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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2348 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars An unfortunate addition of someone's prog music collection.

That should be the tag for this album. An unfortunate blunder in the history of progressive music. It's not so much that the whole album is awful. Some parts are fairly interesting, that is until you realize there is no point to it. If you will notice, the band has lost all concept of transition in their work. Parts come and go for no apparent reason other than to have change. Sounds are just sploched randomly together and the album Tales is what comes out.

This album reminds me of painters who will just throw colors on a page and see what happens. That's about the same analogy for the music found here. The most noticeable thing to me is the horrid guitar tone that is used. The fact that it is used often makes it worse. It's one of the most annoying tone's I've encountered in the history of music. It's thin and makes you cringe. The bass is also horribly done with heavy vibrations.

Then you have the random playing and note selection. It's not even so much that it isn't in unison. I can appreciate bands where the members more or less "do their own thing". Kong is a good example of this. Here, however, none of this works, everything sounds out of place.

A heavy amount of "doodling" is involved on this album. Howe plays with no real purpose, it's not even that its wankery, like Dream Theater mostly is, it's that it sounds like some 14 year old kid in his garage toying around with different notes. I can record myself playing random notes just fine, anyone want to buy my work? Anyone think it will be a masterpiece of progressive music? Probably not. However, my name is not nearly as recognizeable as Yes is, so I guess I lose in that match. One can certainly sympathize with Wakeman for leaving after this.

The best thing about this album is you only have to hit "skip" 4 times and the atrocity is over.

Not even recommended for completionists. Unless you want to explain to all your friends why you have this horrid album in your collection.

OpethGuitarist | 1/5 |


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