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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3224 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Fragile by Yes is one of the most popular progressive rock albums ever, and stands out for being wildly accessible while also being very progressive and all in all a good album.

Everyone knows the opener, "Roundabout", and it's a fantastic song. Probably one of the best ever written in rock history. It was a major hit, is still played on the radio today, and is the pinnacle of progressive rock writing. There are only about two parts to the song, but Yes variate on the two parts until no longer possible, which not only builds this song on great structure but makes it memorable and recognizable. "Cans and Brahms" is a fantastically executed classical solo opportunity for Wakeman, and though it is a pleasant listen it doesn't really stick out. "We Have Heaven" is a simple solo opportunity for Anderson chant a short couple line of lyrics, and also is quite passable.

After the couple of nearly pointless but well executed foolery, "South Side of the Sky" starts, which is one of the classic tracks in all of Yes' repertoire. This track manages to rock pretty hard and has a very nice groove, but still maintains the great composition style that makes "Roundabout" so great while adding more variation, such as the beautiful piano section that makes up the middle of the track. A super catchy classic track. "Five Percent for Nothing" is funky jazz prog for 41 seconds, but is very unimportant.

"Long Distance Runaround" is my personal favorite track on the album. After a frantic opening, the music becomes subdued and beautiful with a nice groove. The chord progression on this track is just wonderful, and the drums are very well executed. "The Fish" is a song that I usually get no real joy from listening to, but it does serve as a nice psychedelic interlude before the next track and Squire's bass sounds fantastic. "Mood for a Day" is a Steve Howe solo composition owing much to flamenco and classical styles, and it is a fun listen and really displays how great of a guitarist Howe really is without the context of the rest of the band.

The conclusion, "Heart of the Sunrise", starts off very quick and rocky but soon reveals itself to have a funky serenity quality. The bass is line is catchy and memorable and there are some psychedelic keyboard and guitar touches that are mesmerizing before it reverts back to the quick paced theme that the track started with. It gets quite beautiful in the middle, but meanders a bit from then on. This track never really did much for me, but it is another one of the more popular in the Yes catalog.

This is the album where Yes really finds their voice and that makes this album the perfect introduction to Yes. I personally prefer their next three records as being their best, but given the historic quality of this album and the songs "Roundabout", "South Side of the Sky", "Mood for a Day" and "Long Distance Runaround" I have to give this album 4 stars. It only seems appropriate and I have no problem complying with my feeling.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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