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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover

RELAYER

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.36 | 2086 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars This is one of the YES albums that for an unknown reason is less likely to be played by me. "Gates Of Delirium" is a good epic, and in general I like when the music becomes chaotic inside a 20 minutes track. Somebody says it's jazzy, mainly because of Moraz replacing Wakeman, but to be honest I don't hear more jazz here than in other YES albums of the same period (early 70s). So what's right and what's wrong here?

This is a YES album, first of all. It's not too different from Tales in the sounds and from Close to the Edge in the structure: a long suite made of different parts on Side A and two long songs on side B. Respect to Close to the Edge, Relayer is unstructured. The various parts of the suite are missing the returns to a central theme. This means that "Gates" is a sequence of good songs grouped together in the concept of Tolstoj's "War and Peace", not properly a suite. It's extremely good, 22 minutes which pass by without boring moments. I can imagine the last minutes played by Vangelis instead of Moraz.

Going to side B, the intro of Sound Chaser can be felt like jazzy in the sense of "cold" and "free". As usual for the YES, there are odd signatures and I can't imagine this music with a singer different from Jon Anderson. This track is more noisy and chaotic, funky-rock in some moments, with the guitar solo reminding in some moments to "Mood for a Day". Not bad also this. The melody sung by Anderson after the guitar solo is based on an unusual sequence of chords then the initial rock/funky section reprises. The seeds for "Big Generator" are planted.

A long intro, two minutes of guitar and keyboard, and Jon starts singing a very melodic song on which the bass is a little discordant so we can remember that they are the YES. It's the kind of track that could be found on the previous great albums like "The Yes Album" and "Fragile", just a bit too self-indulgent in the guitar part. This is in brief "To Be Over".

As I have written at the beginning of this review, there is an unknown reason why this album doesn't make a lot for me. I don't know if it's the sound of Patrick's keyboards or the production in general. Listening better it's YES music but it fails to catch my attention; something that doesn't happen with its predecessors. Not a bad album, absolutely, but I can't rate it with more than three stars.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |

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