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Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3323 ratings

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5 stars Yes, this is my first ever progarchives review and I promise the 5 star rating is not something I'm giving because it's my first review- but that seriously, this is the best prog rock album I have ever heard. Yes, I think this album is better than Close to the Edge (but not by too much).

I'm a huge fan of Yes thanks to my dad who made a mix CD when I was a kid of his favorite songs and one of them happened to be Roundabout. Needless to say, I've heard that song several hundred times by now and I am still utterly baffled by the insane amount of creativeness and originality put into this first song. Steve Howe's agility and virtuosity on guitar combined with Chris Squire's gritty bass (backed up by Bruford's drumming) tears through the mix and keeps you grooving along as Jon Anderson joins in with his trademark vocals. Then enter the new keyboardist. Rick Wakeman keyboards bring a whole new dimension to Yes's sound. Tony Kaye, still a well accomplished keyboardist, lacks the pure flair and showmanship the Wakeman's keyboards seem to convey to your ears. Needless to say, each musician's abilities are very much showcased in this masterpiece. I've never heard another song with this kind of song which makes it that much more special for me.

Next we have Cans and Brahms- Rick Wakeman's solo piece on the album. Even though most people don't seem to like it, as a pianist, I very much like it. Not only that, but it seems to add to the feel of the album which for me is creepy, nostalgic, but sometimes playful and silly. It also leads nicely into the next song We Have Heaven which is Jon Anderson's solo piece. Also a very creepy piece I think but feels at place.

South Side of the Sky is my second favorite song on this album. Steve Howe's opening riff is absolutely sick, and totally grooving. Despite this, the track is still very minor, and creepy. The Jon's lyrics pierce the mix and very much makes me think of the piercing arctic winds the song refers to. The brief moment of calm with switching major and minor piano and vocals leading up to the reprise of Steve's crazy cool guitar riff is an awesome climax to the song.

Long Distance Runaround is another slightly silly song that seems to me to really showcase Squires bass skills- I really like how loud it is in the mix. This leads into The Fish which is actually supposed to be the song that demonstrates his awesome bass skills. However I find the song quite relaxing and fun to listen to, and close my eyes, listening to each individual bass track finally letting everything wash over me.

Mood for a Day shows just how skilled Steve Howe is on guitar, moving from sick riffs from South Side to an almost flamenco-like acoustic song. I would take up guitar just to play this song. Also shows just how good of a song writer he is.

Heart of the Sunrise sounds much more like the up and coming Yes (from future albums) and is a taste of what's to come. One of the masterpieces of the Yes library. Everyone is showcased very well in this song. Rick Wakeman gets to demonstrate some of his mellotron along with his other instruments here also.

Overall, this album is a Yes masterpiece, and has some of Yes' most unique tracks ever. It's an album with a sound that defies both the older and the later Yes album's sounds. I consider it an essential prog album due to its sheer brilliance and ingenuity. Although the album seemed to have been pieced together from many different sounding songs, they all seem to define a mood that is hard to describe (creepy, funny, grooving maybe?), but totally awesome.

thehodapp | 5/5 |


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