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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2361 ratings

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4 stars Hoo boy... what can I say about this one that hasn't already been said? Well after much consideration I have concluded that while certainly not as good as Close to the Edge, it's at least good enough to rank with the other Yes albums of this era. "Revealing Science of God" is the most successful of the 4 pieces, perhaps their best attempt at an extended suite. And considering how much Rick Wakeman hated this stuff, his solos are incredible, and Howe's not too shabby himself. "The Remembering" is pretty good too, but takes a little too long to really take off -- 10 min. into the piece! Once it does though, there's a great "Fish" style base groove that the band uses to jam cohesively, and one wonders just how much Phish was inspired by this kind of thing, really. Anderson's lyrics are as painterly as ever here. "The Ancient" is sort of the opposite: it starts out strong with an extremely experimental passage that sounds sort of like an Arabian Nights version of Larks' Tongues in Aspic, but the acoustic section to me sounds inconngruous in comparison (it's basically "Mood For A Day" with lyrics" which is fine, but just doesn't sound like it belongs in the same song). That minor complaint aside, it just might be the most gorgeous, delicate passage Yes ever played. "The Ritual" is Yes at their most bombastic and operatic, which can be good -- for a little while... like the Dead's 23-min. plus "Dark Star" it's just too much of a good thing! And then there's that drum section, you'd think a drummer as talented as Alan White would be able to make this a little more interesting, but as it is it always makes me want to fast forward to the next part. Those flaws aside, this is still very good music, and god knows Yes has made worse albums than this. With a little pruning and fine tuning, this could have been as good or better than CTTE, it's pretty darn appetizing as it sits.
TheGreatGlorph | 4/5 |


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