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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3011 ratings

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4 stars Bye Bye Wakeman, and hello Moraz, recruited after the band experimented with the idea of hiring Vangelis, who Anderson would later successfully work with for a number of years.

This is Yes, Jim, but not as we know it. The feel and velocity of the music is a million miles away from its overlong predecessor, and this is not a bad thing by any means. Rumour has it that Anderson wanted to produce another very lengthy concept LP to poke two fingers up at all the critics, but was withheld from doing so by wiser band members.

The main attraction is, of course, Gates of Delerium, and it is utterly brilliant. A quiet introduction belies the cacaphony that follows, almost as if the band were turbocharged on speed. It is, though, incredible, and as much as I love Wakeman, I wish Moraz had done a bit more work with the band, because his swirling and pulsating keyboards contribute a huge amount to the instrumental section at the heart of the piece. When the war is over, the track descends into quite the most lovely guitar solo from Howe (this man is amazing) and Anderson's deservedly famous Soon sequence. You experience all of the horrors of war in the main section and then absolutely feel the relief at the coming of the light at the end. A five star track if ever there was one.

I noted the equally high quality of the second side of Close to the Edge. I do not, however, think that the flipside of Relayer anywhere near matches the main event, and it is for that reason that I award the LP four stars overall.

Sound Chaser, in particular, is far too jazzy for my tastes and is certainly not a typical Yes track. I do, however, adore the relaxed and sonically lovely To Be Over, which hints very much at some of the direction to follow in the next album.

A very good LP which definitely helped restore the reputation of the band after the critical mashing they had with the predecessor LP.

Four stars.

lazland | 4/5 |


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