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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3023 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Yes - Relayer (1974)

As if Yes knew the heydays of progressive rock were about to end.. this album really sound like all good elements of prog are put into a shredder! This is just unbelievable. It is very hard to find a another bad record (yes I said it) with the amount of good-brilliant ideas this albums has.

Yes sums it all up; technical composition and fusion like instrumental parts, symphonic land-scapes, the use of some nice keyboard-equipment, many themes, conceptual song- writing and almost Live at Pompeii format bombastic/stylistic arrangements. But still, it sounds horrible.

First, the recording is awful. Though I never heard a well produced Yes record, this album has IMHO one of their ugliest recordings with awful guitar-sounds and shreds of Steve How, irritating bass-lines (a bass-guitar should pick the lower parts of musical spectrum) and of course the high-pitched vocals of Anderson. The recording sounds as if it was done in intense haste and the listener doesn't get a simple moment of peaceful or well-recorded harmonic musical parts.

Now, the composition of this album can be called an achievement. There is an almost endless amount of melodies, progressive rhythms and sounds. There's this amount of great musical material but... there's no reason. Why this solo here, and that drum-thing there. Why this distorted sound here, why these back-ground noises there. WHY?!

There's no concept and I can't find a logical explanation for why all this material is presented in this order. Yes really displayed a weakness of our progressive genre here: the aiming for the impossible. Yes never really touched me with 'personal' music, but this is the effort that is furthest away from the common man. Actually, this kind of prog would make ME want to cut my hair and go out and buy the Sex Pistols.

Conclusion. What can I say? This is a favorite album of perhaps a major part of our community but I really think Yes is one of the main reasons the progressive movement collapsed. This is noodling, this is ten steps away from the common man. Perhaps this is a mistake that had to be made by a progressive rock band but it surprises me how many people love this very confusing album. Perhaps it has something to with my own mind-set. Why is it so important for me to understand the music? Why does this recording quality disturb me so much? It must be a matter of taste. Two stars and many thoughts about the potential of this material.

friso | 2/5 |


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