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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans CD (album) cover

TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

3.90 | 2172 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Luqueasaur
3 stars A proto-Relayer not at all amazing: 6/10

Jamie Muir - ephemerous percussionist of KING CRIMSON's LARKS' IN TONGUES ASPIC, on Bill Bruford's wedding reception, showed Jon Andeson the works of Paramahansa Yogananda, which can be summed as "Kriya Yoga". This heavily influenced Anderson to develop the mystical record we're seeing. Aside from this funny fact, many others before me explained thoroughly the virtues and flaws YES' most pompous record has, so I'll be short on my verdict.

TALES FROM A TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS had a bad timing: released right after what is hailed by many, I included, as the best progressive rock album of all time, the hype was overwhelmingly enormous. The issue is that YES departed from what made Close to the Edge magnificent - electricity, excitement, complexity - sailing into much calmer rivers. In fact, you can think of this as a transitory phase between the restless rockers to more matured, melodic musicians. Well, to make it short, it is disappointing - you can't really expect the energy from CTTE but neither the masterful emotion from Relayer.

The Revealing Science of God carries some early YES joviality syncretised with melodic virtuosity on a magnificent fashion, it presents itself as a unique creation - the blends of ethereal Moog sweeps along the tropical guitar riffs and solos fits the sublime concept Jon Anderson trips about. The cheerful parts are anthemic and beautiful, the mellow parts are smooth and soothing, but they're well balanced not to have either overrunning the overall atmosphere. Personally, I think it deserves acknowledgment as one of YES' best, as they achieved their pretensions of creating deliciously maddening prog. It is a solid opener, and what a solid one. The issue is that what follows on after this appetizing entrance just goes slower, and slower, and staler and staler as the album progresses.

In general, this is not a bad album by any means, it just isn't nearly as exciting as one would expect from YES - especially as it is the bridge between the Homeric releases CLOSE TO THE EDGE and RELAYER. Is it worth checking out? If you've got the spare time.

Luqueasaur | 3/5 |

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