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Old 08-16-2010, 01:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
Juicious Maximus III
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Scabb Island
Posts: 5,935

It's no secret I have a lot of love for this album I see it's currently beaten by Genesis' "Selling England by the Pound" as the top album in progarchives' list of the 100 best prog albums ever and I can't understand why .. To me, it is my all-time favourite prog album.

There are some particular things I think it does well. I think that the concepts the record deals with, the circle of life stuff and spiritual awakening and so on - is incredibly ambitious. Yet, they've executed it in an almost flawless way. Everyone who knows a bit of Yes know the almost religious heights their music can reach. With such a difficult concept, their sound is the perfect marriage. This album has an interesting dynamic in that it builds up and tears down. The music builds up and becomes structured until a counter-melody mixes things up or the whole song suddenly becomes abstract and fleeting again (ex. 8:30 minutes into the title track). Musical themes come, go and then come back again. Yes are by far not the only ones to do this of course, but on this album they did it particularly well, I think, and again it really fits the overall theme.

Also, although some criticize them, I quite like Jon's lyrics. The continuing references to the sun, valleys, rivers etc. throughout the album is genius. I don't mind the abstract lyrics and the symbolism either. Tackling the themes without those tricks would've been pure stupid.

Overall, I just think it's a beautiful album with a lot of lovely harmonies. The beautiful bits are the ones I appreciate the most and everything else going on mixes things up a bit and makes it a little more interesting. My favourite song these days is actually "And You And I". I think it's a brilliant piece of music from it's first sound to the very end ..
And you and I climb, crossing the shapes of the morning.
And you and I reach over the sun for the river.
And you and I climb, clearer, towards the movement.
And you and I called over valleys of endless seas.
Ahh ..

Of course I love the title track and Siberian Khatru as well, but I guess I can save some love for subsequent posts.
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