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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover

FRAGILE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 2458 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Fragile is the fourth album from symphonic prog rockers Yes. It´s a great album in many respects but it´s not flawless and I´ve had a hard time thinking about which rating I was gonna use for Fragile. More about that later.

Fragile sees the inclusion of keyboard virtuoso Rick Wakemann which is an excellent addition to Yes sound. Tony Kaye was primarely an organ based keyboard player and while that was very enjoyable, Rick Wakemann adds a whole new aspect to Yes sound with his more classical inspired piano work and his more synth based playing.

Fragile consist of nine songs. Four are group efforts and the five remaining tracks are solo compositions from each of the members.

The four group efforts are very enjoyable songs and especially the three long songs Roundabout, South Side Of The Sky and my favorite on Fragile Heart Of The Sunrise are excellent symphonic prog rock. I´ll go as far as calling Heart of the Sunrise one of the best songs ever made in that genre. The last group effort song is Long Distance Runaround which is good, but not remarkable. These four songs are the core of Fragile.

The five solo efforts are of varied quality and relevance. Cans And Brahms which is Rick Wakemann´s composition is very unneccessary IMO. Boring classical themes that would have been better suited on an ELP album. Cans And Brahms are followed by We Have Heaven which is Jon Anderson´s composition. It´s really not that exciting either. Five Percent For Nothing is Bill Bruford´s effort and this one might be even more unneccessary than the two first solo efforts. The whole band plays for sixteen bars and everything follows the drums. No melody only rythm. Needless to say this sounds a bit too experimental on a Yes album. This kind of experimentation works better when someone like Frank Zappa does it. He can pull this sort of thing of with ease. The Fish (Schindleria Praematurus) which is Chris Squire´s composition is made out of lots of differnet bass sections and drums. It´s allright but nothing special. Mood for a Day is Steve Howe´s effort and really it´s the only solo composition worth my time. It´s a beautiful classical guitar piece.

The musicianship is of course some of the best you could get in the early seventies and on Fragile Yes have taken a step forward from The Yes Album with the addition of Rick Wakemann.

The production is excellent. Again this is the best you could get in the early seventies.

Fragile should have been called Fragmented as there is a big difference in quality between the group and the solo efforts on the album. I was considering giving Fragile a 3 star rating because of the poor and rather disturbing solo efforts but came to my senses as they only take up about 10 minutes of the 40 minutes total playing time. Which means about 7 minutes of wasted time because Mood for a Day is really beautiful and a great addition to Fragile. So 33 minutes of excellent music is enough for me to give Fragile 4 stars but be warned that you´ll be disturbed in your listening pleasure by some very unneccessary solo efforts from the various members of the band. The 33 minutes are just so good that I can´t jusify giving Fragile less than the 4 stars.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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