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Yes - Close to the Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.67 | 4769 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I'm sure most of you have heard this album and know that it would take a lengthy essay to fully critique this album and really get at why it is such a powerful experiece. Edward Macan does a good job of this, by the way, in his great prog rock work "Rocking the Classics."

Of course, there's no disputing the artistry all five member contriubte to bring about the music in this masterpiece, but one aspect that I haven't seen discussed much is the important part Anderson's lyrics play in creating the musical magic, esp. the piece "Close to the Edge."

Unlike earlier Yes songs, Anderson has crafted lyrics that are not a narrative (like in "Harold Land," for istance) but rather a poem of words and phrases that evoke abstract concepts that, taken together, suggest a personal transformation of some sort. The lyrics and concepts are abstract and difficult to make sense of, but it is this abstraction that gives the lyrics their power and allows them to hold their own with the power of the music. Merely telling a straight-ahead story would have weakened the piece (and this is why some prog rock can be powerful musically but is ultimately brought down by an inferior lyrical approach).

Beginning with "Fragile," one can see Anderson beginning to move in this lyrical direction and moving away from it after "Going For the One." Part of "Tormato's" weakness, in my opinion, is a shift away from this mystical sort of poetic vision on Anderson's part.

But with Close to the Edge, the band achieved what few others have ever done: a musical work that engages the listener's emotions, intellect, and imagination so completely that it truly qualifies as a religious experience.

bluetailfly | 5/5 |


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