In 1988, Jon Anderson quit Yes for the second time and released his first regular solo album in six years, In The City Of Angels. Stewart Levine, best known for his work with Culture Club, was brought in to produce; Anderson worked with a team of L.A. session stars and wrote a couple of songs with ex-Motown ace Lamont Dozier. All of this seemed to portend a more commercial-sounding, straightahead pop effort from the usually ethereal Anderson. The result is about half and half: when writing with Dozier, Anderson expresses conventional romantic sentiments, for which he doesn't really have a feel. His tenor is so chaste and angelic, it's hard for him to be believable on earthly love songs. And soon enough, especially on later tracks, Anderson is once again in spiritual outer space, where he seems most comfortable. The compromise, however, did not appeal to fans, who avoided this album.
Their third record is a series of (r)evolutionary instrumental ruminations on touring and the homogenous effects of globalization. With shorter songs and expanded catchiness, "City Of Echoes" is Pelican's "pop album". After exploring Earth's melodicism, Goatsnake riffery, and Hum post-rock textures, they've now decided to drastically reduce their song length and deliver a driving rock record. "One minute you're being sucked down by an undertow of surging, cascading guitar riffs and crashing drums, and the next you're being lulled to sleep at the bottom of an ocean of soothing ambience. A positively elemental album for scope, ambition, and vision.