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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3011 ratings

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Sgai Friend
4 stars I would give it 5 stars, but for what many people regard as the lovely relief, namely "To Be Over". At least it's only nine minutes long. For me, this third piece is only good as a counterweight or soft cushion for what comes before it. First is "Gates Of Delirium". If you've enjoyed YES for their dreamy but bouncy off-world songs, then you'll reel at what this song delivers - nothing less than symphony at its cutting edge. Or is it a jam-session on steroids? Never mind having to count off eleven beats to the bar, you're so busy wondering what's happening and where it's going, but not a note out of place. It may take many sittings to break through into this piece, but "yes", it's worthwhile. I guess they had enough popularity, momentum and confidence as a band at this time (only 1974, remember), that they would try something as challenging as this.

Second track of 3 is "Sound Chaser". The intro shows off Alan White's drumming, such a different tone to Bill Bruford, and a smooth and reliable counterpoint to the bass and lead instruments (love his distinctive sextuplet runs). Then it gets a bit jagged. It's not as symphonic a piece as "Gates" but it's still very interesting. And this track has a wonderful surprise - who'd ever expect a ritardando/accelerando pattern in a piece of rock music?

My enjoyment of this album centers around the semi-classical, almost avant-garde quality of especially the instrumental passages. After hearing it in the year of its release, somehow many of their following albums would sound to me very humdrum.

Sgai Friend | 4/5 |


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