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Yes - Close To The Edge CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.66 | 4369 ratings

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Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Let me just say this before I make any assessment of this album, essentially every opinion on this album has been stated. And if that weren't enough, I was actually strongly urged not to review this album. Still, though, what's one more opinion going to do? Anyway, Yes's 1972 opus is often considered to be the masterpiece of progressive rock. Throughout the three pieces on this album, the listener is taken on a journey through many emotions and atmospheres, and the musicianship is nothing short of great. Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman, and Bill Bruford released their masterpiece in Fragile, and Close to the Edge, while being a very good album, isn't the masterpiece that everyone says it is.

The album opens with the side long epic Close to the Edge. Atmospheric noises break out into an all out jam with ascending bass lines, guitar noodling, and majestic keyboards. Interesting 6/4 vocal sections break out into a dynamic chorus. An interesting organ/synthesizer bridge with some disjointed multi harmonic vocals break way into the main theme of "I Get Up I Get Down". Rick Wakeman's organ solo towards the end is multi-faceted and dynamic building up the tension perfectly. I must also give mention to Chris Squire, whose technical and stabbing bass lines offer a perfect counterpoint to the soothing vocals. In the end, the song is the perfect balance of heavy and soft and really is a terrific piece overall.

And You and I opens up the second side with 12 string guitar harmonics and an interesting guitar motif. The acoustic guitar work on this track is impeccable with a great overall chord progression and some intuitive drumming from Bruford. Although I really like the track overall, it does seem to drag on a bit during the majestic section with the soaring slide guitar and the majestic mellotron. Siberian Khatru ends the album with an intuitive guitar riff from Steve Howe (written by Bill Bruford actually), and some more soaring synthesizers from Wakeman. This song, like And You and I, also somewhat suffers from a bit of mindless noodling and filler towards the end. Still, though, it ends the album nicely.

In the end, Close to the Edge is not in my opinion the true Yes masterpiece. Sure it has some superb moments and is a very good album, but I don't think it deserves the praise it always gets. In my opinion Fragile was the Yes masterpiece and there's no album that this group made that can really top that album. Close to the Edge, though, remains a stellar album and is highly recommended from me. 4/5.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |


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