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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2357 ratings

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3 stars The classic "love/hate" Yes album is that way for a very simple reason--there's lots of stuff here to love, and lots of stuff here to hate. Rick Wakeman is right--they had enough good material for more than one record but not enough for two. It would be interesting to see how this album would have turned out today with the different set of recording limitations, but onto the album . . . It seems like the two best tracks, "The Revealing Science Of God" and "Ritual," have the majority of the strong music and strong arrangements. Both of them still have some moments that drag on a little bit, but "Ritual" especially deserves to be in the classic Yes category. The other two tracks are fairly experimental, but tend to be mostly filler without the tightly arranged segments that made the other Yes epics classics. This is a pivotal progressive rock album, and one that every prog fan needs to hear at least ten times to see what they think of it, but it's certainly the worst of Yes' classic era. I wonder how much the addition of the far more conventional Alan White led to the sprawling arrangements, as I'm sure that Bill Bruford would have helped sculpt the strong moments here (of which there are many) into more cohesive arrangements. A good Yes album that merits mutiple listens.
| 3/5 |


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