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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover

CLOSE TO THE EDGE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.65 | 3159 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Pnoom!
4 stars Rating: A

Progressive rock has always gotten a bad rap in some circles, and looking at CDs like Tales From Topographic Oceans, it's not hard to see why. Bloated, full of useless solos, and just generally giving off an aura of intellectual superiority, Tales and its ilk represent prog at its very pretentious worst. That said, one need only look at the album Yes released right before Tales to see why prog remains loved to this day. Close to the Edge is one of progressive rock's stone cold classics, a timeless treasure that has lasted thirty-five years so far and will last well into the future. It perfectly blends intelligence and power - in short, it is the perfect example of art rock. It's artsy, no doubt, but man does it ever rock.

And it's beautiful. "And You And I" is imbued with a fragile beauty that allows it to win over fans of all types of music. And how does the CD resolve? With "Siberian Khatru," which is an all out rocker. or, rather, an all-out art-rocker. Once again, Yes show their prowess in mixing artsiness and just the slightest flash of pretentious with their rock roots. The result, a wonderfully fun song that takes the CD out on a bang.

All of that, and I haven't even touched on the title track yet, the rightly famous "Close to the Edge" epic, which embodies everything progressive rock was ever meant to be. Stellar musicianship, complex songwriting, beauty, catchiness, and, once again, an ability to show, through the veil of flourishes, an ability to rock. That's what makes this song so absolutely perfect. Unlike on Tales, where every note seemed questionably placed and at least half seemed entirely unnecessary, everything just *feels* right on the title epic of Close to the Edge.

But, of course, this is still Yes. As such, there are a few predictable problems with Close to the Edge. Well, only one, really, and that's the absolutely terrible lyrics, at least if you approach them from any rational standpoint. They just don't make sense. "Rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace." Honestly? That said, it doesn't really matter that the lyrics make no sense. Jon Anderson (lead singer and lyricist) has made it clear that he chose the words to fit the music, not necessarily to mean anything. Thus it's possible to ignore the lyrics and listen only to the music (of which the vocals are an integral part).

After all, the music is perfectly clear in its intentions and meaning, and, as it just so happens, it sounds absolutely phenomenal. What can I say? A masterpiece by every standard, and a testament to prog rock at its very best.

Pnoom! | 4/5 |

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