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Symphonic Prog • Germany

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Fragile biography
The band was founded by Tom DAWE in the late 90s with Claire HAMILL (vocalist) who has worked on the albums of Steve HOWE, Jon ANDERSON, Jon & VANGELIS, and WISHBONE ASH. The band was originally a tribute YES band in the past 20 years before releasing their first album "Golden Fragments" in 2020. They released their second album "Beyond" in August 2021 with 3 long tracks of pure symphonic prog.

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FRAGILE discography

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FRAGILE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.79 | 14 ratings
Golden Fragments
3.56 | 29 ratings

FRAGILE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at the Half Moon

FRAGILE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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FRAGILE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Beyond by FRAGILE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.56 | 29 ratings

Fragile Symphonic Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars I love the work of Claire Hamill, Oliver Day, and Max Hunt, and I enjoy a lot of music that emanated from the band YES--I might even be interested in seeing a tribute band if one came close to me--but bands motivated by near-perfect replication of a single band's sound and songs, though impressive, usually bore me. (How many Yeses, Genesises, King Crimsons, VDGGs, and Focuses do we really need?) I listened with great interest to this band's debut release from last year, Golden Fragments, but, in the end, dismissed it as four talented artists who had too much time on their hands during COVID lockdowns. But now, with a 2021 release to follow up, I am thinking that these guys are serious! They really want to create new Yes-like music.

Well, the plastic sound of the drum heads weren't enough to drive me crazy, the Yes similarities are just too close--even with Claire's crystalline female voice on top. If there's one saving grace, the bass play is neither mixed as far forward or as busy as his Yes -counterpart, the late great Chris Squire. A 21-minute multi-part epic followed by two fourteen minute suites. The former is respectful and unobtrusive--and not over the top bombastic--more like a MAGENTA composition--and I have to admit that Ms. Hamill's performance is rather charming. Oliver Day adds enough of his own style and sound selection to not be too obvious as a Steve Howe replicant and multi-instrumentalist Max Hunt does an admirable job with several key tracks, including the bass and background vocals. I'd give it a (39.25/45) rating--(It would have been higher were it not for the too-near "Starship Trooper" finale).

2. "Yours and Mine" (14:26) unfortunately, sees the band trying a bit too hard to get really close to several famous Yes songs--perhaps even to merge several. And then Claire's lackluster Heather Findlay-like vocal practically ruins it. (Sorry to be so direct, Ms. Hamill, but, what a corny lyric! I feel so embarrassed and pandered to! I'll have to go back to the magic of "Icicle Rain" and Voices just to clear my head and cleanse my palette.) (24/30)

3. "The Golden Ring of Time" (14:09) Max is no Rick Wakeman. Then they have the gall to steal Chris' melodic hook from Schindleria Prĉmaturus! And those galloping plastic drums! There's just a series of instrumental hooks lifted directly from Yes songs and flaunted as if this were truly a song of homage. A fair song if I weren't so distracted by every other minute's presentation of Yes-familiar riffs. Still, this is the most memorable song of the album--and thus my favorite. (26/30)

C/three stars; for curious Yes fans only.

 Beyond by FRAGILE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.56 | 29 ratings

Fragile Symphonic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars Just weeks before Yes present their new album "The Quest", the (former?) Yes cover band Fragile is releasing their second album with their own material under the title "Beyond". And all of the remaining Yes fans who are already clinging to their chairs because of the sheer fear of "The Quest" are already guessing that "Beyond" is guaranteed to be better than the new album of the great role model ... But let's wait and see. So I prefer to hear "Beyond" with an open mind and without that comparison in mind. Even if, of course I admit, it is almost imposing.

I loved the first album Fragile, "Golden Fragments". I really enjoy listening to Mellow-Prog, provided it is well done and not, as unfortunately often, a drawn-out AOR. Fragile makes music like this flattering, but not without rough edges, with beautiful melodies, interesting structural ideas, and exciting rhythmic ideas. Of course, the whole thing is oriented towards Yes, but overall it is independent enough not to pass through as a mere copy.

As already mentioned, the music is based on Yes-oriented symphoprog of the classic-traditional variety. No electronics here, no noise, no new art rock elements. Fragile make retroprog without regrets, for everyone who wants to be bathed in the good old sounds again without putting on the same old records over and over again. In contrast to many other retro-prog bands, Fragile understand how to structure their songs in a comprehensible way: They use their ideas sparingly and develop or compose them logically. This means that "Beyond" neither seems overloaded nor stuffed with boring keyboard surfaces and endless guitar solos. Guitar solos are often not pure improvisations or spotlight show-offs, but integral compositional components of the pieces. On the other hand, Fragile also avoid the danger of playing too diluted versions of Yes music, as other Yes epigones do.

"Beyond" is a great retro prog album that can be recommended to all fans of this kind of music. And if you are afraid of "The Quest", you can let "Beyond" take it away. There is good music beyond fear.

 Beyond by FRAGILE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.56 | 29 ratings

Fragile Symphonic Prog

Review by alainPP

4 stars FRAGILE is the tribute group of YES. I only know them since last year to distill a melodic rock based on the voice of Claire who collaborated with Steve HOWE and Jon ANDERSON. The group therefore decided to embark on the musical bath; inspired and daring to confront their creations with obvious reminiscences, we don't erase twenty years of cover like that, the Oliver of That Joe PAYNE, Russ and Max on guitars, drums and bass-keyboards offer three long tracks (14 to 22 minutes ) mixing and stirring from near and far notes with a Yessian declination.

3 tracks that take on the symphonic approaches of their masters, singular sound associations with a style of their own where reminiscences are only made at the bend of the five breaks, a voice bordering Kate BUSH for the 1st opus. We then dig into the discography of the first tracks with a bass and vintage keyboards, Claire's voice sends me back to my first hearings of YES amazed by the voice; halfway through an acoustic break gives more intensity, a bucolic ballad, the last break goes on "Relayer" with the divine organ and a well-chartered acoustic piano interlude. The last one has jazzy sounds on a retro background; we can find Oldfield tunes there, the intense drums allow a nice battle of keyboards. There you have it, no more comments since these 3 titles will vibrate differently inside your body.

FRAGILE will make you plunge into the classical and symphonic atmospheres of the seventies. A sound that is meant to be inventive while remaining in familiar territory, a retro vintage journey meant to deviate from one of the four progressive pillars, it is up to you to say if it does. This group is showing with this album that we can make very good retro-prog without it being vintage, used and without pure creation; here on the contrary, you will go to virgin musical lands where beauty will flood you.

Thanks to rdtprog for the artist addition.

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