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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover

RELAYER

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.36 | 2097 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

daveconn
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Overshadowed by the ambitious works that preceded it, "Relayer"may well be the most underappreciated album in the YES discography. Taking its name from one of the more successful passages of "Tales From Topographic Oceans", this album features a full collaboration from all band members (which now included ex-Refugee keyboardist PATRICK MORAZ), and is a much more successful amalgam of sound than their last effort. The side-long "The Gates of Delirium" begins with sparkling keyboards reminscent of "Close to the Edge", but the song itself (which depicts a battle) is suitably more aggressive, with MORAZ' keyboards at times inviting comparison to JETHRO TULL's "A Passion Play". The real advantage here is the heightened presence of CHRIS SQUIRE and ALAN WHITE, who together forge the tight rhythm section that was the missing link to greatness on their last two releases. Similar to the peacfeful resolution to "And You and I", the song ends with a lovely segment that was later distilled as the album's single, "Soon." Under the influence of MORAZ, YES then branches off into jazzy directions for "Sound Chaser", an environment that (for all the labelling of him as a "rock" drummer) allows ALAN WHITE to shine. The band does crowd the listener with too much music on occasion (JON ANDERSON and STEVE HOVE adopt more abrasive tones in an effort to pierce through the music), but it's still a definite improvement over earlier experiments like "The Ancient (Giants Under the Sun)." After so much tortuous music, the band deflates the pressure with the charming, dreamlike "To Be Over", and fans of the band's softer side will revel in this relaxed climate.

Although "Relayer"reflects the past - notably "Close to the Edge" and "Tales From Topographic Oceans" - it also represents a shift toward more rock-oriented arrangements, and thus provides a basis for their next album, Going for the One. In the three-year interim between those albums, the members of YES each pursued solo projects; though MORAZ would appear with HOWE and SQUIRE on their debuts, he was eventually replaced by the returning RICK WAKEMAN.

daveconn | 3/5 |

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