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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover

CLOSE TO THE EDGE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.65 | 3148 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

friso
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Yes - Close to the Edge

This album has always been hard for me to rate. I would never call it a masterpiece, but it has some brilliant moments. It also has some moments I just can't stand! The out of context hailing of this album is also quite irritating. The front cover of the album isn't very interesting, but the inside fold out sleeve is nice (for people who listen to vinyl).

The main track. The sound of nature in the opening are nice, but it is soon to be disturbed by the horrible opening section. Though the idea is quite nice, it doesn't work for me. The guitar-playing of Howe is horrible! I never understood how this man could change his sound from professional to amateur in seconds. His amplification is also not very professional. After the harsh opening the melodic themes arise and the music become gentle and intelligent. The song part is quite nice. After some time the couplet theme is changed with some heavy bass and intelligent rhythmic procedures which I like. The vocals keep going while the rest of the band plays completely different melodies. After this the mellow part of the track starts with some nice keys and gentle vocals of Anderson. The bombastic church organ parts of Wakeman are inspired and truly great to hear. The vocals are the best Yes ever recorded on this part of the track. The key-solo is of Wakeman is nice. After this pretty gentle/bombastic symphonic moment we are thrown into a horrible recorded rework of the main theme of the song. This is truly ugly! Another keysolo gets the music back on track with some interesting nonchalant ideas. Now it is time to return to the Couplet/Refrain themes with some variations which are good. The bombastic vocal section on the end (I get up, I get down) fades back into the sound of nature. Well.. as I said, highlights and horrible moment in just one song. Still this is very worthwhile.

On side two we have two long tracks which I wont describe as accurate. The both have nice song elements, symphonic prog elements and the typical Yes way of doing things with vocals. And You And I has some nice dreamy melodies, but is never as impressive as the main track of the album. Siberian Khatru is more uptempo and has some rockn'roll passages in it.

Conclusion. An album which I respect but don't listen to very often. I can understand the fuss about it, but I would never join. Still this is an excellent addition to your progressive rock collection. It doesn't belong in the list of records like The Court of the Crimson King, Thick as a Brick, Pawn Hearts, etc. It's just pretty good. A steady Four stars.

* Edited. I changed my rating to three stars. I still can't listen to this record without several moments I consider putting it of. This album has very good moments, but some moments are just terrible.

friso | 3/5 |

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