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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3019 ratings

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Chris H
Prog Reviewer
2 stars I personally like to think of this album as the little brother to Close To The Edge. "Relayer" strives to be like "Close To The Edge", but really does fail. Falls flat on its face, to put it bluntly. Where as "Close..." is riveting, on the edge of your seat powerful, "Relayer" is just some really good background music. They play this in the elevators at Virgin Records, I heard.

The A-side is one twenty minute epic, but unlike many Yes compositions it is not divided into working parts. "The Gates of Delirium" starts off with the keyboard stylings of Patrick Moraz and goes right into a slowed down guitar performance from Steve Howe. The vocals kick in and then they continue in this fashion for about 15 minutes. After all of this, silence preludes another keyboard outing before Jon comes back to finish off the song and end the A-side. Although this is an excellently composed piece of music and I really respect the musicianship of the players, the whole concept just flopped, in my opinion. Trying to replicate the concepts of "Close To The Edge" and "Tales" in one was a terrible decision.

The B-side starts off with the nine minute "Sound Chaser". Remember when I called this album background music? This song is anything but. They are jamming right from the start, with Chris Squire contributing his signature heavy rhythmic bass lines and Alan White pounding away in the background. This may all seem like musical bliss, but don't get me wrong because it really is not. Although there playing commands attention, it is only for the sheer volume instead of the musicianship. They lost all of their creativity from "Gates of Delirium" and substituted it with noise. Lots and lots of noise. Jon Anderson's vocals are the worst of his career, maybe even his life here. The stupid "cha cha cha cha cha" thing drives me up a wall every time I hear it. "To Be Over" is the next track, and what can I really say about it? There isn't much to say, as a matter of fact because it really just kind of fades away into the background and the more you strain to find some concept in it, the more it starts to vanish.

I may be in a very small boat on this opinion, but to me this album sounds like 5 excellent musicians working at their own pace. Nothing flows, everything is made over- complicated and the whole entire package comes across as boring to me. If you are looking to be held on the edge of your seat, find another album. Put this on while washing the car or doing the housework.

Yawn, 2 stars.

Chris H | 2/5 |


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