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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover

FRAGILE

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.42 | 2419 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Dark Nazgul
4 stars Yessound is born

The first album of classic Yes lineup, the probably most loved by the fans (Anderson, Howe, Squire, Bruford, Wakeman). The keyboards of the new member Rick Wakeman's are crucial to get the typical "Yessound", a sound characterized by a formal perfection that can not be found in any other band of the '70s, except, maybe, for Pink Floyd. Unlike the Floyd, however, the arrangements of Yes are very complex and marked by high technical difficulty, and now that Wakeman joined the band, there are four outstanding soloists that can show all their incredible virtuosity. The problem is to put the virtuosity of the individual in the service of overall sound, and this is not always able to Yes: even "Fragile" has its flaws, especially in the five tracks attributed to the individual members of the band, except for the beautiful Mood For A Day by Howe (a stunning piece of guitar in medieval style). Cans And Brahms (by Wakeman) and The Fish (by Squire) are not bad (but nothing special too). The experiments of Anderson and Bruford, respectively We Have Heaven and Five Percent For Nothing, are pieces end in itself, disappointing tracks that do not add value to the album.

Things are much better with the pieces performed by the band, where finally the explosive mixture of virtuosity of the individual can fully manifest itself. The excellent Roundabout and South Side Of The Sky and especially the legendary Heart Of The Sunrise, are the best compositions on the album. The melodic Long Distance Runaround, surprisingly catchy is overall pleasant. Unfortunately compared to "The Yes Album" the songs seem more cold and, despite being performed in an absolutely impeccable way, sometimes denote a certain lack of emotional. In addition, the amalgam of musicians has not yet reached the perfection to be acquired in the next album, "Close To The Edge."

However, "Fragile" is definitely an essential album. Heart Of The Sunrise, with the extraordinary intro where the musicians will compete with strokes of virtuosity, and the next amazing vocals by Anderson, is a legendary prog song. Although there are also other classics of the highest level, I can not put this album on the same level of "The Yes Album" and "Close To The Edge", for the reasons that I tried to explain. So I can not give the fifth star to this record. But it is just my humble opinion, the fact remains that it is an indispensable and highly recommended album to any fan of symphonic prog. Final rating: 8 / 10.

Four stars.

Best song: Heart Of The Sunrise

Dark Nazgul | 4/5 |

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