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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3241 ratings

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3 stars Well after dusting off my parents' record player and spinning a few vinyls, I finally have had the oppurtunity to listen to some classic albums that my parents have. Naturally, being very interested in prog, I went first for this album. Fragile by Yes, something that many fans point to as being one of the best albums in history.

Frankly, I'm not terribly impressed. It's certainly not a bad album, for sure. But only having on vinyl really makes me think, would I really have this in constant rotation as a CD? Probably not is my verdict after listening to it quite a few times. But it certainly deserves attention.

Many prog and rock fans will say Roundabout is an excellent song. I would have to agree. It's got a cool bass groove and the ideas are well formed in this one. I especially enjoy the bass in this one, it adds a lot to the song. The keyboards I was a bit dissapointed in, after hearing what a good keyboard solo this song had. I'm more impressed with the middle section with keyboard arpeggios and the same strumming of the guitar as the very beginning, a very haunting section for Yes. Overall a great energetic song and a fantastic opener.

Cans and Brahms is good also. It's not very often that you hear a rock song on an album and the next one is a classical piece. It's a lovely piece. I am a fan of classical orchestra and piano and this is a very nice piece of music to listen to. Short and sweet, often a good combination.

We Have Heaven, on the other hand, is what I call a crowded song. Too much of Jon Anderson's voice going on. Luckily, it doesn't last too long. Of course, it does set up an interesting idea for the rest of the album, by closing with the sounds of a door closing and some footsteps. This is heard at the end of the album, suggesting the rest of the album goes together in a type of suite, which isn't too surprising.

South Side of the sky is a rather boring song, in my opinion. I really don't like mid-tempo music, and this song is repetitive for my tastes. If I could take out every part that says Were we ever colder on that day a million miles away I would. It's not very memorable of a song either, just the overall mood is recollectable.

Next is Five per cent for nothing. Which is simply just a short annoying track. Nothing notable.

After that song is Long Distance Run Around. While this one is a mid-tempo track, it's got an interesting rhythm to it with the guitars. The piano keeps the tempo going while a couple of guitar chords come in different lengths of time to create an unexpected almost polyrhythmic sound. Good one.

The Fish is an absolutely beautiful song. Nice classical-esque guitar sound created by Squire's bass. I love this one, it's just nice. I wish it could have been longer, but many tracks on this album go on too long, so I guess it's only fitting.

Mood for a day is a strange one. The melodies in this piece are a bit overused, so there's definetely some repetition in this piece. Also, I don't particularly care for the guitar tone in this one. It's rather screechy, and only brings to mind the worse aspects of the sound of electric guitar in the 70s.

That one goes into Heart of thes Sunrise. This one has a beautiful quiet symphony in the back ground, and this is a great soothing song and I enjoy listening to it every time. The tempo picks up a couple times and a couple of the motifs from Mood for a day come in. At it's 11 minute length, it's a good listen that a person can sink their teeth into and listen over and over again, hearing many new things every subsequent listens. I think one of the surprises is the end of the track, which contains the sound of a door opening and then a short bit of We Have Heaven in it. This closes the album up nicely.

Again, this is a good album with some great musicianship. However, the consistency of the interesting songs is just not very constant, and I find it a bumpy listen. Maybe if I hadn't have heard of how great this album is by so many prog fans, then maybe I would have a higher opinion. I can only say that I'm a bit dissapointed. However, any prog fan should enjoy it, at least as much as I do, even though I enjoy it quite a bit. I'll reccomend it to fans of Yes and prog in general, but In my personal opinion it just is not particularly a masterpiece album.

topofsm | 3/5 |


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