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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3011 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I don't like to get too personal with reviews, but in this case it's necessary to give some background. I've been into prog for many years, but never took to Yes. Dog knows I tried. I listened to just about every '70s-era album, and found the music very good, but I could never handle Jon Anderson's voice. It was frustrating, as their music is clearly top-notch. A few months ago I decided to give them one more chance. I slapped on 'Relayer', an album I knew absolutely nothing about. I WAS and REMAIN UTTERLY BLOWN AWAY. Even Anderson emits plenty of power and creativity here. I've gone back and discovered all the albums up to and including 'Big Generator', and I can now count myself as a Yes fan. There's just way too much to like. 'Relayer' remains my favorite, not because of the special value of being the one that made me a fan, but because it shows them pulling out all the stops and performing at the peak of their abilities.

"The Gates Of Delirium" is a fascinating piece of music, side-long and captivating at every turn. Patrick Moraz proves himself a worthy replacement for Rick Wakeman, I would even go so far to say that he's better suited for much of Yes' music. Steve Howe's open-chord acrobatics give the song a loose edge, while the rhythm section remains firm and focused. I hear a few parallels to Utopia's "The Ikon" in form, intent and sometimes even melody. Once the song climaxes to the amazing battle sequence, it becomes obvious where Rush might've gotten the idea for "By-Tor And The Snow Dog". And the incredible jams the build up to it are reminiscent of "Cygnus X-1". I admit that Jon Anderson sings in a most godlike fashion for the song's peaceful resolution (since extracted for live performance as "Soon"). Side Two maintains the wicked tension with "Sound Chaser", some of the best gonzoid performing in the band's catalog. Some moments rise to an almost Mahavishnu Orchestra level of playing. Finally, "To Be Over" offers something calmer, a welcome haven after the disorienting 30 minutes preceding it.

'Relayer' finds Yes at their most exciting and adventurous. When they play this well, no one can touch 'em. I'm glad I finally "get" Yes. But Starcastle still sucks.

slipperman | 5/5 |


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