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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3004 ratings

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5 stars Definitely Yes' most aggressive album, Relayer does show it's inclusion of keyboardist Patrick Moraz strongly, as it not only has his keyboard sound, but also the frenetic energy that can be found in his solo work. (I'm thinking of the album that's named that tower symbol, the only one of his I've heard, actually...) "The Gates of Delirium" is almost from beginning to end a loud, fast-paced, electric workout with convoluted time changes, interlocking solo-like lead duets and duels between the synths and guitar with dramatic and angular intervals, and lyrics that are darker than usual for them. (in mood, that is... it's a good vs. evil thing, with Yes, of course, being on the side of good.) There are some very creative ideas in this 23 minute epic, and it's filled to the brim with great playing. Same thing with the Side Two opener, "Sound Chaser", which is less sinister sounding and more jazz inflected, but also even faster and has even tighter playing, particularly in the electric piano and bass department. That riff that Patrick Moraz and Chris Squire play together when they speed up the tempo after they were already playing even faster than you probably thought they could play is just amazing. All that energy might have been a little too much for the average Yes listener, though, if it weren't for the gorgeous slower counterparts that complete each side, the longingly beautiful coda to "The Gates of Delirium", with some of Steve Howe's most expressive slide playing and great encouraging lyrics and singing from Jon Anderson (often known as "Soon"), and Side Two's second half, "To Be Over", which recalls the deeply relaxed Tales From Topographic Oceans feel, and graces us with a great Hawaiian style solo from Howe. It's a great album, and one that every prog fan should hear, the high point for me being the coda to "The Gates of Delirium", surely one of Yes' finest moments.
7headedchicken | 5/5 |


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