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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.66 | 4371 ratings

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4 stars Close To The Edge must be the mandatory 'hit' that every reviewer has to perform here. So I thought it would make an appropriate choice for my first review as 'Prog Reviewer', even though we might not exactly need any more reviews of this album. Or do we?

Yes's music is a delicate balance between wit and madness, between musical intensity and annoying virtuosity. For me they sit right on the edge that divides progressive rock between genius and kitsch. On one side I would put emotive prog with a strong focus on songs and lyrical content such as Genesis, Porcupine Tree or Van Der Graaf. On the other side sits music that does not connect with me anymore, such as Tormato, post-'72 ELP, Transatlantic, some of Dream Theater albums and so on.

After the Floyd and Genesis, Yes was one of the first bands I came to love as a teenager, with CTTE as absolute Yes favorite, a perfection of the ambitions of progressive rock, both gripping in its emotive intensity and dazzling by the musical performance that each member put in. I'd say that the reason why CTTE stands out above their other albums is the tight collective that they form here: all of them must have realized that they were at the very boundary of the rock format and all of them put in their very best.

Next to Rush's Peart and Lee, Bruford and Squire had always been the most attractive rhythm section in the world for me and so they are on CTTE. Another main asset of my Yes enjoyment is the lyricism and sense for melody of Jon Anderson, and has he ever shone brighter then here? On the other hand, Howe and certainly Wakeman tend to take Yes to the 'wrong side' of my edge, but not here. Howe shines throughout and I'd even call Wakeman's mellotron-moog passage 4 minutes into And You And I as one of the high points of Progressive Rock.

Bruford stated in interviews that he felt to have taken his drumming on CTTE as far as he could within the Yes format. Well that goes for the entire album I think. Yes had taken rock as far as one possibly could. This is one of the defining moments of progressive rock.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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