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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 2983 ratings

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4 stars Another classic offering from this talented outfit. It's funny how times, and people's opinions change. I remember clearly, when this album came out, it was considered a big let- down; what? No Rick Wakeman? This isn't Yes! It almost became the 'forgotten' Yes album. And I remember when 'Going For The One' came out, and more than one critic, on reviewing it, said: "This is a welcome return to form after the disappointing Relayer!" Of course, now 'Relayer' is considered one of their finest, and quite rightly so. It ranks amongst their best, along with 'Fragile', 'Close To The Edge', and 'Going For The One'. And I still can't choose my favourite out of them! The opener here, 'The Gates Of Delirium' is superb. A simulation in music of a battle, complete with instrument-led skirmishes that bring to mind rearing horses and flashing sabres! (To me they do anyway, maybe I should keep taking the tablets!) the contrast between the first two thirds of this track, full of excitement and virtuosity, and the last third, with the beautiful melody that leaves its imprint on the memory, is a supreme example of compositional skill. Anderson's voice at the end is hauntingly soothing and shows just how well he can sing. Even the lyrics are semi- understandable! I love this track, right down to the last symphonic note provided by the mellotron as it fades and stops. Track two, 'Soundchaser' is another wonderful piece, yet probably my least favourite of the three. Some very melodic, if aggressive, themes are explored here, and the band again display their uncanny ability to meld with each other effortlessly. The third song, 'To Be Over', is quieter, and ends the album fittingly. Steve Howe's guitar work here is particularly impressive and the melody is again one that lingers in the cerebral cortex whether we want it to or not! Mention must be made of Mr Moraz's contribution. Wakeman fans usually shake their heads at this upstart, who was only, as the next album proved, keeping the maestro's seat warm until his return. Nevertheless, Moraz is in no way inferior to Wakeman, and provides wonderful sonic landscapes in the best Wakeman tradition, fitting in nicely with the traditional Yes sound. You can't always tell if it is Wakeman or Moraz playing, which shows the latter's versatility. He does well here, and should not be underrated. A classic album, that I consider the second of a pair of book ends, along with 'Close To The Edge'. Each album has three tracks, one on side one, and two on side two, and follows closely the same format. And to be honest, I can't say which I prefer, so I will again sit on the fence and give this 4 stars. Excellent album!
chessman | 4/5 |


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