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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover

FRAGILE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 2366 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

progaardvark
Prog Reviewer
5 stars On Fragile, Rick Wakeman replaced Tony Kaye on keyboards thus completing what would be considered the "classic" lineup. Their first album together was quite an achievement. On par with the sound the band created on The Yes Album, Fragile takes it up just a notch making this a somewhat better album in my view.

The core of the album is chiefly the longer songs: Roundabout, South Side of the Sky and Heart of the Sunrise (plus the shorter Long Distance Runaround). Interspersed between these songs are shorter "solo" pieces each member contributed. Some reviewers have considered these as sub-par, and by themselves I have to agree that some of them are not really special. However, in my mind, together as a whole, they make Fragile a more cohesive work and I can't imagine the album without them. Instead of filler, they have more of a feel of bridges between the longer core songs. Squire's contribution of The Fish is more of a beautiful outro to Long Distance Runaround.

Like The Yes Album, the complex bass playing, skilled guitar work, beautiful harmonies, soaring vocals, and dynamic drum work are still present. The key addition to the overall sound is the addition of keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman. Not that Tony Kaye wasn't bad (he was quite a skilled player too), but Wakeman is about as top-notch as one can get. His name is always mentioned in at least the top-5 whenever there is a "best keyboardist" poll. He fills the Yes sound with not only his wizardry and skill, but with beautiful soundscapes as well.

Fragile is an exceptional follow-up to The Yes Album and a masterpiece on its own. Just slightly better than the band's previous masterpiece. Easily five stars, both for the music and its historical significance to this genre.

progaardvark | 5/5 |

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