Conspiracy

The Unknown

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    4
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Multi-instrumentalist/producer/engineer Billy Sherwood is known for his work with progressive rock bands such as Yes and World Trade. Essentially, he wears many hats. Here, Sherwood teams with legendary Yes bassist Chris Squire and others for the duo's second recorded collaboration. Ultimately, the musicians cultivate a broad studio sound, complete with phased voices, hard-hitting rhythms, swirling keyboard treatments, and more. They do draw a few parallels to Yes via their softly expressed vocal harmonies, although this recording suffers from a distinct sense of invariability, partly due to a glut of indistinctive compositions. However, the piece titled "The Wheel" is a slow moving yet powerfully stated dirge, awash with sinuous guitar licks and a big wall-of-sound backdrop. There are some choice moments where the musicians engage in heartening electro-acoustic frameworks, or when they implement hard-driving passages amid nicely articulated choruses. But it's the consistency of the often superfluous material that detracts from the overall listening experience.

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