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Trevor Rabin

Can’t Look Away

Review by Gary Hill

Trevor Rabin’s solo album during his tenure in Yes, this is arguably the strongest of his solo releases. It’s certainly the most Yes-like. The music and production both lend an air of experience and maturity not found on the earlier releases. It’s a strong disc and probably the closest to progressive rock of the group. Of course, it is included in prog not because of the music found here, but instead because of Rabin’s time spent in Yes.

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Track by Track Review
I Can't Look Away

This comes in with a sound that should be familiar to fans of Rabin era Yes. In fact, it feels like it could have come from one of the albums that outfit released. At least the bulk of the song does. It works through a number of changes and Rabin solos over the top. At times it might remind you of different songs from 90125 and Big Generator. It drops way down for the balladic verse section. The vocals come in with a processed effect and rather in the background. Later the cut turns to a soulful motif that shows some influence of Rabin’s homeland of South Africa. In some ways I’m reminded of Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” a bit. It fires out to more hard rocking sounds again and the Yes-West leanings are strong again.

Something To Hold On To
This feels a lot like “Love Will Find A Way.” It starts off with a fiery prog rock excursion and drops way down to continue. That stripped down verse motif is a lot sparser than anything Rabin did with Yes (although it does make me think of parts of “Endless Dream”).
Sorrow (Your Heart)
This track is very much inspired by South African music. The opening motifs are quite in that style, but then when it fires out into the chorus the territory is closer to something from the 1980’s version of Yes. These two styles are merged for a while, but then it works out into far more world music zones for a time. 
Cover Up
More of a straight ahead rocker, this one includes Alan White on drums. The chorus here reminds me a lot of Pink Floyd. There’s also a bit of a funky element to some of this. It’s a killer tune. I wouldn’t consider it all that prog, but I would think of it as a highlight of the set. Later there is a proggy instrumental movement that’s more like Rabin era Yes. 
Promises
The intro on this is amongst the most proggy music on show here. It works through a number of changes and alterations, but doesn’t stay around long. It drops way down to a stripped down mode for the verse. The chorus comes up with the wall of sound vocals and some keyboards to bring a more progressive rock oriented element to the table. It alternates between the more stripped down and more full arrangement as it continues. 
Etoile Noir / Eyes of Love
I believe that there are versions of this album where these two tracks are separate. On the copy I have, though, they are both on the same track. The first is a short (just over a minute) intro. This is arguably the most prog-like number on show here and the most Yes-oriented one. It has the feeling of a Rabin era Yes power ballad number. There are definitely some hints of what would come later with “Endless Dream” from Yes’ Talk album. This alternates between the mellower modes and the more rocking ones and is quite a cool piece of music. It’s probably the strongest number on show here. 
I Didn't Think It Would Last
A bouncy sort of rocker, this has an almost funky texture. It’s a cut that again makes me think a little of Peter Gabriel’s solo career. It has a catchy chorus. 
Hold On To Me
A pretty typical Rabin rock meets ballad number, this is good, but just not anything special. 
Sludge
Trevor Rabin meets Eddie Van Halen on this short instrumental number. 
I Miss You Now
Another that isn’t that far removed from some of the more pop oriented music that was done by the Rabin era of Yes, this is another strong cut. There are some Beatles-like elements here and a few changes. Overall it’s catchy and entertaining. There’s some cool instrumental work later in the number. 
The Cape
A melodic and pretty instrumental, this is quite progressive rock oriented and a good way to end the set in style.
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