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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3023 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars RELAYER is a very interesting Yes album; song structure wise, it resembles CLOSE TO THE EDGE in the fact that it consists of one sidelong piece followed by two (relatively) shorter pieces. Sound wise, Yes have delved into the possibilities of jazz fusion (thanks to newcomer Patrick Moraz), and IMO, a much deeper venture into pure classical music. Are these ingredients for a prog masterpiece?

My answer is mostly yes, but there are moments that slightly tick me off. Particularly, ''Sound Chaser'' just sounds like the band wanted to show off their virtuosity to the world without taking extreme consideration in how to do so. Sure, the last three odd minutes are gold to me, but it gets a little too long in the mouth when Steve Howe gets to his solo without any accompaniment.

The focus of the album is definitely ''The Gates of Delirium'', a twenty-two minute opus that sounds like Yes wanted to stand amongst the greatest classical composers with this one. Unfortunately, the first eight minutes of the piece tend to drag and sag, leaving me not as satisfied as I was when I first heard it. Sure, the instrumental insanity afterwards is absolutely great (I really love that 11/4 victory march) and ''Soon'' is absolute beauty, but this is not 100% awesome as I've found ''Close to the Edge'' to be.

For me, ''To Be Over'' is one of my favourite Yes pieces overall, let alone off of RELAYER. It has the perfect combination of sheer beauty and musical awesome-ness, all in nine minutes. I very much get the feeling that Yes made a great composition here, even if the themes are bit more guitar-dominated than most other Yes pieces I've heard. Still, if I was to pop in RELAYER into my CD player today, ''To Be Over'' would be the primary reason I'd do so.

I once gave this a masterpiece rating, but I was too blinded by my absolute lust for Yes to see through some of the over-pretentions here. Some moments here see Yes get a bit too carried away, but this is definitely one to check if you're a Yesfan or prog fan.

Sinusoid | 4/5 |


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