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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.66 | 4370 ratings

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4 stars "Close To The Edge" is the third and last album of the most classic Yes trilogy that started with "Yes Album" and continued with "Fragile". The band would never more have such a fertile and productive period however they released some awesome albums in years to come - that's the reason I call 'trilogy' the ensemble of these 3 works. Now, Yes gift us with an album composed of only 3 parts which put them into a dangerous position in the case one of the tracks was flawed (not the case, fortunately).

I listened to "Close To The Edge" for the first time after being exposed to other epic albums by Genesis, Jethro Tull and EL&P and thence it caused me no surprise; instead I could make a more accurate (and critical) hearing just to perceive that amidst the great production, the astonishing musicianship, the excellence of the songs, John Anderson's voice is sometimes bothering, not only for its crystal-breaking tone, but also for its many times cheesy appeal. Anderson singing influenced little in the 2 previous albums when he seemed contained, but here he apparently tried to show another band instrument and the final result was almost disappointing. One may say that the songs of the album were fitted to his voice and the way he sang them, a kind of conformism I do not agree; others could do better or even him, singing more similarly like he did in "Fragile" - Anderson really performed close to the edge.

'Close to the edge', the opening track, shares with 'The gates of delirium' (from album "Relayer", released 1974) the honor of being the greatest Yes epic, consequently due to the highest position the band ranks in the progressive scene, this song shall be listed among the greatest progressive epics, and it is well deserved; the music is catchy, easy-flowing with great musicianship by band members, specially the drumming work: steady, ever-present, powerful. Also amazing is that 'Close to the edge' is truly a unique song - not a bunch of songs gathered together, with the main theme being observed across the song, although with variations, but never boring or weary; the mentioned variations respond for giving the song its overwhelming charm and shine.

'And you and I' is a great sample of how a romantic song may sound in the progressive rock genre; the rhythm and the lyrics are there but there is no concession to cheesiness or weeping, only a story to be told. Now guitar and bass are responsible for creating an impressive atmosphere; the music goes in a crescendo until a fabulous and majestic ending. It is no surprise why many people consider this as their favorite Yes song.

'Siberian Khatru' bears with softness the album closing keys but it is less brilliant than the 2 preceding tracks. The rocky beat is great and the choir in a Beach Boys' style is fair and pleasant, otherwise the moog played in a pseudo-oriental manner and the pretentious vocal effects add few to the song - but again guitar and bass come to rescue the correct musical stream and keep this track above the average.

"Close To The Edge" is a more than recommended album not reaching masterdom due to the moments of vocal annoyance and the unbalance status between the first 2 tracks and the final one. Doubtlessly it is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Total: 4.

Atkingani | 4/5 |


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