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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3019 ratings

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The Sleepwalker
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Relayer is Yes's seventh studio album. It shows a new band formation, because of Wakeman leaving and Patrick Moraz joining for this one album only. The change in style can be clearly heard. Patrick Moraz's keyboard playing features lots of pitch bends and is more jazzy than Wakeman's playing. This had a big effect on the album, and makes Relayer a pretty jazzy Yes album. Also the album is not as symphonic as let's say Close To The Edge. There is a more experimental sound to it, with several parts that aren't very symphonic at all.

The album is built up the same way as Close To The Edge, and begins with a lengthy epic. "Gates Of Delirium" is one of Yes's most experimental pieces. Featuring lots of experimental solos, interesting effects and a drummer smashing on car parts. The song opens quite symphonic and very powerful. It moves through several instrumental parts as it progresses, with the highlight being the haunting istrumental middle part. This isn't the Yes you've heard before, this is much less symphonic but very, very experimental. I'm sure not all fans would appreciate this sound, but I definitely do. After the massive outburst, with many climaxes, we move to the final part of the epic. "Soon" is a beautiful piece of music, which is very delighting. "Gates Of Delirium" in my opinion is among Yes's strongest pieces.

The second half of the album features two 9 minute songs. "Sound Chaser", which might be even more experimental than "Gates Of Delirium", and the more gentle "To Be Over". I'll start with "Sound Chaser", a 9 minute song which turns direction many times. The song is very chaotic, yet I really enjoy it. The song opens with a mysterious intro that segues into some of Yes's best vocal parts. After that the song takes the listener through several jams and a pretty unusual slide guitar and vocal part. The song's climax is Patrick Moraz's jazzy synth solo, which also closes the track. "To Be Over" is a very mysterious song. It starts out pretty gentle, with some nice keyboards from patrick Moraz and great sounding guitar playing from Steve Howe. The second half of the song sounds much more epic though, and features several great solo parts. I find "To Be Over" the weakest track of Relayer, though it still is a very fine piece.

Relayer is a very good album, featuring three great pieces of music. It is a very experimental album as well and is less symphonic than some of Yes's other albums. This might be a reason for some people not to like it. I wouldn't call Relayer a masterpiece of progressive rock, but it's a fantastic album for sure. Therefore I rate it 4 stars.

The Sleepwalker | 4/5 |


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