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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3011 ratings

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4 stars After the creative achievement but critical question mark [Album11461,Tales From Topographic Oceans, Rick Wakeman departed Yes for a solo career, while Patrick Moraz, who would later become part of The Moody Blues, replaced him on the keyboards. In some ways, Relayer is a more focused album than its predecessor, but this album is also Yes at their most spasmodic. All three tracks, especially the 22-minute "Gates of Delirium," have many science-fiction elements that had not been expanded upon before. You can most definitely hear the difference between Moraz and Wakeman on the opening number in respective showmanship. In terms of format, this lines up like Close to the Edge, with one side-long track and then two extensive songs on the second side. "Sound Chaser" features excellent work from bassist Chris Squire (the only eternal Yes member) and guitarist Steve Howe. However, the finale "To Be Over" might very well be the best Yes song since Bill Bruford departed (thus disbanding the quintessential Yes lineup). Speaking of Bruford, replacement Alan White appears more consistent behind the kit, on Relayer, as his playing has a great sense of power behind it. Vocally, Jon Anderson remains strong, supported by more atmospheric harmonies (provided by Squire, Howe, and Anderson himself). Lyrically, Anderson still can be quite confusing and nonsensical (wait for Going for the One to see him go back to shades of early days). However, this factor does not bring down Relayer as much as it did TFTO, as the album format seems to support the lyrics more this time, if you comprehend it. Relayer might have some age behind it, but it remains a solid buy/burn for fans of progressive-era Yes.
CVoss | 4/5 |


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