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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover

CLOSE TO THE EDGE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.65 | 3157 ratings

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JLocke
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I realize this album needs to be judged according to its own time period. I also realize that it broke a lot of new ground, pushing this genre we all love so much further into unknown territory, and as such became a very significant moment for Prog Rock.

Despite all of that, it doesn't change the fact that this is one of my least-enjoyed Yes albums from this 'classic' era. The title track is overly long and boring, with too much filler and not enough is included to keep things interesting, at least not for my tastes. Jon Anderson is brilliant as usual, but to me it's clear that this song was just a bunch of disjointed ideas crammed together for the sake of being unusual, and for me, it just doesn't work all that well, or all that often. There are times when it's enjoyable, but more often than not, it just sounds like complexity for complexity's sake, and I've never liked music like that, no matter which band is guilty of it.

Oddly enough, though, the two (ever-so-slightly) shorter tracks on the album are two of the best Yes compositions I have ever heard. ''And You And I'' is a beautiful acoustic piece that gradually builds into soaring, heart-tugging synth-string sections brought to life by Rick Wakeman's keyboard 'wizardry' that everybody's always so crazy about. He really does do really work on this one, though, and he adds a lot to the music on the whole.

Likewise, ''Siberian Khatru'' is one of my favorite songs by this Yes lineup, and I still return to it quite often. The melodies are strong, the playing is exciting and varied, and overall, it's just a really enjoyable, worthy listen. However, the majority of the album's length is the epic title track, which I dislike quite a bit, so it splits my opinion of this record significantly. On the one hand, the album should receive high marks because it houses two really great Yes songs, yet at the same time, it doesn't deserve all the praise in my eyes because of the large imperfection the title track makes.

Ultimately, two shorter songs with great content can't fully outshine one epic song full of filler, so it's a wash. The album's rating evens out for me. It's a three star album, not just because it's more realistic in my eyes, but because the content held within is a mixture of sub-par instrumentation and memorable composition. A mixed bag in the truest sense of the term, Close To The Edge is one of those monster Prog albums that many people consider the masterpiece of genre, while others like myself only find it a little more interesting than the more average of Prog releases.

Not a bad record, but it's centerpiece drags it down more than lifts it up, in my opinion. If you want a truly life-changing listening experience via Yes, listen to Relayer.

JLocke | 3/5 |

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