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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3190 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Defector

Well after that dreadful dreck of Tales, which provoked the first of a record string (Guiness world record) of leaving the same band, Wakeman was now gone defector) to make his own embarrassing drecks, and the band had to enlist a Keith Emerson clone (well at least in the Refugee project), but the Swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz will indeed provide a good foot size to fill the empty shoes. Graced with an unneeded Sword & Sorcery gatefold album sleeve (beautiful enough not to crack out laughing out loud) from the now-usual Roger dean, this album represent one of the most difficult album of the h-group for the prog newbie, because it often goes over the top.

A monstrous album with 2000 notes to the second that only Birds of Fire(of Mahavihnu) can match, one that would even scare the shedding Al Dimeola. The 22-mins aptly-titled Gates Of Delirium (yes, they were close to its edge) is an important improvement on the previous album's sidelong "epics", but it is still not always fascinating, but sometimes extremely moving, like the Soon Oh Soon section, reminiscent of the I Get up or the And You And I passages in CTTE. The flipside is certainly not easier to "get", especially with the aptly-titled Sound Chaser (I'm tempted to speak of Music Hunter, here), as it starts on an almost-dissonant jazz-rock intro, but trouble really starts when the band gets ready for the noisy verses and chorus parts. Thankfully the middle section is much calmer, although you can still hear the band wanting to outdo McL's MO in the closing section. The closing To Be Over is a bit overshadowed by its two sister tracks, but it has its charms, not least being mellotron-drenched.

I don't know if you've noticed but Yes only managed to write 10 songs over four discs since fragile's release. The less jame has, the more you'll spread it over you bread slices. And maybe there is a parallel to draw with Jon's culture awareness. BTW, if you are interested in Moraz's works outside of Yes (coz, you've quickly made it all in this group) abd the then-awful Moodies from the 80's, his best stuff (but I don't know if it is available on CD ) is the soundtrack of La Salamandre, a black and white rebel but intellectual movie made by fellow Swiss Alain Tanner. Mainhgorse is actually better than that derivative Refugee album. Anyway, back to Relayer, now! This album is a little cold but it does have a soul. This demands your full attention, but then again, Yes was never music to fondle your girlfriend by. This is probably why Moraz went on to join the Moody Blunders in the 80's - to diddle some fresh young flesh with both hands on stage after having programmed his synths.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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