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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3019 ratings

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5 stars First of all, let's get the ink and paper part out of the way: most beautiful cover art in the Rock category (not just prog) winner all time. Numero Uno. Roger Dean simply outdid himself here, giving his usually precise and majestic drawings a perfect color scheme, where gray- emerald tones simply amplify the awe. Owners of the vinyl copy (and the posters) know exactly what I mean. Even though I hate comparing albums for fear of stressing what should have been as opposed to enjoy the moment, in Relayer's case, the changing of the guard on keyboards from the illustrious but rowdy Rick Wakeman (was he a bad boy, or what?) to relatively unknown Swiss wizard pat Moraz was a possible curtain call (Zeppelin without Bonham syndrome) that thankfully never happened. So much for context. The music quality rating is just under Close To the Edge and level with The Yes Album but miles ahead of Fragile. With Squire, Howe , White and Anderson on top of their craft , all eyes (and ears) were turned toward Moraz, who to his absolute credit, wastes no time to infuse his own very original technique and tone to the mix. His shimmering, glimmering, whistling and whining synth work alone is testimony to his talent. To open right off with a 20 minute plus epic "the Gates of Delirium" is tantamount to being cocky and confident. This is my favorite Yes track, as it combines all the classics elements that made this band so crucial: grandeur, subtlety, atmospherics, contrast, heat and beauty, all held together by a bass guitar that is now legendary and Alan White's arrival as an equal to former kit William Bruford. By the time the majestic "Soon" segment makes the listener comfortably numb, you know this is a classic, regardless of one's sub-tastes. Moraz distinguishes himself by adroitly not showing off his chops too overtly (not out of respect for Wakeman, but rather to engineer a unique sound instead of a professional technique). Kudos to you, Monsieur. "Sound Chaser" and "To Be Over" are equally masterful pieces, revered by fans worldwide. For those who do not like this album, I suggest to play it loud, turn off your PC, "dim the lights and you can guess the rest" (lyric from Roxy Music). If that doesn't change your mind or rating, perhaps a massive dose of various opiates fueled by a fine bottle of Port may do the trick. If that still leaves you immune, try Country Music. 5 batons
tszirmay | 5/5 |


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