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Yes - Tales from Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 2483 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Wow, what an album. I thought I had reached my total Yes appreciation quota with Close to The Edge but after many more albums than that I now found myself contemplating tackling this one. And indeed, that is what a person must do with this album. It is not to be taken lightly like 90125 or Magnification which are both very good albums and easier to handle, but with Tales the listener must be committed to sticking to it, and once you do...its a whole new world. The first song is probably the most regularly constructed piece on the album and will offer the most immediate pleasure, although even then it is a tough one to digest. The second piece is probably one of the most original epics I've heard from Yes...the music is such that it truly takes me away while I am listening to it. The third Ancient song is often ridiculed for having a lack of direction...but for some reason that makes me love it, it lends a confused dynamic to the album which throws you off and brings to mind the imagery suggested through the lyrics. The 4th piece seems to be an accurate culmination of what was used in the previous songs, it wraps up the album quite well.

Lyrically Jon Anderson many times will annoy me but on this album it works for some reason due to the artwork and overall concept. Steve Howe really outdoes himself lending numerous amazing solos to the material, Chris Squires bassing is, like always, so good! Alan White comes in with a more rocking but still dynamic drumming style, not quite Bruford but maybe that was a good thing...and Rick, who was disenchanted with the album still manages to pull off a very backdrop to the music and some very good synth leads.

I don't know the exact concept or what was going through Yes' heads, but it resulted in some truly beautiful music that is exactly where they needed to go, I don't care what others say about over-indulgence or filling up a record side if that was the means to this end, so be it. This album will make your head spin, so after falling in love with Yes's other works, take the ample time and start discovering this journey of music.

endlessepic | 5/5 |


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