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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover

FRAGILE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 2401 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

BatBacon
3 stars This is my standard example of an album with a lot of great tracks, but as an album it doesn't work at all. I have no idea how this is allowed to be one of prog rocks most iconic albums. I have to admit Im not a huge Yes-fan, even though Close to the Edge, The Yes Album and Relayer is some of the best albums ever created. Itīs probably a bit unfair because the Yes-sound has become kind of an blueprint for many of todays wannabe-prog bands who mostly just try to imitate what the bands in the 70s did much better. To imitate old bands is not very proggy, if you ask me. But thats not what this review should be about.

Fragile has never really been my cup of tea, because half of the songs feels like they're not complete or just rushed through. "Roundabout" is a great album starter, its one of the best songs of classic prog ever and itīs really gets me going and makes me hungry for the next awesome track! But next come "Cans and Brahms", and itīs a mystery to me. Why is it there? I really hate to say it, but it strikes me as unserious and badly written. Itīs nothing but a short keyboard- doodle with no real beginning, no real ending and nothing in between. Not a good follow up to the great album starter, I tell you!

Next track "We have heaven" has a nice groove to it, but absolutely nothing more. Two album- fillers in a row? What is this? After that comes "South Side of the Sky", which is exactly what Yes should be doing! A real song with groovy rhythms, a strong melody and some attitude. The song goes through some phases, with the middle part being the right kind of experimental before going back to the songs lead theme. The song gets dynamic and exciting, just as Yes should be!

Next come "Long Distance Runaround" (yes, I am ignoring the fact that the hopelessly boring album filler "Five Percent For Nothing" really comes in between). At the beginning I actually didn't like this song ether, but its pretty happy and grows on you if you give it a chance. Also Long Distance Runaround bleeds into a dramatic ending in "The Fish". Super Cool!

"Mood for the day" is a really nice guitar solo and may sound as just another of those album fillers, but this one is great! Nothing but an acoustic guitar and is a great opportunity for the listener to land after Long Distance? and The Fish, before going on to the grande finale, "Heart of The Sunrise" It's a surprising track because I always assume Roundabout to the album's peak, completely forgetting about Heart of The Sunrise. Itīs a pretty even race, but I would say this is the album's best track! It goes through all this different moods, without losing the listener on the way. It starts out as really aggressive, then becomes slow and dreamy before going back to aggressive again. Itīs like the little adventure you was promised to get, but you started to doubt that you would ever get it! Well here it is, and thanks god, itīs appears at the right place! Itīs an explosive way to end an album! Without that ending the listener would not have the same experience of the album, it would be remembered by an awesome opening track and a bunch of rubbish to follow! A good example how a nice ending can save a lousy album!

I feel like I should say something about the musicians as well. Jon Anderson is for many people the one and only voice of Yes. Understandable I would say, its a voice so unique and great! It never really sounds as aggressive as the rest of the album sometimes sound, but that is a beautiful contrast! Chris Squire is one of my all times favorite bass players, he's playing is both groovy and very melodic! Probably he is responsible for much of the Yes-sound, there is no other bass player like him. Rick Wakeman is a bit overrated, I never felt like I understood what he's up to. He is great when it comes to a big mighty sound, like great organs and pipes, but otherwise I think he's a bit lame... Don't kill me! Bill Bruford is a great drummer and he gave the band a nice jazzy sound that sadly were gone when he left the band! Steve Howe is great, he can do (and does) all kind of styles and is a perfect match for the dynamic and adventures songs of Yes. Classical or rock, he does it all! Also the album cover is one of the best things ever! I love Roger Dean for it! When I think of it, its probably answers my question in the beginning of this review; How can this album be one of the true icons of progressive rock? Well, this artwork is really the true face of the album! I just wish the album it self was just as good as the cover!s

BatBacon | 3/5 |

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