BILLY SHERWOOD – Divided By One (2015)
BILLY SHERWOOD last solo album “Divided By One” has just been released by UK label Cherry Red Records. At this point in Rock musical history the name BILLY SHERWOOD is not a strange thing to anyone, as the man is / has been part of Yes, Circa, Yoso, alongside Chris Squire in the band Conspiracy and lately busy as record producer.
Sherwood has a rich solo career as well, and “Divided By One” is another proof of his quality as musician.
Although Billy’s productions for other artists sometimes resulted not so good (low budget), this not happen in his solo albums. “Divided By One” sounds top class, perfectly mixed and mastered.
Musically, I am greatly surprised to listen Sherwood returning here to uptempo, moving, elaborated material, blending modern proggy patterns with melodic poppy arrangements.
Think Yes 90125 era, the less ‘radiable’ part of the CD: beautifully elaborated harmony vocals, Squire-inspired bass bombs, Trevor Rabin-esque guitarscapes, and dynamic drumming.
Through these ten tracks you can also hear some traces of Saga and a bit of Asia. Plus, thoughtful lyrics.
The opener triad of “On Impact”, “The Scene Come Alive” and “No Stone Unturned” are an excellent compendium of impactful tracks with a pumping vital presence. Sherwood play all instruments, and he feels pretty rockier in his performing approach. Vocally, he’s intact and quite smooth in its delivery.
“Between Us” is the first slow tune, and a great 1987 Pink Floyd / Gilmour styled song with dreamy guitar solos, numb vocals and a superb atmosphere. Great stuff.
Title track “Divided By One” is almost commercial and catchy with a Saga-like catchy chorus, “Sequence Of Events” explores traditional classic rock with its vintage organ, “Sphere Of Influence” sounds like a missing track off Yes’ Big Generator, while “End Of An Era” finishes the CD with syncopated beats.
If you miss (like me) YES Big Generator / 90125 period (the ‘inside’ tracks, not the hits) and enjoyed Yoso but also latest Saga works, “Divided By One” is for you.
It’s melodic yet technical, comfortable yet elaborated, all clinically arranged and performed by this consummate multi-instrumentalist which is Billy Sherwood.
01 – On Impact
02 – The Scene Come Alive
03 – No Stone Unturned
04 – Between Us
05 – Divided By One
06 – Sequence Of Events
07 – Sphere Of Influence
08 – Here For You
09 – Constellation Codex
10 – End Of An Era
Billy Sherwood: all instruments and vocals
BUY IT !