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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3226 ratings

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3 stars How this album has such a high reputation is almost beyond me. It's a good album, but is far from the masterpiece it promises to be. This certainly isn't the best from the Yes catalogue, and I almost find this to sometimes be a disappointment. There are some great songs on here, but there is almost as much filler. This album contains the masterpiece "Heart of the Sunrise". Without that, I might actually give this album a two. The idea behind this album was to have some songs with the whole band and also have one song for each band member, highlighting their skill. It is a great idea, and I applaud Yes for doing something that hasn't really been done before. Sadly, the idea doesn't work out very well. Does "Cans and Brahms" really do Rick Wakeman any justice? Is "We Have Heaven" not simply filler? The answer is no to both of these questions, and there are a few other lousy songs here. Luckily, there are some great Symphonic Prog songs to save this album from being a collector item only.

This is stuck in between my two favorite Yes albums, and is also the first with Rick Wakeman. Luckily, later albums proved that Rick Wakeman was an excellent addition to the band, not the decent one he seems like here. This has a higher average rating than "The Yes Album" and I have no idea why. That album is a perfect masterpiece, and this is a good, not great, album.

The Music:

"Roundabout"- One of the classic Yes songs. The acoustic guitar opening turns into Chris Squire's pounding bassline with Anderson's great pair of vocal pipes. You can't call yourself a prog fan without knowing this song.

"Cans and Brahms"- This is the first solo song on the album, and what better way to start it then with Yes' newest member Rick Wakeman. This is his arrangement of some extracts from Brahms' 4th symphony. This certainly doesn't highlight Wakeman's true skill, and this is actually pretty boring.

"We Have Heaven"- Alright, the last song was borderline filler, but this is flat out filler with no good qualities whatsoever. This is simply Anderson with an acoustic guitar and many voice dubs. This is one that I always skip.

"South Side of the Sky"- So after two pretty lousy songs, we're due for a good song, right? Well, this certainly is an excellent song, and is one of my favorite Yes songs. This starts with an almost hard rock sound, but has an excellent grand piano section that progresses back into the beginning section. This is an awesome song, and it makes for a very good live song as well.

"Five Per Cent for Nothing"- This is Bill Bruford's solo spot. This is very complex, and this succeeds at what the other solo songs failed to do because this actually shows that Bill Bruford is an excellent drummer. This short 35-second song is very technically complex, but I can't help but say that isn't really a good song. It's not unlistenable (only 35 seconds), but it is certainly passable.

"Long Distance Runaround"- This is a one of the four songs with the entire band. This is a great shorter track from Yes, and is a very good song. It has an intense complex opening, but then goes into a Beatle-esque piano section. I particularly like the bass on this song.

"The Fish (Shindleria Praematurus)"- Speaking of bass, this song is a bass solo! The Fish is actually almost entirely bass, and is one of Chris Squire's classic moments. A very good song!

"Mood for A Day"- This is Steve Howe's acoustic guitar piece, and it is alright. I don't particularly love the melody or the song, but it is undeniable how good Steve Howe sounds on an acoustic guitar.

"Heart of the Sunrise"- This is the incredible 10 and a half minute song that boosts this album up an entire star. The only thing I can really say is just to give this one a listen. This is a classic Yes song that is absolutely essential listening. I wish the entire album would be like this.

Well, there you have it. This is on the fence between a three and a four. Trust me, this is worth a 3.49999, but I can't quite round it up to a four. This is a very good (if overrated) album, but by no means is this essential. "Heart of The Sunrise" and "South Side of the Sky" are absolutely essential, but the rest of the album is passable to decent at best. Moments of this are completely essential, but the album as a whole isn't. Listen to "Heart of the Sunrise" and then listen to "We Have Heaven" and you will know what I mean.

3.4/5- VERY good but non-essential

J-Man | 3/5 |


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