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Yes - Close to the Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.67 | 4596 ratings

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5 stars YES took their sound to even more epic proportions on "Close to the Edge", arriving at a plateau that found their ambitious individual styles comingling in a profoundly organic setting. "Close to the Edge" may well be the band's finest moment: surely its succession of brilliantly rendered musical themes is one of progressive rock's crowning achievements. The side-long title track returns to the elastic and acrobatic sound of "The YES Album", forsaking the heavier sound of "Fragile" for a fluidity and clarity that brought all of the instruments into play. The vocals of JON ANDERSON have rarely sounded so angelic, the guitar histrionics of STEVE HOVE intermingle madness and lucidity, RICK WAKEMAN's arsenal of keyboards effervesce throughout the arrangements, and CHRIS SQUIRE's bass slides in and out of the melodies with often fantastic consequences. (BILL BRUFORD, while seemingly incapable of being less than creative and unconventional in his rhythms, is called upon to play the musical straight man through much of this music.) Open space, something that "Fragile" had little need for, plays an even larger role on "And You and I." The song starts with an acoustic introduction from HOWE, and the magical journey is soon underway, invoking moments of sublime beauty with uncanny ease. By comparison, the muscular "Siberian Khatru" is perhaps too heavy handed, although the broad lexicon of sound at the disposable of HOWE and WAKEMAN is again amazing.

"Close to the Edge" is easily the tightest tapestry of music that YES has woven, and a culmination of the styles explored on their last two albums. Sadly, BRUFORD left to join KING CRIMSON before the album was released, effectively ending what many still consider to be the band's "classic" lineup.

daveconn | 5/5 |


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