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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3020 ratings

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4 stars Relayer is kind of an oddity in the Yes catalog for being so abrasive. That doesn't mean it is bad; quite the contrary. This is another one of Yes' best albums. We get the same format as Close to the Edge, but this music is often loud, powerful, and frantic.

"The Gates of Delirium" starts off very significantly jazzy for Yes, but eventually becomes sing-songy. The changes in this track are fluid, but are more obvious than on previous albums. One thing that is easily noticeable upon first listening to this album is that Howe's guitar tone is much brighter and uses much more delay effect than before. It's not a bad thing, but it is definitely different and change works well. The middle of the track is noisy and abrasive, but this comes off as sounding refreshing after Yes' usual poppy-hippie sounding music. The track eventually cools off into a very light and psychedelic passage, and rest of the track mainly focuses on a folky passage accompanied by synths and Anderson's terrific voice. The track is finished off with a twangy but well executed solo by Howe.

"Sound Chaser" starts off sounding like an outtake from Miles Davis' Bitches Brew sessions which is accentuated by Steve Howe's guitar, which sounds close to John McLaughlin's style. The guitar solo that takes up the middle of the song is very diverse in it's styles. The track as a whole is very eclectic - moving from country rock, jazz fusion, funk, and the typical Yes style.

"To Be Over" is the third and final track, and is much more subdued and "normal" than the previous two songs. Steve Howe plays a very southern rock influenced guitar solo in the middle, complete with slide guitar. He also has another solo closer to the end. This is the one track on the album that doesn't do much for me.

Relayer, to me, sounds like an album where Yes just wanted to have fun playing music rather than focus so seriously on composing, and it works very well in my opinion. This album is very strong, although odd. I definitely wouldn't recommend this to anyone except huge Yes fans, because this album can be quite hard to swallow with its energy and abrasiveness. But if you're a Yes fan and want to hear their most experimental material, here it is.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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