Eyes Of The World
March 29, 1990
Geez, I just can't get into this at all. It feels like soft-rock and smooth jazz with that dated keyboard sound and limp sax playing (I dig the midi flute believe it or not) - and I like a lot of Branford's straight ahead work and the cool stuff he did with Buckshot lefonque around this time. Sure Phil is - as always - a genius, but the solos themselves, including Branford's are just so many noodles. Does it showcase one of the last great creative eras for the band? Perhaps, but I can't compare it favorably to the coherent, driven, musically purposefully soloing of sooooo many of the great '74s and 73s, and the great '77s, and the great 80s versions with their (frankly) superior transitions into Estimated. Finally, I just think it's loose to the point of sounding unrehearsed at times. Jer's vocals come in right when Branford is stepping up to solo, twice, and the band is a bit sprawling when, once more, you compare it to almost any of the '73 and '74s. (Plus without the outro or at least a real transition to Estimated, it just isn't as good....) Hate to be an iconoclast, but them's my 00.02.