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Yes - Relayer CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.37 | 3001 ratings

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5 stars "Relayer" along with "Tales From Topographic Oceans", "Fragile" and "Close To The Edge" is the best of the 1970s Yes and my favorite Yes album. Theres some truly amazing playing by everybody involved on this one. Patrick Moraz's keyboards are refreshingly different than Rick Wakeman's, more jazzy, less bombastic with a different melodic sensibility and he really blends in well with the band. What a shame that he left after this one album. Steve Howe plays with a savagery and abandon I've never heard him play with before or since, he's remarkable: creative and muscular. Fantastic drumming by Alan White whose contributions cannot be over praised. I think Alan came into his own on this release. Chris Squire's bass playing is wonderfullly nimble, jazzy, yet still retains a lot of rock muscle. Jon Anderson's vocals are impeccable, the melodies emotional, and the lyrics which actually make sense(!) are at times quite moving.

The album starts with "The Gates Of Delerium" a song that depicts musically the start, middle and end of a battle. The middle section is the most violent Yes I've ever heard as they imitate the clash of swords and the chaos of war. The final part of Gates of Delerium, the sad aftermath of the battle is breathtaking in its emotional impact. I can't praise Moraz keyboards enough. He perfectly complements the other guys and adds considerable atmosphere. Simply wonderful. The next song "Sound Chaser" is aptly named. Its an insane, mostly instrumental workout that sounds like "Close To The Edge" meets Mahavishnu Orchestra. Its a savage, jazz-like rock masterpiece with some truly spastic and creative guitar and drums. In the middle of the piece is a solo distorted electric guitar interlude that is a melding of classical with rock electricity. That's followed by some almost funky, yet sizzlingly fast jazz rock keyboard pyrotechnics by Pat Moraz. This song has odd changes of meter and tempo, wicked solos, some tribal chanting and just cooks. The last song "To Be Over" is quite simply one of the most beautiful things Yes has ever done. Its delicate yet strong and is a welcome respite after the assault of the previous two songs. There is some fine guitar from Steve Howe and wonderfully subtle keyboards from Patrick Moraz. The song builds to a slow glorious vocal melody. Some very nice keys and guitar ensue and the song ends with two different repeating melodys played on guitar and sung that gradually fade out like a majestic sunset changing to purple night.

Relayer is one of best and most unique albums in Yes' discography. Due in large part to Patrick Moraz' keyboards, it contains some of Yes most spirited almost violent playing. If you like "Close to the Edge" or "Tales From Topographic Oceans" you will most probably like this album.

| 5/5 |


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