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Billy Sherwood: Citizen - In The Next Life
Billy Sherwood - Citizen In The Next Life Time Music Review

Billy Sherwood: Citizen - In The Next Life

Melodic Progressive Rock

Versatile and ubiquitous musician Billy Sherwood has been a fixture across music genres for better than 30 years. Mostly known for his contributions to Yes, Sherwood has also been a mover and shaker behind many artists and bands of diverse genres such as Circa, World Trade, Ratt, Def Leppard, Todd Rundgren, Carmine Appice, and Nektar. In between various and many gigs, he finds time to develop his solo work. Now Sherwood returns with his second Citizen album, Citizen - In The Next Life.

Billy Sherwood - Click For Larger Image

Billy Sherwood

Unlike the past album, Sherwood handles all instruments and production, making In The Next Live, a true solo project. (In one sense, for this listener, it's deja vu all over again, reminding me of Todd Rundgren's early solo projects work in the Seventies.) Conceptually and lyrically, the songs "describe the individual experiences in a journey through time and space" of various real and fictional characters including Mata Hari, Columbus, Wyatt Earp, Monet, Stephen Hawking, and Hitler. Yup. You read that right. Hitler. Rumor has it that the next Citizen album will feature only tyrants, despots, and otherwise mass murdering dictators. Just kidding, Billy.

Musically, In The Next Life once more offers Sherwood's charateristic melodic progressive rock, featuring more than a few jazz fusion nuances. Over all, while there are many up beat rockers, I found the songs within to traverse a more mellow path. Under the indicative rock beat and groove, the melody and vocal harmony add a rather soothing texture. The latter, the vocal portions, I found rather interesting because I don't always enjoy Sherwood as a vocalist. Alternatively, I was rather impressed with Sherwood's guitar licks. While he's mostly known for his bass work, Sherwood's guitar solos are expert, exciting, and abundant throughout this album. If I had any skepticism about In The Next Life, it was because the songs had a singular familiarity about them, essentially sounding the same, even though each has their definitive characteristics. Nevertheless, this musical conundrum only suggests repeated spins of the album. If you're game for that, then have at In The Next Life. You will enjoy it.

In the end, Billy Sherwood's Citizen - In The Next Life is another fine album of melodic progressive rock from this accomplished and creative musician. Recommended.

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The Bottom Line

Billy Sherwood's Citizen - In The Next Life is another fine album of melodic progressive rock from this accomplished and creative musician. Recommended.

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