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Yes - Close to the Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.67 | 4573 ratings

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3 stars Best prog album ever?

No, definitely not. It's good no doubt, but I find it quite undeserving of it's very high ranking on this site. I can understand why many would regard it so high. This is quite important to the movement of prog and really pushed the limits of rock music in ways. To many, it is the be all end all of prog. To me, it is a good album. Nothing more, just an enjoyable listen.

A description of the music: I will start by saying that the title track is a complete masterpiece. Many call it the greatest epic ever, I say it's a masterpiece, but there are many more daring, interesting, captivating epics out there. However, this one is still amazing. It starts off with a pretty detached sounding instrumental section with random "ahhhs" placed about which is quite an effective opener, (although I could definitely do without the "ahhhs"). The verses than come in with Jon Anderson sounding high-pitched as ever. They're very catchy verses and this is a fun section. The next section called "Total Mass Retain" is another series of verses, much less catchy than the ones preceding it, but is still a good section. After this, we're treated to the "I Get Up, I Get Down" section. Here's the section that solidifies this song's masterpiece status. It is a huge contrast to the rest of the song. While the rest of the song is very bright and happy and the signature Yes sound, this section is darker and slower. The later part of the section is hands-down the greatest moment of the song, where we're treated to a very dark organ section that sends chills down your spine. After this section, an instrumental section brings back the brightness of the song. The final section starts out like the first verses of the song. After that, we have an incredibly memorable outro that leaves you with a great feeling to end it all. Amazing....

But wait, there's still two more songs. Sadly, neither is anywhere near the epic. "And You And I" is a beautiful acoustic ballad, but it is about double the length it should be. It just drags on and on and on... "Siberian Khatru" contains a jazzy and promising intro, but unfortunately the rest is just a song. Now that statement may be confusing, but what I mean is that it's just 9 minutes of music that I find really lacks anything interesting or memorable at all. It's simply a song, nothing special about it, and nothing more to say.


Musicianship: C'mon, this is Yes we're talking about. The musicianship is of course superb. Bill Bruford is of course notable for complicated drum beats, Steve Howe with beautiful playing, Chris Squire with catchy basslines, and of course Rick Wakeman with his stunning keyboard playing.

Melodies: There are many amazing melodies present in the album (most of them in the title track, but the best is likely in "And You And I"). The band are always masters of creating memorable melodies for you to enjoy.

The title track: I think that gargantuan paragraph did a fine job of describing my thoughts on the song, so perhaps nothing more needs to be said.


The last half: It seems like all the effort of this album was put into the title track. The last two tracks are both less than memorable as I explained.

Vocals: Well this may be just me, but I do not like either Jon Anderson's or Chris Squire's voices. Anderson is a little to high-pitched all the time for me and Squire just plain doesn't sound good at all.

Closing the album: Not only did I not think much of the closing track, but seriously it's not much of a closer at all. For such a bombastic band like Yes, they sure closed the album very subtle and without any bang at all, which seems kind of unfulfilling.

Song ratings: The title track: 10/10 And You And I: 6/10 Siberian Khatru: 3/10

Recommended for: Those looking for the important albums of prog.

My rating: 3 stars. The title track is an undisputable masterpiece for me, but the last half of the album just seems effortless, therefore it gets 3 stars from me.

DisgruntledPorcupine | 3/5 |


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