VAR­I­OUS ARTISTS

Billy Sher­wood and friends pay homage to a prog le­gend’s finest mo­ments.

Prog - - The Musical Box - JS

It’s one thing be­ing bril­liant at play­ing an in­stru­ment, but if you want to get on in the mu­sic world, you also have to be able to get on with peo­ple. Billy Sher­wood is ev­i­dently both these things. Since his first stint with Yes in 1997, Sher­wood has since worked with any­one and ev­ery­one in the prog world and be­yond, and has now suc­ceeded Squire in the ever-re­volv­ing Yes line-up. And now he’s taken ad­van­tage of his thick con­tacts book to make this cov­ers al­bum with a celebrity cast, in homage to his old men­tor. Vo­cal­ists as con­trast­ing as Mar­il­lion’s Steve Hog­a­rth (tack­ling Squire solo high­light Hold Out Your Hand) and Re­nais­sance’s An­nie Haslam (croon­ing Tor­mato bal­lad On­ward) re­visit key Squire-cen­tric tracks. That hy­per­ac­tive Rick­en­backer bass sound is recre­ated with lov­ing at­ten­tion to sonic de­tail, and the re­sults re­mind you of just how many di­verse and in­tri­cate pieces of mu­sic it played a key role in. As such it’s a highly en­joy­able record; the only gripe is that, prob­a­bly be­cause of the un­der­stand­able rev­er­ence for Squire’s work, there are few new ap­proaches to the songs. Then again, was any­one ever go­ing to im­prove on ge­nius?

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