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Yes - Tales from Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 2482 ratings

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2 stars 'And now for something completely different '. '

This album is the story of 'the hippie with the iron fist', the cardboard cows in the studio, Rick Wakeman eating chicken currie during a gig, and fans leaving the concert halfway, disappointed and confused, because this 2-LP studio-album (the sixth) is something completely different from the powerful, varied and captivating Yes sound between The Yes Album and Close To The Edge.

1. The Revealing Science Of God - Dance Of The Dawn (20:27) : This track is OK, it sounds like 1971-1973 Yes, very pleasant (good work from Howe and Wakeman) but never on the level of one of those previous studio-albums.

2. The Remembering - High The Memory (20:38) : During this song it starts to become clear that this Yes fails to generate the usual excitement, despite some awesome work from Wakeman on the Minimoog and Mellotron. Howe got lots of room, but he doesn't succeed to impress, too much from the same.

3. The Ancient - Giants Under The Sun (18:34) : Now Yes has lost control, to me it sounds as an experimental studio jam, looking for a musical direction. I am only pleased with Howe his classical guitar work, really wonderful.

4. Ritual - Nous Sommes Du Soleil (21:35) : Too ambitious, too much over the top, too experimental, and Anderson his vocals starts to annoy. The only part that delights me a little bit is the beautiful ending, with warm vocals and piano, and finally howling guitar work, fuelled by a dynamic rhythm-section, and in the end soft Mellotron waves.

This double LP has some strong moments on side 1 and 4, but the rest fails to generate any excitement, it fails to keep my attention, because Yes was too much unbalanced as an unit. And the hippie with the iron fist got too much control. But he learned from this, as you can experience on the successor Relayer (1974), and especially on Going For The One (1977), the album where he reunited with Wakeman, also in musical harmony, fresh and inspired.

TenYearsAfter | 2/5 |


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