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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3229 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Yes Album was Steve Howe's thundering entrance to the band, and Fragile followed up with yet another classic member, Rick Wakeman, leaving Yes with their 'classic lineup' and giving them a near-perfect album.

Each member of the band was given a single track to show off their solo prowess, and they were not all good. Specifically, Cans and Brahms and Five Percent For Nothing were both particularly uninteresting pieces. Cans and Brahms apparently came to be because Rick Wakeman was unable to compose original material for the band, due to previous contractual obligations, and as Rick Wakeman has proven, he is capable of writing much better material than that in this track. Five Percent For Nothing is less than 30 seconds, and although it does interrupt the flow of the album ever so slightly, it is (almost) too short to notice.

The heart of the album are in the four band collaborations, although by this time, there is nothing I can say about these songs that has not already been said. So instead, I will describe the EXPERIENCE of this album, as it seems to me, and why this album is so great:

Starting with beautiful guitar and keyboard harmony, the album pulls you forward into energetic prog rock, and if you hit the skip button fast enough at the beginning of Cans and Brahms, it never loses that momentum as it moves into my favorite track of the album, South Side of the Sky. It continues to proceed through track after track, each sounding so sweet to the ears and bringing forth feelings of joy and excitement. The band is in excellent shape here; from the glorious guitar of Steve Howe to the mystical vocals of Jon Anderson (consider how soulful he sounds in Heart of the Sunrise, or how ethereal in We Have Heaven); to Chris Squire's classic bass and Bill Bruford's skillful drumming (The bass/drum part in Heart of the Sunrise is particularly fantastic). This is held together and supplemented by Wakeman; although his work on future albums would be more pronounced and important, he has some excellent parts here as well. Somehow, these five bring all their beautiful sounds together in a way that is impossible to break into the sub parts, for it is the meshing of these elements that makes the music so good.

If it hadn't been for the two weaker of the solo tracks, this would be a 5 star album, but I must acknowledge it's weakness and knock a star off. However, as far as 4 star albums go, this one is among the best.

TheGazzardian | 4/5 |


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