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Yes - Close to the Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.67 | 4697 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Is this the best prog album ever known to the genre? That's a question that's been raging in my head ever since I submitted my first review for this album, giving it 4/5. I quickly changed it to 5/5, mostly because I didn't want to seem foolish. However, now I must change it once more, because after listening to other Yes albums and many more prog classics, this doesn't quite seem up to par with other masterpieces of symphonic prog. Albums like TAAB, Fragile, Red, Lizard...those are the true masterpieces to me that I've discovered thus far. And this...just doesn't touch them. I'm just waiting to get burned but hey, afetr giving SEBTP a 3/5 and ITCOTCK a 4/5 I figure I'm already way past the point of no return.

This album is obviously only three tracks, the first one being the colossal title track, 18 minutes long. For many prog fans, this along with Foxtrot is THE prog epic, never to be topped, but I quite disagree. It is a great piece of art, but after having listened to it straight through at least 20 times, I find that it suffers from a couple things. First of all, it takes itself too seriously. The thing that made Fragile so great is that all throughout, even during the emotional parts of Heart of the Sunrise, it never felt like Yes was taking themselves too seriously. With this song though, it just feels like they are doing this to make a classic. And classics are not made when when the artist intends the song to be a classic. Classics are made when things come naturally, they evolve, and come from the soul. That's a classic song. See Heart of the Sunrise. Secondly, that middle portion is horrendously boring. It goes on about three minutes too long, consisting of dripping water, minimalistic melodies, pretty good singing...just nothing. Some people deem this part a neccesary evil so that when the main melody comes in, it seems fabulous, but that part near the end also takes itself too seriously. Overall, this song just reeks off too much polish. It's not fun, it's not soulful, it's just by-the-books a prog epic. I realize Yes were one of the first to attempt something of this magnitude, but it still suffers from the thing that TFTO was destroyed by. BUT! Don't get me wrong, this is still a pretty good prog epic. To put it in perspective, I would give this piece alone a 3/5. I like it, I really do, it just could've been so much better.

The next track is And You and I, which is a nice song. It really is. It's also boring. It doesn't go anywhere, and the main melody is bleh. The acoustic is very nice, and Anderson's singing is nice. If it was about six minutes long, I'd probably like it a lot more. There are a couple nice moments, like at 6:30 and the end itself, which are incidentally similiar in structure. The yare both pretty soulful parts and very well done. I'd give this song a 3/5. Siberian as hell piece. This is Yes snapping out of their pseudo-pretentious/trying overly hard state of midn and going back to the fun and soulful Yes I like. This song feels like it wasn't forced, it just came to them, and they jammed. Lots of fun. I'd give it a 4/5, as it isn't anything above and beyond, but it is good.

I feel like some of you might call me a hypocrit, saying the title track tries too hard and Siberian Khatru doesn't do enough. So let's put it this way. I wouldn't give Roundabout a perfect score, cause all it is is a fun track. Meanwhile, I would give SSOTS and HotS a perfect score because they have some fun but still go above and beyond. And CttE...just tries too hard.

So, to sum it up, as I've put a lot of words around this but haven't really tied it together in a way that makes sense, this album tries too hard. It feels like Yes set out with this one too make a prog masterpiece, no compromises, and pulled out a damn prog encyclopedia and looked up every single thing that prog fans love and tried to put it into this album. It's pompous and overdone and it shows that they wanted to get the prog dorks on their knees. And it worked; so many people praise this album. And not for a bad's a great album. Great addition to any prog collection. Is it a must have? No. It lacks the enrgy of Fragile, the creativeness of Relayer, the fun of The Yes just takes little snippets of that energy, creativity and fun and put that in last after putting in a lot of pompousness and by-the-books...well, prog stuff.

I love Yes cause of that fun and creative energy, and this album just doesn't have it enough. 3/5.

FishyMonkey | 3/5 |


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