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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3023 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Looking back, it is easy to understand why so many people at the time started to label progressive groups in general, and Yes in particular, as boring old farts. By the time Yes released Relayer their music became too much abstract and complicated to win over the general public like they did before. Remember: Yes even had hit singles! And the edited Soon (the final part of Gates Of Delirium) was one of them.

After the massive Tales From Topographic Oceans everybody was expecting something more like their earlier stuff. And they got more of the same. The whole album has just 3 tracks and only Gates Of Delirium, a massive 22+ minutes epic, had any lasting impact in their career. Yeah, it is a classic and it has a less oblique lyric from Anderson which is quite good and even if some parts still sound a little chaotic, it is still a fantastic epic and it works. Gates... to me is pretty much the whole of the album (that is good). Or almost. The remaining tracks, Sound Chase and To Be Over have no real song structure, no catching melodies, which is a shame. Yes music was always elaborated and groundbreaking, but it was also accessible and melodic. Tales... and Relayer changed all that. And I donĀ“t think it was for the better really.

This is not to say Relayer or Tales... are bad albums, they are not. But they have their share of problems. Much of the early winning formula of mixing virtuosity and simplicity had gone to endless noodling, overcomplicated arrangements and a general lack of direction. Sometimes you hear sparks of creativity and some beautiful parts are present. But that is not enough for such a talented and bright band which had delivered such masterpieces like The Yes Album and Close To The Edge.

Rating: somewhere between 3,5 and 4 stars. I decided to change my old rating because there is no doubt that this album was important and, in some ways, popular at the time. But I do not recommend it to a newbie.

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |


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