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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2357 ratings

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2 stars This isn`t as bad as it`s detractors would have you believe, but it isn`t a great album by any stetch of the imagination. I cant imagine anyone lese but the hardcore Yesfans really loving this album. It is definitely an ambitous work and if the last album was aptly titled Close to The Edge, this album should have been titled Over The Edge. Its oultandish , enormously overdone and very much overkill. With all that being said, the playing on this album is superlative. Even if Squire, White, and especially Wakeman were not on board with the concept, they do contribute a great deal musically to this album. There are people here who dissected this a hell of a lot better than I could, so I`lljust give a brief overview. This album is based on the Shastric scriptures,or at least Jon Anderson`s reading of it. Still,when one listens to Anderson`s lyrics, especially on this album, you are left wondering what the hell is he going on about? Pretentious, you may ask? Defintiely!!! Yet, there are people who still insist on interjecting meaning into the lyrics of Anderson when he ohad once stated he utilized wordplay similiar to the way an artist uses an array of colors when painting. It is a bit much asking anyone, except hardcore Yesfans to sit through 80 minutes of pretentious verbiage. If there is a connection to the Shastric scripures on this album ,only Anderson can answer for it. And from what I understand ,he only leafed through excerpts. So what qualifies him to be an expert?? What really gets me is when some people state you have to have a higher form of intellect in order to understand the lyrics.There some who have stated that on various message boardsIi have frequented. That`s the very attiude that has made others think of progressive rock,it`s musicans and fans as stodgy and pretentious.Yes, I do like much of progressve rock, but it`s reputation as pretentious is somewhat deserved whether you may like it or not. I am not an Einstein by any means,but I`m far from an idiot. The album doesnt work for me. I gather if you are on the same train of thought as Anderson and his partner in crime in conceiving this `concept',Steve Howe , then perhaps you`ll be able to glean a lot more insight into this album than I can. There are some fine musical moments.; The Revealing Science of God moves at a sprighly pace and one of the more inspired moments is Wakeman`s keyboard solo towards the end. The Remembering take a little too long to make it`s point, but when it gets into the chorus section of Relayer, it picks up rather nicely. The Ancient ,for me is just hastily thrown together, save for the beautiful `leaves of green' section. And the final track, Ritual, tries to brng it all home, but to me it`s akin to four tracks stitched together, much like Frankenstein`s monster. Dont get me wrong, Squire`s bass solo is one of the best he has ever played, and the percussive section is imaginative,but it seems to me Yes had a mondus operandi of whatever I can think of next wothout cohesiveness . Its not their best,but it`s certainly far from their worst effort. The two stars are for it`s ambitousness . I do appreciate the fact they were making music on their own terms with a major label, something that could not be done at all nowadys, but its not an album for everyone. Perhaps if they took the time to hone it down, it could have been more bearable.
Murder1 | 2/5 |


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