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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3011 ratings

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3 stars Despite my reservations about Yes, I bought Relayer when it came out. I hoped that it would be an album more like "Close to the Edge" or "Fragile" than the awful "Tales from topographic oceans". In that respect it was a far better record and came close to recapturing my attention. Gone was Wakemam replaced by the competent if uncharismatic Patrick Moraz. This record has a lot going for it , starting with the epic and impressive "'The Gates of Delirium" which takes up the whole of side one. This has many passages and some really interesting Keyboard sounds , some of which were cutting edge. Side Two consists of just two cuts "Sound Chaser" (9:25) , which is ok and To Be Over (9:08) which is a little less impressive. This is a much more disciplined and interesting set than Topographic oceans which sucked big time. Gone is the endless scales and the meaningless Lyrics are better , if still seemingly meaningless they don't make you cringe. This Record has dated better than any other Yes recording and still manages to sound interesting and challenging 30 + years on. For a short time I liked Yes again and hoped that they would continue to record pretty decent progressive rock LP's. sadly I caught them live about 3 months after this release and I was put off by the over the top nature of the show. How can you take men dressed in pom poms seriously ? I can not have been the only person who was starting to doubt that progressive rock as played by the likes of Yes and the floundering ELP was all that it was cracked up to be. A new generation of Musicians were becoming frustrated by the closed shop that seemed to have formed around these groups and the age of the super group was growing very incestuous. Yes above all the Bands with the exception ELP prehaps seemed to embody all that was bad about Prog. Without a doubt there was also a feeling in the record companies that these groups had become to big for their boots, and so a revolution was inevitable. Of course there was a tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water and much good music was lost but many bands couldn't get contracts at the time unless they sounded like Yes, which in retrospect is ridiculous. Despite being a good record "Relayer" could not be described as a band progressing, indeed it is more formulaic than any other YES record up to that point. A conscious attempt seemingly to remake a "close to the edge". This is the last good Yes record and it would be some years before they produced anything that was not utterly dreadful. It earns 3 stars but probably deserves 3.5.
burgersoft777 | 3/5 |


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