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Billy Sherwood - 2019 - "Citizen: In the Next Life"

(54:43; Frontiers Music)


I guess any review of Billy Sherwood will mention he is the current bassist of Yes, that he released some albums with Chris Squire as Conspiracy, formed World Trade, and released six albums as Circa with former yes keyboard player Tony Kaye, so why should I be any different? This is a concept album following on from 2015’s ‘The Citizen’, and the songs describe the individual experiences in a journey through time and space of a character, “The Citizen”. So, we visit Hitler in the Bunker, visit the artist Monet, Stephen Hawking and even Wyatt Earp among others. Unlike the last album where he brought together a vast number of guests to assist, including the last recordings of Squire, this time he decided to do everything himself from playing all the instruments through to the production etc. Listening to songs such as “Sophia” it can be heard exactly why he fits in so well with Yes as the sound he captures on his bass, along with the fluidity is incredible similar to the sadly missed Squire. This is an album which I have discovered I enjoy more or less depending on my own personal mood. A song that sounds glorious and rising one day can be cloying and overpowering the next. For one musician there is an incredibly amount of layering, and there just doesn’t seem to be any space within the music which means it can just get too rich. It took me a long time to work out who the album actually reminded me of, and that was due to the lack of brass instruments as if they had been involved then I would have stated mid-Seventies Chicago straight away. The result is an album which feels very rich, but also at times fairly uninspired and although there are times when I have enjoyed this there are plenty of others when listening to this has been like wading through treacle as it is just so heavily over produced. Middle of the road in so many ways.

Progtector: December 2019

Related Links:

Billy Sherwood Frontiers Music


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