Not well-received among diehard Yes fans, Open Your Eyes was originally released in 1997, and reissued here, in LP format, in 2012. Nowhere as prominent or striking as the band's classic '70s outings, here keyboardist Rick Wakeman is absent and replaced by keyboardist/guitarist Billy Sherwood, who lines up with eminent guitarist and longtime member Steve Howe. The bulk of this material lies between progressive rock and pop-rock, with most of it largely forgettable romps, sans memorable hooks or intriguing song forms. They're diametrically opposed to Yes' classic pieces, often modeled with complex time signatures, ambient/symphonic dreamscapes and British folk music.
In 1982, when guitarist Trevor Rabin joined the band, Yes morphed into a high-end pop-rock unit, and enjoyed extensive radio airplay with the hit "Owner of a Lonely Heart." Personnel shifts once again followed, leading to this outing, primarily designed on solid backbeats and a few odd-metered diversions. However, the prog factor faintly underscores the majority of the program.
"Fortune Seller and "Man in the Moon" are noteworthy compositions, borrowing from pop and featuring vocalist Jon Anderson's tuneful overtones and catchy lyricism. But filler material such as the 23-minute "The Solution" is little more than an electronic backwash, treated with the sounds of nature and vocal choruses that weave in and out every five minutes or so.
The only saving grace pertains to the musicians' superior chops amid Howe, bassist Chris Squire and drummer Tony Levin / David Torn / Alan White's enviable technical faculties and signature stylizations. Unfortunately, this isn't enough to keep the album from sinking into murky waters.
Track Listing: New State of Mind; Open :Your Eyes; Universal Garden; No Way We Can Lose; Fortune Seller; Man In The Moon; Wonderlove; From the Balcony; Love Shine; Somehow…Someday; The Solution.
Personnel: Jon Anderson: lead vocals; Chris Squire: bass, harmonica, vocals; Billy Sherwood: guitars, keyboards, vocals; Alan White: drums, percussion, vocals; Steve Howe: guitars, steel, mandolin, banjo, vocals.
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.