Billy Sherwood
Citizen: In the Next Life

1. The Partisan
2. Sophia
3. Monet
4. Skywriter
5. We Shall Ride Again
6. Via Hawking
7. By Design
8. Sailing The Seas
9. Mata Hari
10. Hold Quite

Billy Sherwood - vocals, guitars, drums

Citizen 2015



Released 2019-07-12
Reviewed 2019-09-22

frontiers records

Few years ago Billy Sherwood released an album called Citizen, now he comes with the sequel, Citizen: In the Next Life. It is a conceptual story where we from the citizen’s eyes experience Hitler, the artificial life for Sophia, Monet and more things like that. It is a story taking us back and forth in time and the cover reflects that pretty good and it is a fairly attractive cover I think – possibly the highlight of the album. Billy himself probably doesn’t need that much introduction having been heard playing for bands like Yes, World Trade, Conspiracy and Circa to name a pair of his band appearances. This is the second album under his own moniker.

Unsurprising if you knew what Billy had done before, it is impossible not to draw strong parallels to Yes, for the uninitiated it could just as well have been an album by yes. It is very similar in style and vocal performance; melodic and progressive rock music with pretty good vocals. Billy does everything himself on this album and he doesn’t really surprise anyone with what he does. The album isn’t much varied and the tempo is often a bit on the low side, I think that can lead to it feeling both long and perhaps also a tad on the dull side. The sound is very good, quite flawless so you can fault the craftsmanship just the artistry.

It is an okay album to listen to as a background, it is probably better than hearing the neighbours making all kinds of annoying noises when writing the reviews. But it isn’t really an album that stands up well when you really listen to it, the songs are often slow and they are a bit boring – but most of all they feel uninspired and aren’t very interesting from the creative standpoint. In a way it almost seems like something left over from Billy’s regular bands, the scrap they decided not to record for their albums that Billy brought and released his own stuff of uninspired B-sides or something like that. It may seem a bit harsh perhaps especially as recycling is a good way to save resources that is dwindling in our world. The problem with recycling music though, is that it uses resources and as they make physical copies of it there is a fair deal of resources spent on this rather pointless release – that is not a good use of the world’s resources.

But it isn’t really because it is a waste of resources I find this album to be an unrecommended album, it is just too boring and too uninteresting to really bother with. It feels like anyone can make better use of his or her time than listening to this album, an album of tired Yes copies cannot be described as the most interesting album ever devised.





Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Yes/Conspiracy/Circa
Rating: HHHHHHH (3/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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