Exposé Online banner

Billy Sherwood — Divided by One
(Cherry Red , 2014, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2016-06-26

Divided by One Cover art

I assume Billy Sherwood doesn’t believe in vacations. When he’s not producing albums for other musicians (or William Shatner!), masterminding tribute projects, or doing his part with Circa (and now Yes), he still finds time to make records for himself. He’s one of those one-man band wunderkind types who can play anything and knows his way around a recording studio. This release – his seventh since 1999’s The Big Peace – will be familiar to those who have followed his past efforts, continuing his penchant for blending lush, 80s-style arena rock with a prog rock edge that features bass and vocals heavily influenced by Billy’s mentor, Chris Squire. This time he delves a bit more deeply into space-y textures and mind-expanding sonic tableaus, best seen on songs like “Between Us,” “Here for You,” and “Constellation Codex.” Elsewhere the title track is itching to launch itself into a Brit-pop bounce and “Sphere of Influence” grooves along nicely, though I would have left the vocals off it. Speaking of, the main criticism leveled at Sherwood over the years is his singing. He acquits himself well here, and he clearly knows his limitations and how to work around them. But the few times when the Big Sound he favors falls away and he’s left alone singing are the weakest on the record. To be fair, the writing is actually pretty sharp this time around, and I can easily recommend Divided by One to existing fans as well as all those Yes-heads wondering, who is this new guy?


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Billy Sherwood

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Peter Garland - String Quartets – Exuberant, bright and energetic, these two string quartets performed by Apartment House ( a traditional line-up of two violins, viola and cello) manage to cover a few centuries’ worth of style while...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues