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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2327 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Tales from Topographic Oceans was the follow-up to Close to the Edge. Having made an incredible masterpiece in Close to the Edge, the band tried taking long extended pieces another step forward. This time it would be four side-long songs on a 2-LP set with times running from 18:34 to 21:35. Quite an undertaking I'd say. Unfortunately, I think the band failed on this one. I believe Wakeman also agrees with this assessment as he has been quoted as such. That's not to say it doesn't have it's moments. The Revealing Science of God and Ritual are very nicely done. I have more of a problem with the other two songs which seem way too long and uninspired musically.

The lyrics are even more obtuse and confusing then on previous works, with a concept that is apparently too incomprehensible for my little brain to handle. But that doesn't really bother me and it's not the reason I would give this a better-than-average rating. For some people it might be an issue. If this is you, you've been warned. My main reason for a lower rating is chiefly the music. Long parts of the songs seem like they were not thought out real well and the overall performance seems more forced than anything else. Plus, it takes some time to digest this work.

Tales from Topographic Oceans is more or less a big mixed bag. And that is clearly noticed from reading the reviews presented here at Prog Archives which run the gamut from one star to five. I really like part of it, part of it I can't sit through. Three stars (good, but non-essential) seems to be a fair rating to me. Definitely worthwhile for Yes fans.

progaardvark | 3/5 |


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