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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3005 ratings

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5 stars This album must be given special credit. Losing Rick Wakeman was without a doubt going to be quite a challenge, but replacement Patrick Moraz lives up to all expectations. His unique jazzy style is both enduring and compelling. "Relayer" is just fantastic, it is an album that deserves a place with the best of progressive rock records. The album features only three songs (remind you of another yes album?) And they are all spectacular. Side one contains only one song "the gates of delirium", the intro to this song always catches my attention, Steve Howe's guitar playing in this intro is an utter delight, I'm sure most would agree. The track also proves to be a triumph for Jon Anderson, his lyrics making sense for the first time since the yes album and also, becoming slightly dark "slay them, burn their children's laughter, on to hell!". The vocals are easily as strong as they were on close to the edge. Steve Howe is on bitingly aggressive form (he must have listened to topographic oceans) and this may be his finest moment with the group. The rhythm section is so furious and intense that it doesn't really need the shouting and mayhem in the background to sound like a battle sequence!! (but does add to the atmosphere) all the distortion and volume in the world could never match its intensity, creating a fierce sense of excitement and energy. After 14 minutes or so the track begins to mellow down (Howe making proper use of his slide guitar) to become an acoustic guitar led finale that is simply beautiful. Jon Anderson's composition is nothing less than a masterpiece. Side two contains two more songs, "sound chaser" and "to be over". Both are excellent, "sound chaser" containing some excellent drumming and a great guitar riff, the song is led by the very talented Moraz and features an excellent outro, the song changing dramatically with an almost anthemic punch, it is altogether a very lively song, giving room for every member to shine. The albums closer is wonderfully melancholy and relaxing, giving the listener plenty of time to cool down after the the intensity of the first two tracks, the song is magnificent and contains one of yes' best middle eights, a beautiful guitar led theme. The lyrics to this song are remarkable and very poetic, "we go sailing down the calming stream, drifting endlessly by the bridge" it is the perfect song to unwind to, and again has a wonderful outro. "Relayer" is altogether a perfect example of how brilliant the band can be.
| 5/5 |


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