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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3020 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Relayer features the keyboard wizardry of Patrick Moraz, who replaced Wakeman's first of what would turn out to be many departures. Moraz had a different style of playing than Wakeman and it is very obvious on Relayer, showing a much more jazzier and complex feel than on previous Yes albums. This is also the first studio effort to feature Alan White, replacing Bill Bruford on drums. Although White did not possess the skill that Bruford had, he nevertheless is one of the better drummers in prog rock history and is often underrated.

Relayer, like it's predecessors, is an affair in long extended compositions. Like Close to the Edge, it contains just three tracks, and also like that famous album, Relayer's three musical exercises are quite amazing. It starts off with the 20+ minute Gates of Delirium, a musical assault like nothing Yes had created before or since with some incredible interplay between Steve Howe and Moraz. Sound Chaser is just insane, containing multiple time signature shifts. They end it with the pleasant melodies of To Be Over. A beautiful album.

Relayer may take some time getting used to. It's often chaotic, sometimes dark, and Steve Howe's guitar work almost seems sloppy in places (but fits the music perfectly). After repeated listens, the charm of this masterpiece shows itself. In fact, I would consider this to be as great of a masterpiece as Close to the Edge, maybe even better. An essential masterpiece and one of the top 10 best progressive rock albums ever released. Five stars.

progaardvark | 5/5 |


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