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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover

CLOSE TO THE EDGE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.65 | 3162 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Draith
5 stars First I think I'll state the obvious. Just about everyone who has heard classic prog rock has heard this album at some point. This is a true gem of prog; if any Yes album can be considered absolutely essential to ANY progressive collection ANYWHERE, it is this. It has the most reviews of any album on progachives as of the day of this review, and most likely always will, and for a very good reason: if prog means going beyond the bonds of commercialism, beyond the standard of traditional rock music as to attain a higher, more intellectual form in whatever way, no album succeeds in the achievement as much as Close to the Edge. It is pure enlightenment and euphoria captured in the form of music. This album is more special to me than words can describe. It could be the lowest rated, most despised album on this site, I really wouldn't and don't care at all (though I'd be a bit confused), it still has an eternal place in my heart. Why? BECAUSE IT COMPLETELY CHANGED THE WAY I VIEWED MUSIC, in just about every sense. Now I had been quite exposed to prog before that, Rush, Supertramp, Kansas, and I already knew I liked Yes after hearing Love Will Find A Way on satellite radio (somewhat humorous, obviously). But it never clicked that I loved prog, I just knew I loved rock music, especially when it was really musical. This album was the spark that would launch me into the world of prog in a way that I would never imagine. I received it from my best friend more than a year and a half ago as a Christmas present. I listened to it in my CD player on the way home from school on the bus, and I enjoyed it but knew I had little understanding as to the way it was put together; I had never heard a song longer than ten minutes before that, and at first it was a bit overwhelming, but I knew I would enjoy it in time, I just didn't know how much. I will never forget that day. Within good time, with a few spins, IT CLICKED, and IT CLICKED HARD. I knew I loved prog, and that was when I began to start collecting albums. Suddenly almost all of the hair metal garbage I had been listening to prior sounded so pathetically simple and obsolete. I've always considered prog more a mentality than a subgenre, one that every form of music could potentially embrace, and that mentality ruled how I viewed music from then on. This album influenced me as a person and musician more than any one thing I can think of, even Permanent Waves. And any album like that is a masterpiece. No question about it. As for the music, well, what can I really say? It's as close to perfection as an album can get, the production, the musicianship, the solos, the deep contrast, the melodies, riffs harmonies, atmosphere, all comes together flawlessly. There are times when I listen to it and feel absolute euphoria. I don't think many people know this, but epic is based on a book Siddhartha, the story of the person, in Buddhist religion, who found enlightenment after going through a series of trials in life just before suicide close to the edge of a river which he had crossed several times during his life. In fact, the river taught him overtime what he needed to achieve enlightenment. Throughout literary history, and still today, the river has been a symbol of the flow of time and the connection of all things in the universe; it is its own beginning, middle, and end. And in totality, the song has to do with life and the cycle it is. I get up, I get down is the various ups and downs we face in life. It is all connected, time, space and everything in it, and how it relates to human perception and how all the universe is collaboration of connected cycles. This may seem a bit radical of a conclusion to draw from such ambiguous lyrics but it is true nonetheless, just read the book and really look into it. All of this is perfectly musically portrayed as well, everything about the way the album is put together is meant to portray this enlightened mentality, and I think that is exactly what people are sensing when they describe some sort of magical feeling it gives them. I realize many people, even the most die hard proggers alive, will never feel euphoria at some point in listening to the album, and I must admit truly feel sorry for those people, for I found it a life changing experience. All in all, the album not only represents symphonic prog at its best, but in my opinion, it ABSOLUTELY TRANSCENDS the prog subgenre, if not transcending music overall to begin with in its own way. Yes' best album for certain, and one the undeniably greatest albums of human history of the utmost level of intellectualism. I could go on for hours about this album, so I'll leave you with this. It will always mean far more to me than another progressive rock album - it is THE progressive album that altered my perception and helped me to decide to be a musician for my career. Season will pass you by - so appreciate life, and live it to the fullest, whatever that may mean to you.
Draith | 5/5 |

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