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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2360 ratings

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Dark Nazgul
3 stars Tales by Anderson and Howe.

When we speak of "Tales" the dilemma is always the same. This is one of the highest expressions of progressive or one of the most significant examples of self-indulgence in the history of rock music? The fate of this album is that, you love it or hate it, similarly to what happens with other records familiar to fans of progressive rock such as "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" by Genesis.

No doubt the magic of "Close To The Edge" is long over. The magic balance achieved by the musicians is gone, as there is no longer the great Bill Bruford, replaced by Alan White, good drummer, but nothing more. Regard the music the contribution of Wakeman is very poor. His first solo is after 17 minutes from the beginning of the record, and almost always "Merlin The Magician" merely support Howe and Anderson, who instead are ubiquitous and so that their performances are, for better or worse, to characterize the album. The production is overall quite disappointing, and at times the sounds are really inexpressive.

Nevertheless I consider it the best album of the band after the classical period of the amazing triptych "The Yes Album" / "Fragile" / "Close To The Edge'. The best moments are in the first record with the classic The Revealing Science Of God (rating 7 / 10), often played in concerts during band's career, and the underrated The Remembering (rating 9 / 10 and the best of the four epics) marked by intimate and relaxing tones with beautiful acoustic moments.

The second record is not at the same level of the first. The experimental The Ancient (rating 4 / 10) despite the brilliant work of Howe on guitar in the second part of the song, is too cerebral and tricky, making it heavier an album which is already very challenging. The final epic Ritual (rating 6 / 10) in some parts is pure self- indungence: the experimental drumming section, which anticipates in some ways "Sound Chaser" (a song of 'Relayer' album) is in my opinion particularly hard to digest, but some parts are considerable, for example the amazing final.

So, three stars and an overall rating of 6 / 10.

Best song: The Remembering

Dark Nazgul | 3/5 |


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