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Yes - Relayer
Label: Atlantic Records
Release: 1974

Tracklisting:
The Gates of Delerium
Sound Chaser
To Be Over
Relayer - Yes
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Average Blamo User Rating: (4 votes)

Yes venture further into complete inaccessibility on this one, only this timearound, it's a hell of a lot better. "Relayer" is probably the most frenetic album that theband ever produced,with tons of instrumental battery, head-spinning power and...a brand newkeyboardist in PatrickMoraz, after Rick Wakeman buggered off to do his King Arthur while proclaimingthat his formerband were crap - a statement that, looking at albums like "Myths and Legends..."doesn't really have any importance coming from Mr. Wakeman.

The album is very close to "Close to the Edge" - it's another 3-song runaround,with 1 side-longand 2 long 10 minuters. "The Gates of Delerium" is arguably the best side-longthat Yes haveever produced - the instrumentation is brilliant, and it's actually incrediblymemorable, withlots of melodies thrown in. Yes show a side here that they couldn't really showwith Wakeman -an abrasive side. Howe goes utterly crazy in parts, and Moraz is more thanwilling to go alongfor the ride. Another extremely rare moment occurs on this track - lyrics thatmake sense. Anderson finally manages to write a coherent set of lyrics based around "War andPeace". Andfinally, the final "Soon" section (the commercially successful part of thealbum) is beautiful.A light, airy vocal melody, backed superbly by Howe's slide guitar and Moraz'smellotron. Oneof the best moments of music that Yes ever produced. Exceptional.

Side 2 goes even further into head-spinning territory with the almighty "SoundChaser" - a massive jam based around Howe's frantic riff. His playing is absolutelybrilliant on this track - he simply goes all-out. And once again, Moraz is right up there withhim with someoutstanding keyboard lines. Really, this guy should have stayed.

"To Be Over" is the only poor piece here - not that it's actually a bad track,but it is so out of place. It basically sounds like a "Tales.." outtake, and it doesn'treally fit alongsidethe 30 minutes of musical madness that precedes it. That, and it's generallyunmemorable, withlittle redeeming qualities.

This piece does mar the album rating a little, but overall, it gets a high 7. Which is pretty good in this Yes period. Shame they wouldn't make an album as good as this again.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

the bomb diggity. if there was one reason at all for prog rock to exist, this album is it. the BEST prog album (pure prog, that is) this sucka is brilliant. i could really go on and on and on and on about why i think this album is pure and complete genius. but that's dull.

basically, the prog vs. punk argument is theoretically destroyed by the first song on this album. the gates of delirium. this song. my god. okay, take all the hype and bull crap you've heard about punk being the most "aggressive" form of music. take that hype, and multiply it by a million. okay, you there yet? well, it doesn't reach the aggression of this song. see, aggression with out ability is stupid. but aggression with GENIUS is amazing. the composition (i cannot call it a song) is the jon anderon's attempt to put the whole of war and peace down in one song. whether or not he succeded, he did pen GREAT lyrics for a change (his lyrics get better from here on out, actually) and this is the song of theres that makes the most sense. the first part is obviously a build up to a tense battle. the music gets more and more aggressive as it goes, building in tension. until the mid section. the mid section. my gawd the mid section.

surely, this is meant to display the battle that occurs. it's easy to hear to. listen to the way the drums pound aggressively, and the bass pounds and goes. it's enough to get evne the most passive man worked up. but the guitar and keyboard duels represent the battle the most. after intense battles, which are noisy and heart stopping, steve howe hits the highest, most intense note i've ever heard, and the beautiful ballad soon comes out. sure, it has little to do with the rest of the song musically, and is kind of tacked on in a way that Yes cheats sometimes, the lyrics fit right in, and the beautiful mood fits the end of battle quiet wonderfully. so basically for me, 90% of all punk bands i've ever heard, there entire discography? yeah in the trash can after this song. there's 18 minutes left to go!

after that brilliance, the other songs admirably attempt to keep up, but fail somewhat. sound chaser is an erratic, insane rocker that is hard to describe. lots of stuff go on, lots of great emsemble playing, keyboard solo's, steve howe quotes "mood for a day" from fragile, and for no reason at all, jon anderson and the gang chant "cha cha cha!" the song lurches forward, they do it again. and the song is over. it rocks as hard as the sections directly before the middle section of the gates of delirum, but more erratic, and with less structure. great stuff.

to be over is a beautiful ballad, though not up to "and you and i" from close to the edge. nevertheless, it's a nice peaceful way to end the album after the onslaught of the first half an hour.

buy the album. trust me. if you're a guy who's like "oh, i like hard rock and metal, but prog rock meh" this album COULD make you a believer, even if it's jsut for this one album. actually, this album isn't for everybody, it CAN be hard to listen to.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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