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CITIZEN - IN THE NEXT LIFE

Billy Sherwood

Crossover Prog


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Billy Sherwood Citizen - In The Next Life album cover
2.64 | 16 ratings | 4 reviews | 19% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2019

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Partisan (4:03)
2. Sophia (5:09)
3. Monet (3:34)
4. Skywriter (5:01)
5. We Shall Ride Again (4:49)
6. Via Hawking (5:19)
7. By Design (4:29)
8. Sailing the Seas (5:43)
9. Mata Hari (4:36)
10. Hold Quite (9:06)
11. Amazing Grace (Bonus Track) (2:54)

Total Time: 54:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Billy Sherwood / lead & backing vocals, performer, composer, production & mixing

Releases information

Artwork: Stan Decker

CD Frontiers Music SRL ‎- FR CD 962 (2019, Europe)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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BILLY SHERWOOD Citizen - In The Next Life ratings distribution


2.64
(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
12%
Good, but non-essential (31%)
31%
Collectors/fans only (38%)
38%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

BILLY SHERWOOD Citizen - In The Next Life reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
2 stars Billy Sherwood from Las Vegas Nevada is at it again. Sherwood is a Crossover Prog artist as a soloist, but has been involved in quite a few different bands over the years including several years with "Yes" and "Asia". Besides touring with Yes as a side musician during their "Talk" tour, he was involved with them during the "Open Your Eyes" and "The Ladder" albums and has replaced Chris Squire as the regular bassist after Squire's death. Squire asked him to keep Yes going before he passed. He also joined Asia after the death of John Wetton. Besides this, he has been involved in several other projects and also recording solo albums of which he has released twelve.

In July of 2019, Sherwood released his 12th album "Citizen ? In The Next Life". This album is the 2nd part of the album "Citizen" released in 2015. The main protagonist in Sherwood's Citizen concept is a time traveler who gives us his experiences through his eyes as he meets several important people through the history of the Earth, both real and fictional. This album is made up of 10 tracks and a bonus track with a total run-time of over 54 minutes.

Sherwood has always been kind of a hit or miss when it comes to albums. I have always considered "Open Your Eyes" as being one of Yes' worst albums, though I do love "The Ladder". He has had some pretty decent albums with some of his other projects, while others just seem to fall flat. He is considered a great instrumentalist and since he was picked by both Wetton and Squire to be their replacements, there is not doubt that he is talented. Unfortunately, that doesn't always translate to his albums.

The album begins with the track "The Partisan" which is about the rise and fall of Hitler. The song comes across quite straightforward and upbeat with a good mix of guitar and synth. "Sophia" is about the A.I. that was declared a citizen of Saudi Arabia. The track is more moderate but picks up speed on the choruses. The song has a mostly uninteresting melody and Sherwood's vocals are not always the best, sounding almost like they are processed, they have a tinny sound to them which can be a bit hard to take in big doses. "Monet" puts the citizen in the famous painter's shoes with the song talking about the beauty of the paintings he created. "We Shall Ride Again" is a lackluster song where the citizen takes on the personage of Wyatt Earp. At this point, the music is sounding too much the same as the music can't seem to match the concept, or at least the characters that he is trying to evoke. The album continues in this vein with a bunch of mostly uninteresting tracks that just seem flat.

The music is quite accessible with an overall soft rock sound to all of the tracks. There is definitely a pop sensibility to the album, and Sherwood's vocals sound like Peter Cetera's, but with a somewhat annoying edge to the bad harmonies that give everything a hollow and tinny sound. The music is pretty light weight with very little progressive traits. There is not a lot of passion in any of the songs and they get to where they sound too much the same. Sherwood has a knack for instrumentation and is definitely a decent bassist and guitarist, but this album proves that he should not be left alone to create an entire production on his own. The songs on the album just don't hold my interest and are pretty mediocre. The singing doesn't save anything either. Something with this type of concept brings about some high expectations, but all we end up with here is just several tracks that sound too much alike and are devoid of heart, sounding too processed and forced.

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Reviewer
3 stars 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.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Well, to my ears this is like a Yes - Open Your Eyes Volume 2. project. It is clear to hear from this album what Billy brings to the world of Yes. The album is not a stinker, but it shows that Billy is a strong team, supportive player and not a centre stage artist. So many times whilst listen ... (read more)

Report this review (#2301735) | Posted by Gary Preston | Saturday, December 28, 2019 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I'm not sure what sort of audience Billy is trying to reach here. I accept that musicians are free to create in more than one genre and an attempt to (gasp!) make money by creating something accessible to the masses makes sense for some artists. However, this doesn't sound like it would fit in on ... (read more)

Report this review (#2249366) | Posted by mosesfusion | Saturday, September 7, 2019 | Review Permanlink

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