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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3011 ratings

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Marc Baum
Prog Reviewer
5 stars It's somehow a battle with "Relayer": I absolutely love it, but I do myself hard to give it the banner "masterpiece", even if I must compare it with it's more accessible successor "Close To The Edge", which got also only three long tracks and a similar full lenght-time. You can't compare these both records in a musical vein, especially because there is no Wakeman on here (even I love and sometimes prefer Moraz' simplier style), but "Relayer" lacks in throughoutly genius at times.

The record got it's biggest shining moments in "The Gates Of Delirium", which is a masterpiece, specially the ending part is possibly the most haunting of all work Yes ever created and as beautiful as it gets. (Track rating: 10/10 points)

"Sound Chaser" contains some lengths, which don't come down to the point. It's sometimes lost in total chaos, out of control, which doesn't mean it's not good - just frustrating at times. I am a big fan of complexity, but this track is for my taste too far over the bottom. It's technical brilliantly played, but in some of the jazzy parts too far away. In the atmospheric quiet part with phenomenal keys of Patrick Moraz and great guitar of Steve Howe, there is the magic Yes atmosphere back, but it's simply not memorable - about the ending part I won't say something, because it's too freaky for my taste. All in all, this track is enjoyable though and far away to beeing bad or just average - but clearly the "low-point" of the album. (Track rating: 8/10 points)

"To Be Over" is the title of the logical album closer and begins with a nice intro, which contains a good played sitar by Steve Howe, decent key-inputs by Patrick Moraz and nice Asian atmosphere. When Anderson begins to sing, you may hope this is a masterpiece track. it's very beautiful, the guitar work of Howe needs special mention here. The bass of Chris Squire is always listenable, but not as highly in presence than on "Close To The Edge" album. The instrumental part after five minutes is simply amazing, here shows the band all of their incredible talents. This is a great one, but can't reach the brilliance of the epic first track, but it's an fitting closer to the record and a small masterpiece. The ending part is my fave here, Anderson sings: "After all, your soul is still surrender..." and is followed by a memorable instrumental ending, where all instruments play their big part to end the record. (Track rating: 9/10 points)

There is a big discuss about "Relayer", maybe not as much as with TFTO, but is still unremarkably acclaimed by some prog-heads, which is questionable at times. Ok, I must admit that this isn't another CTTE, which had three absolute masterpiece-epics and was by far Yes's biggest and best observation. When you compare both records again (which is quite misplaced, but I do it), "Relayer" got an less powerful production, but all instruments are listenable, even some loud parts in the middle of "The Gates Of Delirium" and "Sound Chaser" sound terribly outbalanced. When we overlook all these few little low-points, there are still many excellent moments on here, also the instrumentation is top notch like always with classic period-YES. From the point- system "Relayer" gets 9 points, which would be five stars, for the mentioned sound problems I could take off one point, but the superb Roger Dean cover-art (one of the prettiest of it's time) counts "Relayer" up to a close masterpiece status. Not many bands played in one league with YES and "Relayer" shows that fact once more. It's more a small five star record, but it's still one and a must!

The true YES fans already have it, all others are very recommended to get it. But let be warned: It needs much time to open all of it's majestic beauty, which overshadow the lower parts by FAR.

Tracks rating: 10 + 8 + 9 = 27/3 tracks = 9/10 points

Yes - "Relayer": 9/10 points = 90 % on MPV scale = 5/5 stars

point-system: 0 - 3 points = 1 star / 3.5 - 5.5 points = 2 stars / 6 - 7 points = 3 stars / 7.5 - 8.5 points = 4 stars / 9 - 10 points = 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music.

Marc Baum | 5/5 |


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