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Yes - Tales from Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.92 | 2779 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars In my opinion, this is not a 5 star album by any stretch. Also, there are no specific reasons why it is not. It just fails to reach that classification. It does reach the 4 star tier, but it does not offer enough to land it that fifth star. 4 stars means that the album is an excellent addition to any prog collection, and I feel that's exactly what this would be. By all means, don't start your journey with Yes here. The Yes Album, Fragile, and CTTE come first. Then this. If you are already a big Yes fan, then you gotta have this. If not, get into Yes a little bit first. But this would make your collection even better if it was present.

The Revealing Science of God - In my opinion, this is the best song on the album. Yes, better than Ritual. Usually, Ritual is seen as the best song on TFTO, but I have to disagree. Ritual might be tied for second in my book. But anyway... The Revealing... is perfect Yes. It might not seem that way at first, because compared to CTTE, this is going in a slightly different direction. But if you sit back and listen a couple times, you will realize that this is Yes in every way. An evolving Yes. A Yes that is trying new things, doing new things, being progressive. That's what this album is as a whole. A progressive band being progressive. Some people are blind to this. Some people see 4 side-length songs as ridiculous, but it is not. It's progressive.

The Remembering - Also tied for second place on this album. In contrast to the first song, I lost interest when I first heard it. I was immediately pulled in by the first song, but here, it seemed boring. Yes, I know, I was wrong. As the band says, this is the song where the "Topographic Ocean" itself is introduced, and you can actually hear that in the beginning of the song. Basically, it is a fantastic song, but The Revealing... overshadows it a bit.

The Ancient - The weakest song here. But by no means average or sub-par. It is a great song. But when surrounded by these other three behemoths, it's the weakest track present. It's also the most "out-there" of the four songs. Again, it's Yes experimenting and doing new things. Listen to the beginning and you will understand exactly what I am saying.

Ritual - This is where everything comes together again. The album climaxes and culminates in this song. Tied for second place (as I said before), it offers a lot as an album closer. It brings back themes from everywhere on the album, and towards the middle, it enters a very, well, cool/interesting phase. I can't even describe it, it's the part that begins around 14:20. You'll see.

This album is the album that shows the evolution of Yes. After Yes lost Bruford and gained White, the band knew that new and different things would have to happen. It was truly a blow to the band when they lost Bill (one of the best drummers ever to exist), but White does not disappoint. Overall, it's simply a very good album. 4/5 stars.

Yanns | 4/5 |


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