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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover

RELAYER

Yes

 

Symphonic Prog

4.36 | 2096 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This underrated masterpiece is one of my favorites from all of YES albums..

After the gigantic, exaggerated "Tales From Topographic Oceans", Anderson and Co. return to a disc-structure much like that of "Close to The Edge": an epic, 20 minute opener, followed by two short tracks (again, "short" for YES' 70's standards. Even the songs' characteristics share some common idea: both epics, as epics go, are broad, multilayered, with long instrumental passages, with returning themes; and in both albums, one of the "short" tracks is a fast, show-off one, and the other a more relaxed, atmospheric one. They used a similar pattern in the order and general mood of the songs, but the music in itself is completely different.

Gates of Delirium, (9/10), a very long track that features one of the best intros I've ever heard for an epic: a repeating ride cymbal pattern under psychedelic keyboards and guitars; it almost seems there's a violin around, the way Howe plays (for me, his best album); after some scale playing by all instruments, vocals finally erupt in typical YES fashion: grandiose, dominating. After a rather calm section, the middle instrumental is really outstanding; Moraz plays great here, as does Howe and the always forgotten Squire. The music builds to a climax that finally explodes, leaving place fot the final section. Over acoustic, electric guitars and almost organ-like keys, Anderson performs one of his best vocal parts in all of Yes. The song starts beautifully yet with unearthly sounds, it ends with beautiful, peaceful ones. Great track. Only complain: could've been one or two minutes shorter.

Sound Chaser (9/10), another piece of art. It's really the show track for Moraz, who quite frankly proves here he could not only fill Wakeman's shoes, but even that those could be too tight for his feet. The name of the song is perfect: the guitars and bass seem to be always persuing each other, and both chasing the keys. Another brilliant element of this song (and of this album) is the fantastic use of counterpoint: Yes' members didn't sleep when harmony was to be learned. This track starts with a jazz-like blast and from then on it turns, spins, returns always in a perpetual sound chase between the three instruments; there's a wonderful middle section with an amazing proper solo (no more instruments) by Howe. The end of this song is rather rocky, regular rock in odd time, with some psychedelia thrown for good.

To be over, (8/10), a great track but the one that doesn't do it 100% for me. It starts with a really pastoral-like moment, with violin-sounding guitars over keys, percussion and acoustic guitar; the acoustic guitars continues to be the main riff provider during the vocal part, one full of emotion and soul. The middle section is pure prog-rock.

A masterpiece. How can I give it a 5 when I didn't give a 10 to any of the songs? Because as a whole, the record is a work of art. As a whole it has absolute equilibrium. And, also, because as ratings are a way of recomendating someone to buy an album he doesn't own.

The T | 5/5 |

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