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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3001 ratings

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Mr. Mustard
5 stars The best way to describe Relayer, as I'm sure has been stated before, is controlled chaos. Despite this, Relayer is a lot more focused than its predecessor, and amongst the chaos there are some very strong compositions here. This is also notably jazzier, which provides an interesting feel that previous albums definitely don't have.

'Gates of Delirium' (10/10) is the obvious star of the album and in my opinion is the best song Yes has ever written. It has everything that Close to the Edge has, and more. The first 15-minutes are pure symphonic Yes chaos. The tempo is relentlessly upbeat, the guitar is all over the place, but what really makes this special is Moraz's synth playing, for which he goes especially wild starting at 8:42. The best part of the song for me though, is the last six minutes, which is truly Yes's best atmospheric moment.

The album continues the jazzier, chaotic theme with 'Sound Chaser' (8/10) Again, the song is extremely upbeat, and Steve Howe goes crazy with his guitar on this one, often giving a more bluesy sound. I also noticed a strong Zeppelin sound as well, with Howe's solo resembling 'Heartbreaker' and the change at 6:30 similar to something that would later come off of Physical Graffiti.

The album concludes with the slower and slightly tranquil 'To Be Over.' (7/10) This is radically different in terms of business and tempo, but still retains some of that bluesy Zeppelin sound.

Overall, the Gates of Delirium is one of Yes's best alongside Close to the Edge, and is a much improved effort over the lackluster Tales From Topographic Oceans. It initially took me awhile to get over the busyness and jazzy passages, but this has since been cemented as one of my favorites.


Mr. Mustard | 5/5 |


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