Yes
Tales from Topographic Oceans


3.0
good

Review

by dude64 USER (6 Reviews)
December 29th, 2006 | 22 replies


Release Date: 1973 | Tracklist


Yes are one of the most well-known progrock bands of all time, even though they haven't really put out anything good since the 70's. The album I am reviewing, Tales From Topographic Oceans, is an album that proggers such as I either love or hate. Or at least, that's what is said. I don't hate this album, nor do I love it, but I think it's average to good. It's incredibly overrated, and I know some are going to say "OMG D00D U TOTALLY DON'T UNDERSTAND TEH MAGNIFICENCE OF DIS ALBUM d00d!!", but I don't care. Anyway, enough rambling. Here's the review:

The Revealing Science of God - Dance Of The Dawn
A 22 minute opener, and it's actually pretty good. The beginning of it has the sounds of an ocean, and then a guitar comes in, and after a while, Jon's vocals come in and the music continues. It's actually a very good track, possibly the best on the album, and it's also the longest track, 22 minutes and 37 seconds. A very complex song as well, and it all goes on and on until the music fades out and this epic song has ended.

The Remembering - High The Memory
After such a good opening track, one would expect the follow-up to be good too. Unfortunately, this is the second worst track on the album, but that doesn't mean it's not an alright song. It's another epic, going on for just seven seconds off of 21 minutes. If you can't do math well enough to figure that out, then I'm sorry, because I won't give you the answer. Anyway, this song doesn't build-up and get better and better like the last one, and it just doesn't really "progress" as progressive rock should I suppose. Some very good riffs in this track, but overall, it's not as great as the opener. Not nearly as good.

The Ancient - Giants Under The Sky
The third and penultimate(next-to-last) track on TFTO is also the shortest track, clocking in at 18 and a half minutes, plus five seconds. Ha ha, you have to use math to figure that one out as well. Anyway, like the previous track, this one isn't that great either. It's really a build-up for the fourth and final track, and it just sets it up. This is the first worst track on the album. I read another review for this album, and the reviewer was right. There isn't a sense of direction at all. But that's no matter, because the next track is very good.

Ritual - Nous Sommes du Soleil
The fourth and final track on the album is 22 minutes minus 8 seconds. Figure it out. It's a very good track, but not as good as the opener. This long track has many different vibes to it. "There are soaring, flowing parts, and tense, dramatically dissonant parts, all accenting and offsetting each other and creating the overall mood of a struggle, with a distinct sense of resolution, not only for the song but for the album." This person is absolutely right. That's what I think of this track. Well, the instrumentation is very good, and overall, it's a pretty good track.

Well, that's it. Four tracks, 83 minutes, a proggers delight. I personally think that this is overrated, because two good tracks and two mediocre tracks equal up to about a 2.5 or 3. So a 3 is what it gets.

Recommended Tracks:
I'm only going to recommend one track, since there are only four of them, six on the remastered version, but I haven't heard that version. Anyway, the song that I've decided to recommend is the opener:

The Revealing Science Of God - Dance of the Dawn

Download that track.

Overall, Yes's Tales From Topographic Oceans gets a 3 out of 5. I really wish I could give it a 4, but I can't because of the two middle tracks.

3/5



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user ratings (472)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
TheMystical (5)
An oceanic and spiritual musical journey....

Matthijs van der Lee (3.5)
Almost blown up to a fault, Tales From Topographic Oceans is a flawed, but important piece in Yes' c...

Siberian Khatru (4.5)
...

(4.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 29th 2006


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think this is the most underrated Yes album. Yes, its completely and utterly the definition of prog wankery, but I think its still relatively brilliant.

dude64
December 29th 2006


90 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

What did you think of the review?This Message Edited On 12.29.06

Zebra
Moderator
December 29th 2006


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is one challenging endurance test. It's so long and some of the tracks seem like they have absolutely no direction. I enjoy the opening number but after that the music gets so dull and meaningless. Still this album beats a good chunk of their 80's stuff but thats not saying much.
Your review wasn't to bad for a first. However I think you should have gone a little more indepth, the tracks are at least eighteen minutes long so you should go into what the instruments and atmosphere of the song sound like.

dude64
December 29th 2006


90 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Could you spare a vote?

northerncomfort
December 29th 2006


106 Comments


I love Yes, but havn't heard this. Rick Wakeman is a god.

dude64
December 29th 2006


90 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Close To The Edge is great.

dude64
December 29th 2006


90 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks for the votes.

metallicaman8
December 29th 2006


4677 Comments


Could you spare a vote?


Yes, I'll vote. You did quite well, considering this was your first. Just don't make a habbit of asking for votes. Makes you seem kind of needy. If it's a good review people will vote.

dude64
December 29th 2006


90 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, that was the point. I wanted to make it look like I was a kid in poverty asking for votes instead of food.

northerncomfort
December 29th 2006


106 Comments


Oh well, whatever works for you.

northerncomfort
December 29th 2006


106 Comments


Twas a good review btw. I Pos'd earlier.

dude64
December 29th 2006


90 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

y thank you sir, tis 'ill help me family lots, sir, lots

John Paul Harrison
December 29th 2006


1014 Comments


You're a bit above average for a new review, but there is too much detail absent from this work to warrant a vote.

For example- you used the words "lyric", "theme", "concept", "tone" and "sound" a grand total of 0 times.This Message Edited On 12.29.06

dude64
December 29th 2006


90 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Wow.

Thor
May 23rd 2007


10191 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is pretty sweet. My rating might go up more in the future.

matt_drummist
June 29th 2007


26 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Aside from the fact that the reviewer slightly irritates me, I'm not going to pick apart the review because that's just dumb. I just felt like randomly giving some public praise to one of my favorite bands. This is one of those albums that kinda changed my life. I have some personal bias because it reminds me of a time of my life I'm fond of, but really there aren't a lot of things about this album that I can truly say I dislike. And I can't help but chuckle when I hear people refer to this album as "self-indulgent" or "directionless." Obviously they've never listened to any great epic classical music. For that's where it all comes from, and I would venture to say that Yes was the most classically influenced band of its time. But it's hard to say without having actually been there. I listen to a lot of way-the-fuck-out-there jazz, so maybe that accounts for why I never had a problem with this album and the like. Perhaps the production could be better; the drums sound a bit tacky at times, mainly on "The Ancient," but not enough to spoil the enjoyment. Most of it has to do with tuning, and we all know that Bruford was far ahead of White in that area, at least as far as studio recordings go. But I've really come to appreciate Alan White's drumming. Being a drummer, I can't imagine attempting to play these monstrous compositions live, probably not even in the studio with multitracking and re-takes. He did a SUPERB job on this album, having just joined the band and probably didn't have much experience with music as progged out as this. He really proved himself on Relayer though. Anyway, I'm rambling, I could type for days about this album. I guess since I've been listening to it a lot lately I wanted to comment on it in some way.

sharkboy
August 11th 2007


33 Comments


you negged his review because you disagree with him? go lick nads.

FriendofTheDevil70
September 21st 2007


384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this album, but honestly, this album is also the definition of pretentious. Its still a very good, insightful album, but it would have gotten a higher mark had it not been so indulgent.

Monstar1790
May 24th 2008


130 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

One ass-kicking song ("The Revealing Science of God") and three forgettable, snooze-worthy ones does not a great album make.

"Close to the Edge" was incredible. This just took it one step too far.

Digging: Lucius - Wildewoman

LeGo
June 7th 2010


9 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

One of they best Yes albums, because I didn't find it boring at all EVEN when it's over 80 minutes long. Every song is good. I even think that it gets better to even better after next song.



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