Billy Sherwood - 'Citizen' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     November 30, 2015    
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Clever song-writing, great harmonies and superb musicianship.

Billy Sherwood is a busy man; he's just released his eighth solo album 'Citizen' containing eleven tracks and clocking in at seventy minutes. He sings lead vocals on eight tracks as well as playing lead and bass guitar, drums, keyboards and harmonica, singing backing vocals and did I forget to mention he produced the album! Sherwood has also assembled a "who's who" of Prog giants. There are several current Yes and several ex-Yes alumni as well as Steve Hackett, Jordan Rudess, Steve Morse and Alan Parsons to name but a few.

'Citizen' is a concept piece based around "a lost soul reincarnated into various periods of history, he is the citizen..." The songs describe the individual experiences through his own eyes; a conscript legionnaire in the Roman Army at the end of the Empire, a trench runner in WW1, a friend to Galileo as he discovers the Earth is not flat, a distraught Wall Street man stepping out onto the ledge...a casualty of the great depression, assistant to Charles Darwin as he discovers his Theory to name just some of the historical reference points. It is an ambitious album which is very well written – Sherwood has plenty of experience (he was a member of World Trade, he's played with Yes and has just rejoined them at the request of the late great Chris Squire just before his untimely death. He is still an active member of Circa which includes Tony Kaye).

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The opening title track has Squire's booming bass all over it and a trademark Kaye keyboard solo. 'Man And The Machine' is an up-tempo number with great harmonies from Sherwood and a stunning Hackett guitar solo. 'Just Galileo And Me' features Colin Moulding (ex XTC) on lead vocals and he sounds remarkably like Peter Gabriel on what is a slower number with Sherwood adding harmonica to his remarkable repertoire! 'No Man's Land' has Sherwood singing through a vocoder and Morse adds a couple of nifty guitar solos.

'The Great Depression' at just over eight and a half minutes is the album's longest track; Rick Wakeman plays some haunting grand piano and keyboards. As the song builds up momentum, Sherwood moves from acoustic guitar to electric and shows his proficiency with some impressive soloing. 'Empire' has Parsons taking the microphone and has some fine violin courtesy of the Mahavishnu Orchestra's Jerry Goodman. 'Age Of The Atom' is a catchy number and Sherwood plays some great bass.

Fans of World Trade, Circa and Yes will love this album as it contains all the hallmarks that Billy Sherwood is synonymous with; clever song-writing, great harmonies and superb musicianship. I'm sure most Prog listeners will also find something to entice them.

Az Chaudhry

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  • SeaDog57 : just an observation. I just got Issue 89 at the Bookstore and when i looked at the spine of the magazine it says "Fireworks Issue 85 Winter Jan - Mar 2019" Was this a misprint? The rest of the Magazine is Issue 89. Was just wondering did anyone else notice this?
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