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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.66 | 4347 ratings

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3 stars A perfectly balanced record.

Aha. Take the most weird moments from "Ummagumma" (random duck quacking) and mix it with the sweetest, melancholic moments of the 70's AOR (AMERICA, for example) and ad a vocalist who could easily replace Ozzy Osbourne. The result is the record that is Close To the Edge of Tolerance... Because those guys didn't had a sense of measure - I mean, good moments are really brilliant, bad moments are really awful, average moments are average. This is a perfectly balanced album indeed.

To be honest there are more good than bad moments (ratio is approx. 75/25), but the whole picture is not worth 75/100. Even if we have a continuous sequence of good moments, they rarely fit one after another. Take a side-long suite, for example: chaotic (and brilliant!) intro is out of place not only with the rest of the song, but with the rest of the album too (I dare to say career), the over-syncopated 6/8 part with vocals is the essence of Gentle Giant, and it's one of the best moments in prog rock history (sic!), the middle part is mellow, not too inspiring, with lyrics not worth mentioning not even in the song with the lyrics for the sake of the lyrics. I have to admit that dynamics is great, and it leads to...the most unnecessary church organ monstrosity. After that, some repetitions, some more, some less memorable parts, but a nice main theme (once when you get into it) and even nicer variations of chords around that theme.

I won't bother describing the side B, because it's less rewarding than side A , but at least is more focused. Some nice guitar chords are here and there, a few nice melodies - and a few not-so-nice melodies, derived from the first song.

This album contains LOADS of good musical ideas - enough material for FIVE albums worth FIVE stars; focused, powerful, mature. However, this is not the case with Close To The Edge, which is just tacky in piling all of these ideas. What a pity.

Worth a spin, worth having in your collection for historical reasons, and perhaps you're even going to love it - it seems that majority of prog fans do.

Not me. I love pretentiousness, I love complexity, but I love a coherent story too. If the story is not 100% coherent - and almost never is - than the rest of the material must struck me really hard, which is not the case with this one. If I blend my personal taste with the reasons state above, my final rating is almost generous.

clarke2001 | 3/5 |


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