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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3011 ratings

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5 stars "Relayer" by Yes is definitely a drastic turn from the signature sound of the previous albums. I must say that when I first heard the opening measures for "Gates of Delirium", I thought the sound was vivid; technicolored; vibrant. Now, early Yes albums have a niche for letting fans assume that "acoustic" atmospheres parallel spiritual inquiries in music. What I mean by "acoustic" atmospheres is that there is an ultimately calming presence when listening to "Close to the Edge" or "Fragile", even "Tales from Topographic Oceans". "Gates of Delirium" introduces fans to a heightened experiment in, dare I say, synasthesia. The composition: lyrics and sound, generated in me an incredible simulation of combat, warfare, anxiety, and the like. The song definitely allows your imagination to explode narratively, thanks to the progression from the act of conflict ("In glory, we rise to offer..."), the quality of hope ("Listen, should we leave our children?"), uncompromising decisions ("The pen won't stay the demon's wings/The hour approaches, pounding out the Devil's sermon"), the long battle, and finally reflection and the unbroken hope ("Soon, oh soon, the light...").

Steve's guitar playing emulates the feelings of surmounting attack, rage, counterattack, victory/defeat,

Thanks to keyboarding by Patrick Moraz, spiritual cognition does not have to remain in a staple prog concensus. Instead, unfamiliar atmospheres become vitalized to be incorporated to that spiritual coalescence. Overall, this track produces an accelerated- era of prog soundscape.

"Sound Chaser" is absolutely something. That is exactly how I can only describe it right now. The introduction of this track would already put high anticipation into another accelerated tempo. Indeed, the vocals and what I think is electronic sound bites (let us not forget the keyboards, bass, and guitar) have that flavor of dissonance, and it works, as if jazz was on caffeine. Steve Howe's electric guitar solo is unique. To take such a chaotic, heavy sounding instrument and literally tame it is worth analyzing only by ear, simply the ear and nothing more. I was quite focused that I would like to call it meditation. Later, Patrick's solo incorporates a danceable tune, whose scales influence an embrace of joy.

"To Be Over" is definitely quiet, and I guess it serves to sonically calm you. The lyrics seem to be wanting to go to the background for me - my guess is that the lyrics want you to do that with your "self" - to deflate the ego that utilizes material and psychic objectifications that can elude us from a highly abstract truth.

To sum up, "Relayer" is monumental in sound and direction the band took. I compare it to "Awaken" as the type of music that takes a paradigm shift on how to amass listeners and reveal that deep-rooted desire for unification.

raulgarcia | 5/5 |


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