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Yes - Close to the Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.67 | 4548 ratings

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5 stars DOWN AT THE END but it's actually Up At The Top...!(at the moment)

Above all the most important thing I have to say:a few months ago I found a great analysis of the lyrics of CTTE and And You And I!!! Can't believe it? Well I don't know if I can post a link in this rewiew, so you will find it in my forum's signature. So great, I must recommended to everyone who likes this album (and don't understand the lyrics)

Now, about THE music... This is the first time the group tried such a long epic and it came out to be one of their best! This is a 18 minute journey (well, without the birds chirping it's actually 16 and a half, that's why it doesn't seem that long!) about spiritual awakening, yeah... The start is one of the most experimental of all Yes (only Awaken has weirder parts and maybe Sound Chaser?). That guitar solo (with churming keybords and drums, menacing bass) may represent the Chaos, after the Big Bang... Really disturbing, but it's getting clearer and clearer (everything points towards the light in this song!) The weirdly interrupting vocal chords are longer and longer...There's more and more light! until you land upon the land of melodies. There is an instrumental theme that turns up three times - shining at the beginning on guitar, than before the slow middle part on Hammond wich is more silent, and at the beginning of Seasons of Man a more energetic one, which is a bit similar to the chaotic opening... Then there are vocal parts divided into... a heavier and a more melodic one. The chorus is simple and cathcy, but it doesn't appear twice in the same form! Maybe these are not the greatest melodies of time, but they are carefully structured and arranged. Key and time changes. The structural integrity is what makes so unique this ever searching music! Everything is just where it's meant to be. The middle part called "I get up, I get down" is much slower with synth fills creating such a beautiful, ethereal atmosphere... It's like an ocean! As the wonderful melody progresses, massive organ chords start to build up to the insane reprise with Wakemen's crossfiring solo on the Hammond. Everything finds its place. And the vocals come again, we are again Down on the Earth, facing reality... The culminating coda is so tight in composition, really like a Bach fugue as a rewiewer mentioned...(no, nothing to do with baroque, I just wanted to depict its greatness!)

The lyrics are about the Seasons of Man... Oh no, I won't tell the whole story. If you are curious, read the analysis!!

After such an uplifting, flawless masterpiece, the two "shorter" songs (10 minute!) may seem inferior, but And You And I is really a different world! After the Down to the Earth manner of the closing section of CTTE, this song is just a dream... I could describe sometimes Yes' music as Romantic (in its classical sense!)(especially the next album!) and this may fit well. The structure even is like an extended Sonata form... I really like the beginning acoustic guitar with light synth background, it's like Roundabout, but dreamier. Then it turns into joyful, a bit bouzuki like guitar chords, playful moog melodies and a melodic vocal. Suddenly it turns to a heavier part with strange backing vocals, that segues into the refrain 'and you and I...' There are two really intense moments called "Eclipse" and "apocalypse" with highly emotional symphonic melody! Thanks to the Moog, these are wonderful parts. Like love... As the titles say, the first is a temporary eclipse, but apocalypse is the final! Between them, the reprise of the first melody just with a different guitar texture. At the end, the refrain simply reprised. Wonderful song!

Of course, the third one is not such a masterpiece like the fisrt two ones, but it's still great, in the vein of Roundabout, and equally good as Roundabout! The middle secion has a crazy clavicembalo part by Wakeman, that's really great. Also at the end the "dah-dah, doo-dah,doo-dah" vocals are joyful!

One of the most recommended albums of all time, and the best of Yes (along with Relayer)


klvin | 5/5 |


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