Title - 'Divided By One'
Artist - Billy Sherwood
For those not in the know, the highly renowned Billy Sherwood is a musician, record producer, and engineer. Mostly known for his time as a member of progressive rock band Yes (1997 to 2000), including for their albums Open Your Eyes (1997) and The Ladder (1999), he actually took a break from their front line for a while.
Thus, after acting as mixing engineer for their albums Heaven & Earth (2014) and Like It Is: Yes at the Bristol Hippodrome (and their two subsequent DVDs), he re-joined Yes in 2015, covering for original bassist Chris Squire who was on hiatus from the band due to health issues shortly before his death on June 27th, 2015.
Divided By One is the brand new, and seventh solo album from the prog rock bassist. I have to admit that I've been a fan of Sherwood's music for many a decade now. He’s an extremely prolific, multi-talented workaholic musician who is capable of doing just about anything that needs to be done in the process of creating a music album.
Among other things, he is a kick-ass performer and as much as I enjoy his output where he shows his technical abilities (his other solo album, At the Speed of Life was yet another brilliant record), the albums where he slows down and writes more laid-back, introspective and melodic material are actually my absolute favorites.
Not to say that this is a Doomsday album, but Divided By One does carry with it the ebb and flow of such an opus. The opening track, “On Impact” fairly paints such a scenario, but come the end and through the hipsway of chords of both guitar and bass, the promise of a new day is obviously looming. As the strings of the track gently flow away come its end, a recurring theme of sorts returns in “The Scene Comes Alive.” Locked back into the warmth of a psychedelia time gone by, and that then itself propels forward into the deeper storytelling journey of both "No Stone Unturned,” and the quiet paced “Between Us.”
Sherwood's unique take on such a world forthcoming continues onward with the title track, "Divided By One," a cut that offers layers-upon-layers, depth-within-depth, with regard its completely embraced construction. For my money, it is the true turning point of this entire album. The fast-paced, if you will, Yes-influenced tracks “Sequence of Events” and “Sphere of Influence” are then brought to the fore, with the human connect of "Here For You" backing them nicely. The incredible album then is drawn to a close with the head-turned-upward pondering of "Constellation Codex,” before we end with the profound "End of an Era” - a track that comes embroiled with a deep sense of long-hoped-for, and still-within-our-control, destiny.
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