Yes
Open Your Eyes


2.0
poor

Review

by Nagrarok USER (219 Reviews)
May 1st, 2011 | 54 replies


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For the second time during the 90's, Yes fail to live up to their promises.

Though they weren’t doing particularly fabulous in the studio following 90125, Yes really weren’t making a bad case in the 1990’s commercially. Earlier on in the decade, the newer and veteran band members collaborated on the quite successful Union tour, even though the album itself did not live up to its promises. The reunion wouldn’t last, and a renewed 80’s line-up would release yet another weak work in Talk. Utterly unstable as they have always been, subsequent events had both guitarist Trevor Rabin and keyboardist Tony Kaye step away from the group. This however left Jon Anderson, Chris Squire and Alan White with some room to reconsider their angle. Undoubtedly to the joy of their fans, the remaining threesome decided it was time to return to the kind of Yes that had built so much respect in the progressive world in the first place: the 70’s kind of Yes.

Luckily enough, both Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman were kind enough to once again join up for the prog party, and thus the classic formation (minus Bill Bruford, that is) was restored. To realize their plans, the five-piece released the Keys to Ascension albums in ’96 and ‘97, two double lives with new studio tracks on the second disc (a couple of which were hailed as being as good as their 70’s game, these were later compiled on Keystudio). Wakeman strongly disagreed with this decision, having wanted to create a proper studio release instead, and left frustrated. Again, this reunion proved to be short-lived.

The question was how the band were going to pick up the pieces. Long story short, Squire and White had both been involved in a side-project called Conspiracy along with keyboardist Billy Sherwood; him and Squire reworked some of their compositions into Yes songs, Sherwood officially joined as the keyboardist that the group needed, and Open Your Eyes, their fifteenth proper studio album, landed in 1997.

To be blunt, it is not better off than Talk. In fact, it’s a notch below what were at least sparse moments of creativity that its predecessor showed. The work originating from their songs, Squire and Sherwood had the most creative input here, which actually doesn’t seem to change a lot from what Yes had been doing since Big Generator. It’s still the same overlong pop/rock tunes; a tired formula that loses its appeal after three tracks. New State of Mind, Universal Garden and the title track can be called decent (in a generous mood, admittedly), but Open Your Eyes quickly descents into useless, same-sounding drivel, with the exception of From the Balcony, seemingly a forced soft break, and the even more dreary nature noises (a nod to Close to the Edge, perhaps") that make up the majority of the 20-minute closer The Solution. As if the 50 previous minutes weren’t forgettable enough.

The production is only the final annoyance, the record being overcompressed as was the trend at the time. First from Union to Talk, then from Keys to Ascension to Open Your Eyes: twice Yes promised to step up to what we all know they could achieve, twice they failed. At this rate, a real comeback seemed to become a mere dream.

Open Your Eyes’ Yes was:

- John Roy Anderson ~ Lead Vocals
- Stephen James Howe ~ Lead Guitars, Backing Vocals, Banjo, Mandolin
- Christopher Russell Squire ~ Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals, Harmonica
- William Wyman Sherwood ~ Keyboards, Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Alan White ~ Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals


TO BE CONTINUED...




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user ratings (225)
Chart.
1.9
poor


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
May 1st 2011


8588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Since I know you were all just dying to read another Yes review...



I considered doing the Keys of Ascension albums, but they are more live than studio and I want to wrap this up.

Tyrael
May 1st 2011


21113 Comments


Great review Nag, Exactly what I was expecting of you. Pos.

Nagrarok
May 1st 2011


8588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Great review Nag, Exactly what I was expecting of you. Pos.




Thanks Tyrael.



do yessongs and yesshows if you haven't




If I do those at all it will be a while after I finish the studio albums. In other news, they actually got a new one of those coming out this year.

Nagrarok
May 1st 2011


8588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I doubt it'll be very good (Clockwork Angels will probably be better), but I'm curious what they'll do with the new singer and such.

Aids
May 1st 2011


24456 Comments


good review, nice to see you back at it

even Yes' good albums sort of irk me, not my favourite "classic" prog band. Close to the Edge is gold though.

Jethro42
May 1st 2011


15569 Comments


90125 was the Yes' terminus for me. Long time ago I've downloaded couple of songs from their more recent works including this one, and it absolutely convinced me to give up once for all.
Review was a good read. You know your Yes very well and it shows.

JamieTwort
May 1st 2011


26988 Comments


Great review as always Nag. I need to listen to some more Yes, I'll be sure to avoid this though.

Greggers
May 1st 2011


2375 Comments


Nice review Nag, I've still yet to check out any Yes other than Close to the Edge and Relayer though.

Also, getting ever closer to 200 reviews it seems! You got something special planned I take it?

Nagrarok
May 1st 2011


8588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

even Yes' good albums sort of irk me, not my favourite "classic" prog band. Close to the Edge is gold though.




Maybe Anderson's vocals are the reason? They remain an acquired taste, had to grow on me a whole while too.



90125 was the Yes' terminus for me. Long time ago I've downloaded couple of songs from their more recent works including this one, and it absolutely convinced me to give up once for all.




You're absolutely right on that, of course.. When they remastered their catalogue they only went up to that album, a wise choice.



Also, getting ever closer to 200 reviews it seems! You got something special planned I take it?




I have several albums in mind, though I'm not sure if I'm going to do some more extravagant writing-wise.



Thanks all.

scissorlocked
May 1st 2011


3528 Comments


classically good review Nag

never listened to this

Irving
Staff Reviewer
May 2nd 2011


7504 Comments


Classy as usual Nag. Pos.

Aids
May 2nd 2011


24456 Comments


Maybe Anderson's vocals are the reason?


that's pretty much 100% of the reason. good guess Nag

Nagrarok
May 2nd 2011


8588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

that's pretty much 100% of the reason. good guess Nag




Easy guess, really. I'm pretty sure Anderson's vocals have always been the biggest turnoff to people listening to Yes.



Thank you fellas.

cvlts
May 2nd 2011


9504 Comments


yo Nag, awesome review as always bro. pos from me, keep it going bro!

Nagrarok
May 2nd 2011


8588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Thanks man, will do.

JamieTwort
May 2nd 2011


26988 Comments


I've never got into this band as much as I thought I would either. I think Anderson's vocals are the reason for me too.

72haha72
May 2nd 2011


485 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

By far Yes's worst album. Everytime I hear "you got a great imagination" it makes me cringe. Really good review, but in my opinion you could use more description of the album itself.

Jethro42
May 2nd 2011


15569 Comments


I have nothing wrong to say about Jon's angelic vocals, on the contrary; it's a big part of the classic era Yes sound, and he was the man, it makes no doubt in my mind. However it's undeniable that when Yes started to get pop and unrecognizable, Jon got uninspired and unrecognizable as well.
Edit; Jon slowly but surely started to get on my nerves with Tormato where he tried too hard to be the Yes man. It's safe to say that Tormato would have been way better instrumental. So Yes.

JamieTwort
May 2nd 2011


26988 Comments


It's not that I have a major problem with Anderson's vocals, It's just that that's the only reason I can think of as to why I've never got into this bad as much as say King Crimson or Jethro Tull. However I am yet to fully explore the rest of the band's discography, so far I've only heard Close To the Edge and The Yes Album, what album would you recommend I check out next?

Nagrarok
May 2nd 2011


8588 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

FRAGILE. No question.



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