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Yes - Close to the Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.67 | 4622 ratings

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5 stars This was my second album in the prog world (the first being Thick as a Brick). It really roped me in with no hope of ever leaving. This album is at worst breathtaking. The original 3 songs all masterpieces in their own distinct regard, with the title track being a contender for best song. Not just on the album, best song at all.

Somehow America made it onto these bonus tracks too. It seems to show up on every set of them.... But it's still a good tune. The bonus tracks are mostly revamps of the 3 original tunes, not quite as breathtaking, but still quite excellent.

Track 1: Close to the Edge:

Ah my, so much can be said about this track. It is clearly all that is good about symphonic prog, and all that is good about most prog in general. 18:42 length, this track takes its time to be epic, and knows it, but doesn't make it a stretch to listen too, in fact, even the duller middle moments have a feeling of timelessness that make them just as welcome as the fast-paced organ solos or warming main melody, flowing in and out of major/minor keys.

This song starts off with 56 seconds of just synth sounds, ranging in volume from nearly inaudible to a good forte. At the end of that buildup, the guitar/bass/drums/whatever that high pitched thing is just come out in a dramatic exposition that almost just seems like musical anarchy, but the sparsely placed vocal interludes show how it's not quite.

But then...


Everything just settles down into the main melody, which is repeated throughout the song. The play it both in a major and a minor key, and multiple slight variations on it.

Then the song really starts.

You get a more chordal guitar riff, leading into a couple verses and the chorus. Both stellar. Then we get a flowing musical interlude (just a little bit). Ten another verse and chorus (the drums a little bit more straightforward this time). One more interlude, and then another verse. Only this time you have a different synth affect showing up all over, very tasty. Then that last pattern repeats itself.

Now they start breaking away from the verse-chorus thing quite so much.

There's a whole section thats just an interlude playing off of the chorus (close to the edge....)

One more verse, then one more chorus.

Then gone!

Musical interlude playing off of the main melody, the organ repeating it in multiple keys and octaves.

This next section is much softer and lyrical. We get just simple organ chords and long synth notes. Flowing vocal melodies, with background counter melodies. Contrasting words even. Very nice contrast to the opening. His lyrics I get up, I get down at the end prove how yes can take a simple melody and words and turn it into gold. They repeat these lyrics multiple times.

This section doesn't change around much, not until the organ solo, which is slow and easygoing, yet surprisingly epic in it's own different way.

Then they ditch that slow crap and go back into the more fun faster-paced playing.

Abruptly right into a rougher sounding revamp of the main melody. And then that leas right into a long and fast organ solo. No more slow chordal stuff, just jamming.

And then we get another verse (yes, the same one as from the first section). And then another verse.

This section really is just a twist on the first part.

They repeat a part of the chorus for a psuedo-vamp about 15 times until they bring back the original synth affect to close it out.

This song is almost more comparable to watching a movie than it is to listening to other music. Completely amazing.

Track 2: And You and I

I've already spammed up your reading pleasure enough with that first track... So I'll cut back a little bit for these next two.....

This song showcases the soft-acoustic side of Yes. Staring off with some easygoing harmonics, and a simple guitar melody, and then progressing from there, is defines that end of their playing as excellent. This song, by itself, could have been an amazing title track if they wanted it too. But no, they just added it after Close to the Edge to showcase their prowess.


Track 3: Siberian Khatru

An amazing exposition of jamming-ness, about seemingly nothing. This song has some wonderful guitar work and vocal lines. It may be the weakest of the three songs on this album, but then again, look what it's up against. Again, this is a track that could've easily led an album by itself, but just got added in here to show how pro-skills Yes is.

Still quite great.

This album is epic to no end, one of the most fine albums ever created, by far!

Wallium | 5/5 |


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