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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3021 ratings

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5 stars I've just got the expanded CD of this album and I think it's time to review this seminal work of YES with new keyboard player Patrick Moraz replacing Rick Wakeman. Suppose that there is only one track "The Gates of Delirium" plus any other lousy tracks to fill-up the rest of 25 minutes gap of a 45-minute LP, this album is still worth buying. But this is not the case as you are very fortunate that this album also offers you with two other excellent tracks "Sound Chaser" and "To Be Over". So, needless to say that this album MUST BE in your prog collection. (For expanded edition, there are 3 bonus tracks).

Well, I grew with rock music as my spirit to forward in life. I first listened to "Relayer" after I was familiar with "Fragile" sometime dated back mid seventies. It's much more complex, I would say, as it has many "unfamiliar" melody which was not easy listening at all the first time I listened to it. As comparison, try "Roundabout" of "Fragile" (YES' previous album), you would definitely like it the first time you listen to it. But, it's not the case with "The Gates of Delirium". I think, it took me 5 spins to get "hooked" with it. But it last forever, until now.

"The Gates of Delirium" intro part comprising "strange" keyboard sound by Moraz followed by lead guitar with relatively slow tempo. If I may refer, the intro music sounds like a boiling water. It's really nice. The intro itself has made an impression of complex composition. This bit flows naturally with tight bass playing by Chris until minutes "2:10" when Jon's voice enters the scene. The basic melody remains intact when voice part enters forward until couple of minutes. The bass playing creates another nuance and let you follow the tune nicely. Drum section is composed to accentuate the musical context as it helps to lay a solid foundation for lead guitar and keyboard sounds come into play. It's a very nice segment of music. At around minute "8:00" the beat starts to go up with dynamic solo guitar and keyboard. This goes nicely until it reaches minutes "10:19" where the music piece is dominated by dazzling bass sound excellently played by Chris followed by noisy keyboard sound. It's really cool .. This part for me is the part that makes me orgasm about this track until it ends at minutes "15:00 " when the music goes silent. Wow! What a wonderful piece here! The next is a slow keyboard solo that sets the tone for Jon to perform the legendary "Soon". Yeah my friend . I'm really delighted by this amazing music composition! It's so relaxing that the track ends nicely with a mellow "Soon". This track is my forever favourite song from the band.

The next is a heart beating track "Sound Chaser" where you would enjoy the dynamic drum sounds coupled with solo bass and keyboard, and punching voices. It's very uplifting tune. The roughly one minute musical introduction brings the music to vocals part performed by Jon backed by Chris and Steve. It's a very nice vocal part. The next is a solo bass guitar and guitar with energetic sound. The music then gives Steve to perform solo by himself with other instruments relatively "off" the music, except some punch of keyboard sound by Moraz to contextualize the track, I think. It's a brilliant solo guitar man! You would love it, for sure! The solo guitar is then ended with Jon enters the scene slowly with his damn clear voice! If you have this CD already, try spin this CD yourself. You will definitely agree with my statement. This is not an exaggeration after all.

The last track is a slow but heavy track. It's not definitely a pop music as I believe that the chords used in this track are complex. Opened with guitar with tiny keyboard sound at background this track brings you to rather an easy listening melody when Jon voice enters. It's cool, melody-wise. The tempo would then increase and all instruments were played dynamically during instrumental piece. When the vocal is back, the track is back to its origin of slow music. It's an excellent track.

So, my rating goes this way: **** for sound, ****** for musicianship, ***** for music composition, and ***** for performance. It sums up to FIVE STAR rating. Additional note is on composition. The album is structured tightly in term of composition. Various piece of melody and sound are blend together with smooth transitions between melodies. It's masterpiece album that must be in your collection. What do you think? - Gatot Widayanto, Indonesia.

Gatot | 5/5 |


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