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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover

TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2357 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

mazzaurg
5 stars Before I start, I should remark that I have not properly listened to this album. I HAVE listened to it, but not considered every composition on it fully.

But to me, with my relatively limited view on progressive rock, spanding such names as Pink Floyd, ELP, ELO, Yes, Tasavallan Presidentti, Wigwam, Genesis, Jethro Tull, Mike Oldfield, Pentangle, Rush and The Super Furry Animals, this album stands out as almost perfect symphonic progressive rock.

Maybe the instrumental part is not as breathtaking as in other Yes albums, partly as this album is more inclined towards feeling rather than virtuosity. It is a pity that Bruford is not on the drums anymore, as I think that White falls short of him in almost every respect. I am a drummer myself....

But what really makes me think that this is something really special in the prog rock genre is the fact that it is a double album with four tracks, each trying, IMHO, to replicate one view, one impression, one feeling. Each piece is a slow gradual building up of just that. This of course makes the pieces long and complex and, some would say, boring.

Consider for example The Remembering/High the memory. It is mellow, seldom swingy until the very last minutes of it. You really have to dedicate your 20 minutes to listening to that piece, otherwise it will not strike. But when you do, it is highly likely that its shear beauty will strike you. However, it could maybe be called otherworldily hard to grasp. Its slow progression almost exceeds perfection, in my opinion, and I understand that many, actually partly including myself, find it hard to appreciate this slow progression.

I would go as far to calling this the Ulysses of Prog. Few read it, even fewer truly understand it and very few appreciate it fully. But for those who do all that, it is probably nothing but breathtaking. Personally, I am a slow and bad reader and have not read it, but I hope I will someday.

I just don't seem to be able to say everything I feel for this album, but to me it stands as one of the best prog albums ever, or at least as one of those that are 'most prog.' Highly recommended, but not to first-timers.

mazzaurg | 5/5 |

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