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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.89 | 2354 ratings

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3 stars This album is something special in the symphonic sub genre. It seams many people still fear what is different. But differences are what make prog special. With that being said, this album has some very low points, and will prove to be extremely daunting and boring - especially for listeners accostomed to highly strung, tight, compositional, prog-metal-ish type of prog.

After the first 59 seconds of the first track, it is obvious you are in for quite a ride. Anderson's singing has a beautiful rhythm in this section, it feels loose, and simultaneously tight as other musicians join in before the instruments take over.

Musicianship is high on this album (as all Yes albums). Alan White is welcomed to the band in this album, and does a fantastic job. He has a hugely different style than Bruford, which feels and sounds refreshing for any Yes fan that knows the Bruford era (too) well. Though White is unquestionably lacking the flavour and precision of Bruford, it is very easy to forive him. The largest fault I can see is the fact that Howe's guitar is the foreground for most sequences. It would have been nice to hear a bit more from Wakeman, or even (gasp) a bass solo from Squire.

This album is a moving experience that at some points demands much from the listener. But the listener can easily ignore the call to listen, and lay back in relaxation and let the music do all the work. The experience is equally rewarding: listening carefully to the music will give a greater understanding (which to some may be preferred), whereas letting the music do the work will leave the listener in a state of stupor and trace-like unawareness.

One thing I love about these tracks, is how captivating and alluring they are. Especially the latter tracks, it's as if the band is pulling a veil over your eyes. To some that may not appeal, but for the more daring and ambitious folk, it is an adventure unforgettable.

Unfortunately, despite all the amazing things about this album, it is a little redundant, and even boring at times. Give it a try, anyway.

Shakespeare | 3/5 |


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