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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3242 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Fragile was the fourth album by Yes and the first to feature Rick Wakeman on keyboards in what is often regarded as the classic line-up with Anderson, Squire, Howe and Bruford. Fragile is, for me, an intermediate album sandwiched between the raw energy of The Yes Album and the majesty of Close to the Edge. It contains two classic songs in Roundabout and Heart of the Sunrise and two near classics in South Side of the Sky and Long Distance Runaround, but it is plagued by a number of lesser, vanity, pieces which feature the individual artists in relative isolation. Even on the four main tracks it feels like Wakeman is largely playing musical parts written for Tony Kaye (whom he replaced), albeit given the opportunity to add a few flourishes here and there. This is most evident on South Side of the Sky which sounds like it might be a track that wasn't quite good enough for The Yes Album getting dusted down and given a second chance. I've always been a big fan of the way Squire's bass growls and murmurs its way through the songs adding a rich vein of texture and indeed the only 'solo' song on the album I can tolerate is The Fish. His work on South Side of the Sky is the highlight of that song, As on TYA, Howe's guitar work largely dominates proceedings, though Heart of the Sunrise and Roundabout demonstrate how effective he and the other players are when they all collaborate and play together as a group.

In terms of ratings the guidance for PA doesn't really help. It is on one hand an essential document in the history of Progressive Music, but at the same time it has too much filler on it to deserve 5 stars.

wjohnd | 4/5 |


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