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Yes - Close to the Edge CD (album) cover

CLOSE TO THE EDGE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.67 | 4596 ratings

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TheMadHatter
5 stars Without a doubt a true masterpiece in prog music!

"Close to the Edge": The best track on the album of course.

It's divided into four sections: The Solid Change of Time, Total Mass Retain, I Get Up I Get Down, and Seasons of Man. The song opens with the faint sound of running water, birds and wind chimes. The volumes swells into a dissonant guitar solo by Steve Howe, which lasts until about two and half minutes into the song. His solo is sometimes interrupted by chanting at very nice spots. I remember the first time I listened to this track--my first Yes track ever to be honest--and being amazed by the chanting. It doesn't strike a beautiful chord or anything; it was just so well placed and unexpected that it threw me off my feet. As music become more and more dissonant--and Howe's solo draws to a close--the song progresses into a beautiful melody which is played by Howe and repeated and varied upon. This melody becomes a theme repeated throughout the rest of the composition. At around 3:35, the first lyrics come in overtop some very cool rhythmic interplay between Howe, Squire and Bruford. The verse turns into a slightly slower chorus and then into a short solo by Howe. After this, Total Mass Retain begins. A similar verse continues on for a bit and at the end of the chorus we hear the first bit of the "I Get Up I Get Down" chorus and then the song transitions into the third segment. This segment is very gentle and very soft. Gentle keyboards paint a very delicate and slowly moving image. We listen sublimely until Anderson comes in with a pianissimo verse. There a couple of voices overlapping at this point in the song as the second "I Get Up I Get Down" come in and the music slowly crescendos with more chanting and a little bit of more guitar work from Howe. This is one of the most beautiful segments of music I've ever listened to. (I remember this second of music being stuck in my head for at least a week solid after my first listen.) As the piece gets louder and the music gets some more feel some heavy organs come in at the moment of tension. While I like the organs at this part and they make a kickass transition into the next segment, I remember I always felt like they were lacking in my first listen. This whole segment of the song was building up to this moment and of instead of doing something like playing an overdramatic melody or throwing in some chaotic chords to really shock the listener, Yes gives some anticlimatic organ chords. After many many listens, I can say I have found myself liking this organ part, but its always struck me as odd with each listen--that is my only vice about the whole album. Anyways, the organ dissolves back into more of the beautiful "I Get Up I Get Down" theme and then that goes back to the organ. The organ starts playing a dissonant chord and a synthesizer solo slowly builds and then here comes the much needed crash after the anticlimatic organ. We hear earlier theme played after the intro solo by Howe with some very fast drumming underneath. Then that turns into an amazing keyboard solo--my favorite solo of the whole track. The song returns to its early verse music--with some nice variations--and we feel the approach of the end of the song. The song closes with a variation on the "I Get Up I Get Down" variations and we end on the same sounds as the intro.

Overall, I give this track 10/10: great melodies, better harmonies, rhythmically very interesting, and the lyrics are great as well. After listening to this track, my opinion of music was changed. Yes is truly amazing in how controlled there sound is. Its all pitch perfect--with the right amount of zest--and their rhythms are so interesting--a big inspiration to my young ears when I first heard the track. This song very well changed my life--at least musically--so, I can say that anyone who wants to listen to good music needs to check out at least this track. It takes a few listens to really follow everything and appreciate the music. I've listened to this track many times as stated above, and still I'm moved to action with dissonant Howe solo at the beginning, brought to tears with "I Get Up I Get Down," and the close of the song I'm self-actualized. This is a damn good track.

The layout of this album very anticlimatic in my opinion. The next two tracks are both very good and, although not as amazing as the title track, they are still very much worth the listen. I mean any song you listen to after title track is going to be a let down.

Anyways, And You and I is very good tune. Unfortunately, the weakest of the three tracks but still good. The song is very pretty and mystical, and I just need a bit more meat with my songs. I find the guitar bit to be kind of repetitive, but I still like this song. Just not as much as the other two tracks.

Moving on, Siberian Khatru is a very very good song. Its of adequate length and features some very good solos by Howe. There is a lot of use of harmony and dynamics in this song. A lot of the song is spent with all of the band members doing lots of different stuff, so when the band all comes together towards the end of the song before Howe's final solo, it's very cool. This track is worthy of being the final song on this album. Although it isn't some groundbreaking epic, it is still a very very good tune.

Overall, this album is beyond words. Every aspect of the music is in control and interesting. There is no player here that is lacking and no one instrument steals the show. I focus my ears on Howe as much as a I do Squire. Lyrically, this album is based on the novel "Siddharta." Everything about this album is great. I almost wish I didn't have so much to say about it cause in retrospect this review looks a bit lengthy. Anyways, this album is absolutely mind-blowing and a good choice for my first review on this site.

with respect, a young prog fan

TheMadHatter | 5/5 |

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