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4.6 out of 5 stars
Going for the One (Expanded)
Format: Audio CDChange
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2002
I'm starting to think that Yes are never going to top their progressive masterpiece CLOSE TO THE EDGE. Though the only other Yes album I have -- 90125 -- comes close to it (and that's a commercial album for Pete's sake!), GOING FOR THE ONE does nothing to prove my theory wrong. This is Yes at one of their more weaker moments. The majority of this record is uninspired and unsatisfying. Though it has its share of beautiful pieces, as to be expected of Yes' music, GOING FOR THE ONE should have been renamed "Too Low for Zero."
The sole reason this album is any good is because of two songs: "Turn of the Century" and "Parallels." These two songs save the album from being a total disaster, and are two of Yes' finest tunes if I do say so myself. "Turn of the Century" is a lovely 7-minute ballad with some of the most poignant lyrics Jon Anderson has ever written. Telling the story of a sculptor who is making a clay statue after his dead wife, the emotional acoustic work of Steve Howe, melodic vocal harmonies, and triumphant ending reasonate through the song very well.
"Parallels" is a harder-rocking cut, with a bombastic yet cool organ intro from Rick Wakeman (who returned to the band for this album after a three-year absence), tasty basslines from Chris Squire, and a catchy chorus. Nicely done. Besides these two tracks, it's all downhill from there.
The opening title track starts with a rollicking country-esque intro from Howe and seems to be throbbing with energy, but the annoying chorus grows so damn repetitive and diminshes any quality the song had. Anderson's vocals are at their worst here. "Wonderous Stores" is a filler ballad, not very memorable at all. "Awaken" is the long epic of the album, reaching 15 minutes. Surprisingly, it lacks the scope and ambition of Yes' previous epics like "Close to the Edge" or "Starship Trooper." All that build-up for what? A repeat of the beginning for the last 4 minutes? Come on, guys. You could do better than that.
Before I close out, I must say that the production of this album is awful. Howe's guitar and Squire's bass are so loud during some of the songs that Wakeman's keys and Alan White's drums can hardly be heard. And Jon Anderson's usually high voice can't soar above the loud guitars. GOING FOR THE ONE is a disappointment from a band capable of so much more.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2003
I was very disappointed in the re-mastering of this album by George Marino. It was noisy and not up to the professionalism of the recent issued re-mastered Yes albums (of which I now have all). Very disappointing.
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