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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2371 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I would have to say that this album and ELP's Works 1 are the two most blasted by critics albums of all time progwise; double albums with long songs, pretentious, long-winded and difficult to sit through. Of the two, Yes's most ambitious album is hands down the better of the two IMHO. Having over 300 reviews, I'll keep this as short as possible. The easiest of the four songs to get into, "The Revealing Science of God" has some of their best melodies and hooks ala "Close To The Edge". If your fav is that disc, you'll love this song. Although I was never really into "The Remembering", I can now say after multiple listenings lately the song has grown on me and is a really wonderful and challenging song with some excellent segments with very memorable hooks, a bit fragmented but rewarding nevertheless. The song that is for me their worse song from the classic period, "The Ancient" has the band playing some RIO, advant garde style prog and coming off with that 'pretentious' tag. Wakeman has practically nothing to do on this song and it suffers. It also has the beginning of Howe's grating, and ugly sounding guitar twiddling that will crop up more and more on forthcoming albums. I usually skip over it, (yet on the new re-master, they play an early run-through that's a bit more pleasant, but not by much). The album ends on a high note. "Ritual" has everything that fans of the band clamor for, exciting drumming by newcomer White, remarkable bass by the master Squire, finger-licking good plucking by the second master Howe and some of Wakeman's most underappreciated work from the classic 70's, just mindblowing. But the cream goes to the top with what I believe is Anderson's best singing, it's just plain stellar! It's easy to get down on this album because of it's length and breath of work. Challenging, (which all good prog should be), it takes multiple listenings to even take in the scope of it's legend. If you leave this album as the last to listen and/or purchase from their classic 70's output then you've made the right choice. Don't begin with this album because it's not their best, but it is nevertheless a must have. In any event, turn out the lights, close your eyes, open your mind and let the sounds soak in. I guarantee a memorable experience.
NJprogfan | 4/5 |


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