs up a bit at the end. "Sludge" is the best, and most progressive and aggressive track. It's an instrumental that becomes an almost metal fusion piece. "I Miss You Now" displays some nice bass work from Rabin, and "The Cape" provides a nice ending over an almost new-age backing track.

Does this album justify Rabin's inclusion here? Not quite, but "Jacaranda" certainly does. But as a slightly prog, but mostly rock album, it's pretty good.

Review by Guillermo
3 stars Without doubt, TREVOR RABIN is a very talented musician. He not only is a very good guitarist, but also he is a good keyboard player, lead singer , composer and producer. All these things appear in all the albums that he recorded as a member of YES between 1983 and 1994. Many fans of the band did not like very much his influence in the band`s music because it changed from being Prog Rock to a new style of music which also included some Pop Rock music influences and Hit Singles which were played a lot in the Radio. Despite all these influences, I still think that he was talented enough to be a member of that band. In the albums that he recorded with the band there are some good quality songs and some very good lead guitar playing by him.

This album, his fourth as soloist, was released almost at the same time as the "Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe" album, an album which Jon Anderson recorded with those other then former members of the band, being tired of the music direction that YES was having then. YES lost Anderson since late 1988, so the band was on hiatus, without a lead singer. So, Rabin took the opportunity to record this new solo album titled "I Can`t Look Away", maybe looking for a new chance as a soloist in 1989.

This is a good album, with songs mostly composed and arranged in the Pop Rock music trends of the late eighties, with some of them still having some Progressive rock influences. Unfortunately, the album is not very consistent as a whole and some songs really are not very interesting.

Among the best songs in this album, they are "I Can`t Look Away", "Something to Hold On To" (which became a Hit Single and maybe it is th best song from this album), "Sorrow (your heart)" (very influenced by Souht African music), "Cover Up", and "Promises" Coincidentaly, all these songs are the first five songs in the album, and with "Sludge", all are the strongest from the album. With the exception of "Promises", all these songs were also included in his live album titled "Live in L.A." which was released until 2003. That album has all these songs played better in concert.

Unfortunately, the rest of the songs are not as good, being mostly very Pop Rock ballads (like "I Didn`t Think It Would Last", "Hold On to Me", and "I Miss You Now"), plus a "power ballad" which sounds like being very influenced by FOREIGNER ("Eyes of Love") with a guitar riff very influenced by that band`s guitarist (Mick Jones). "Etoile Noir" and "The Cape" are instrumental pieces of music, not very interesting for my taste.

So, Rabin left at the first half of the album the best songs, with the rest of the songs (with the exception of the heavy instrumental titled "Sludge") not being as interesting. The album only reached the number 111 in the "Billboard 200" chart in the U.S., so it was not very successful in commercial terms, even with the very eighties production. But "Something to Hold On To" became a Hit Single, reaching the number three in the U.S. Billboard charts, and having a video which was played on TV.

The recording and mixing of the album is very good. Rabin recorded very good lead and backing vocals, and his guitar playing is very good, having some very good guitar solos in some songs. So, this is a good quality album which could have been more interesting for some of Rabin`s fans and some fans of the Pop Rock market.

YES`s drummer Alan White appears in two songs, but in this album his drums playing style is not very easy to be identified, having to compete with some programmed drum machines.

This album was the last released Rabin`s solo album until 2012, when he released his album titled "Jacaranda", after recording a lot of soundtrack albums for films since leaving YES in mid 1995.

Latest members reviews

2 stars I wish I would have looked away when I purchased this CD shortly after it's release. Blushingly, I admit of giving it numerous spins before it was unceremoniously disregarded as of any interest to me. Currently this album is rated as a clean 4 and if I didn't know better, on that basis I'd be ... (read more)

Report this review (#1162726) | Posted by Anon-E-Mouse | Friday, April 18, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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