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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Yes - Fragile CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.44 | 3236 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars It's getting colder now.

This album isn't as much of a hoot as the follow-up Close to the Edge. Still, Fragile does have its own merits. The keyboardist Rick Wakeman does the job of executing dynamic and atmospheric passages and completing the instrumental arrangements with melodic fills. Steve Howe's guitar sounds very mild-mannered at some times and as if it's out of control, speaking within a musical context when it needs to at other times. Bill Bruford's display of capability is really soaring here (in fact, I think on this album he is doing better than on Close to the Edge). Finally, Chris Squire pumps out some groovy and elegant bass melodies that are such gas (exhibit A: "Long Distance Runaround"). I just see a lot of creativity in terms of almost every fundamental musical element. Also, the band really tamed their sound in the dynamics department.

The one thing I wish this band could really work on would be songwriting. Jon Anderson's lyrics are of no priority as usual, but as per the music, some of the tracks and sections of music were just slapped together, and that is quite a mistreatment. I know that the band had done this rush job just to sell the album fast in order to be able to afford Rick Wakeman's large set of keyboard instruments. I guess that's just the price they had to pay: sacrifice some musical quality for financial reasons. That is how "Heart of the Sunrise" came to be a bit of a disappointment to me.

To sum up, we have a few musicians with immense playing talent and confidence aiming at a result with partly satisfactory songwriting. Some songs are well-structured, some not so well. Plus, the music on Fragile may not resonate emotionally with me on a grand scale except in only a few moments that I can count on the fingers of one hand. But this is still good symph prog that delivers the goods and will make a nice addition to your prog rock music collection.

Dayvenkirq | 4/5 |


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