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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover

TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2230 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ALotOfBottle
Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Tales From Topographic Oceans"... This album caused a lot of controversy when it first came out. Even now it is a common topic of heated debate among Yes fans. After recording "Close To The Edge", Yes were looking for a big idea. Jon Anderson recalls that someone said that the next thing Yes are going to record will be a musical interpretation of the Bible. He replied that he'll see that they actually will do that. The band settled on inspiration in form of Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. They released a two-disc album containing four suites. Could such work not be controversial? With departure of Bill Bruford, Yes recruited a new drummer, Alan White. The rest of the line-up remained the same.

It took me quite a few listens to really understand what this album is all about. I found that the point with this album really is not having to wait for a climax, but enjoying the changes. I don't feel like the music really leads to anything, however is not sterile by any means and to me is very pleasant to listen to. The band draws beautiful musical textures with numerous instrumental passages, many different movements and segments. All of this still not giving a sense of musical overabundance. All the classic Yes ingredients are there: Jon Anderson's melodic voice, jazzy guitar passages with Steve Howe's unmistakeable guitar tone, Rick Wakeman's symphonic keyboard touches and thumpy, one-of-a-kind bass by Chris Squire. Yes we all know and love. On top of this, Alan White brings a wonderful variety of percussion, which gives the album an exotic taste. The overall feeling I got from the music is that it is very fresh and smooth. It would be hard to really pick a favorite here. The tracks together create a unique, beautifully twisted whole. I believe though, that the first two are a true essence of the album.

"Tales From Topographic Oceans" is different to all the other works Yes created. And so should be the listener's approach. This collection of four extrordinary and fascinating epics listens to like a good book. Moody musical textures are really the attribute of this work. All that supported by great album art! Very highly recommended! 4.5 stars!

ALotOfBottle | 4/5 |

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