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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3242 ratings

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4 stars Yes is one of my favorite bands of all time, because they made a very unique pleasing sound- led by the interplay between Squire (the bassist) and Howe (the guitarist), with Wakeman and Anderson adding keyboards and vocals into the mix, and Bruford contributing drums- at least, this was the arrangement for two of their most highly praised albums, Fragile and Close to the Edge. Fragile is a very good album, but it seems relatively lacking in raw substance than something like CTTE of Relayer- not that it's empty or boring, quite the opposite, there's a lot going on here- however, the short songs here aren't on par with gems like Heart of the Sunrise, Close to the Edge, or Gates of Delirium.

I'll start with the real "meat" of this album. Roundabout is one of Yes's biggest hits, and reasonably so- this is an accessible yet sprawling epic, and a very good definition of the classic Yes sound, though Howe's guitar isn't quite as visible as it is in some of their other songs, and it seems more focused on Squire's amazing bass work, occasionally punctuated by light-speed keyboard parts from Wakeman and Anderson's vocals. South Side of the Sky is a very good medium-long song, featuring some very good keyboard work from Wakeman, though it might benefit from a bit of trimming. Long Distance Runaround is a short, nice poppy song, and The Fish is a great place for Squire to show off his skills. Mood for a Day is a good song, but somewhat empty, as this is just three minutes of acoustic guitar solo. And then, the epic, Heart of the Sunrise, one of the best and heaviest things Yes has ever produced. From the opening drum and bass interplay to the final reprise of We Have Heaven, this is a song for the ages. Speaking of that, We Have Heaven and Cans and Brahms, from Anderson and Wakeman respectively, are good songs, but really relatively inconsequential, and Five Per Cent For Nothing is exactly what the title says, just random instrumental noises put in so Bruford could get a cut of the profits. So, while this is a very good album and a nice introduction to Yes, it lacks some of the "wow" factor of their other albums. Four stars, recommended to everyone.

Neurotarkus | 4/5 |


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