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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2357 ratings

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2 stars If ever an album's concept and accompanying sleeve notes illustrated why something like punk was going to happen sooner or later, it was this album. However this is supposed to be about the music (but honestly, have you READ the sleeve notes!).

Anyway, ignoring THE SLEEVE NOTES for a minute. This was the studio follow up to Close To The Edge. Now personally I belong to the group of people who think CTTE is one of THE definitive prog albums of all time and pretty much unsurpassable.

And sure enough Yes were unable to surpass it, opting to release a double concept album based on.sorry, veering towards mentioning the sleeve notes again there.

The four parts of the album each occupy a side.

It's a shame they didn't opt for a novelty 3 sided package because side/track 3 would be utterly forgettable. The only reason it's not forgettable is that it's such a self- indulgent racket, consisting largely of a slide guitar solo by Steve Howe over percussion and bass.

Leaving that aside, the rest of the album is not bad. But 'not bad' is hell of a long way from 'unsurpassable'. For me I think side 4, and particular the "Nous Sommes Du Soleil" section is the most pleasing. But surely that's wrong. This is Yes we're talking about! It's not about being 'pleasing' or 'nice' What I loved about CTTE was the incredible interplay of each musician's parts. I could happily forget the fact that I never had a clue what on earth Jon Anderson was singing about because the voice was just another instrument. Here it's an irritation and that instrumental interplay isn't there to the same degree.

I'm torn between 2 and 3 stars.

Sorry, it's going to be 2.49 rounded down, largely because of the damn sleeve notes and also because I just asked myself the question, "Do I want to listen to Topographic Oceans again later". To which the answer was "Nah, not really, maybe in a couple of months or so"

zedkatz | 2/5 |


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