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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.66 | 4370 ratings

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4 stars Welcome to an enchanted land

Last album featuring the golden Anderson/Howe/Squire/Wakeman/Bruford "line-up", "Close to the Edge" is one of the best and most representative records from YES. Whereas their previous efforts consisted in rather heterogeneous tracks of different musical styles, the songs become now both longer, more complex and structured while still incorporating various influences. At the time, the band ventured into an unexplored realm of fantasy and onirism. Keyboardist Rick Wakeman interferes more and more in the compositions.

"Close to the Edge" earned a quick success and is also one of the often recommended albums for progressive rock newcomers. This can be justified due its importance in the genre, however is this really a reasonable choice for neophytes?

The 20 minutes title track is the first genuine long epic by YES. Like GENESIS' "Supper's ready" (recorded the same year), "Close to the Edge" is an iconic progressive rock song. Everything is here: various ambiances, musical styles and rhythms, soft melodies, nice complex soli... Although being very elaborated, the track is well built and coherent, it truly transports you to another world.

Despite a pretty acoustic guitar introduction, "And You and I" is the weakest track of the record. A bit flat and boring, this song does not seem to go anywhere. It prevents the album from reaching the maximal note. On the contrary, "Siberian Khatru" is much more lively and catchy. Its groovy bass line reminds the groovy side of the musicians, that could be found on "Roundabout". Steve Howe's guitar explodes on this unusual structured track. Its very cool riff sets this song as one of YES' rock-iest, which will soon become a classic of the band.

Now, should this record be recommended to a neophyte to discover progressive rock? To be honest, I'm not so sure about it. The title track may sound a little complex and lengthy if you're not used to this kind of music. "Siberian Khatru" is more suited.

Anyway, "Close to the Edge" is a major influential cornerstone in progressive symphonic rock, as well as one of YES' best albums, second to "Relayer". It also proves that the band had more musical influences and variety than the ones usually used in the overall symphonic progressive rock genre. Enchanting music from another world...

Modrigue | 4/5 |


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