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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover

RELAYER

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.36 | 2167 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Atkingani
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars I'm quite sure that "Relayer" was released in Brazil before "Tales." and what could be considered a serious mistake proved throughout the years to be very interesting 'cause "Relayer", a fair-to-good album, still keeps YES on the top, while "Tales." shows the locomotive beginning to descend the climb. So, the optima sequence seeing from a point-of-view located more than 30 years later should truly put "Relayer" soon after "Close To The Edge" as the band's follow-up studio album.

YES line-up presented a different keyboardist, with the flamboyant Patrick Moraz replacing the charismatic Rick Wakeman that left band to look for a career as wizard or magician. Moraz is a fine musician but apparently much less a band's man than Wakeman but surely due to his debut in the band he behaved himself from the acrobatics that characterized him further. Other members continued their jobs in an appreciable manner even when they show a certain abhorrent attitude - many passages in "Relayer" tracks sound as they had been heard before; in fact, in many parts of the album YES seem to be copying. YES!

'The gates of delirium', opening track, is a typical YES song, done specifically to demonstrate members skill and musicianship, hence some segments are really fine (soon, oh, soon...) while others are simply boring, notably the first minutes which brings no good impression for listening to the extent of the album. Considering the track size (20+) we feel longing of other pieces of the same range, be them either from GENESIS or EL&P or either from YES. Jon Anderson, whose voice isn't exactly my preferred, has a pleasant performance and synth sounds in the second half are enchanted and agreeable.

'Sound chaser', in spite of its almost chaotic tunes, may be considered a very interesting song especially in the moments where the band act like an ensemble and they go stratospheric - it's YES in their best. Members' musicianship is great but Anderson's singing goes from near celestial when he whispers with the single guitar accompaniment to the edge of inferno when he does a kind of cha-cha-cha choir. The song itself is consequently very irregular alternating strong and weak points.

'To be over', the last and most unknown track of "Relayer" is nowadays my album's favorite. The ever-present soft tunes instead of giving a sensation of lull provides the song with a melancholic farewell feeling, like saying that the golden days of the first wave of progressive rock are finishing. The band contributes largely playing altogether in a convincing form, the resultant being a highly and fairly audible track.

General production, arrangements, art cover, etc, are great since in that period YES were situated in the pinnacle of the music. For rating purposes we may say that "Relayer" isn't a masterpiece but nevertheless a fine addition to any prog-rock music collection. Total: 4.

Atkingani | 4/5 |

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