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Prog Collective — Worlds on Hold
(Purple Pyramid CLO2153, 2021, CD / 2LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2021-07-29

Worlds on Hold Cover art

OK, I’ll admit that I just don’t get it. The Prog Collective is a kind of ad hoc “supergroup” that seems to be basically Billy Sherwood getting as many well-known musicians to take guest spots as he can. He’s got the connections, so the list is long: Todd Rundgren, Geoff Tate, Jon Davidson, Patrick Moraz, Jan Akkerman, Sonja Kristina, L. Shankar, Steve Hillage, Arjen Anthony Lucassen, Roine Stolt, Derek Sherrinian, Steve Hackett, Graham Bonnet, Martin Barre, David Clayton-Thomas, John Wetton, Alan White, Tony Kaye, David Johansen, and so on. Each of them shows up on one track with very few exceptions, so this is by no means a “supergroup” by the conventional definition. Half of the album at hand consists of “original” songs, and I put the word in quotes because originality isn’t the intention here. These six tunes are intended to sound like latter-day Yes, and they do, despite the presence of musicians from other bands. As the album title implies, there are references to the worldwide Covid pandemic, but there are no profound observations. The other seven tracks are covers of well-known songs by Peter Gabriel (“Solsbury Hill”), Procol Harum (“A Whiter Shade of Pale”), Alan Parsons (“Eye in the Sky”), The Moody Blues (“Nights in White Satin”), The Beatles (“Penny Lane”), Boston (“More Than a Feeling”), and The Doors (“People Are Strange”). Each of them is done in essentially the same pseudo-Yes style as the other tracks, with a few nods to the original versions, but none of them really bring anything new to the game, so unless you’re really hankering to hear Roine Stolt sing “Solsbury Hill” or Graham Bonnet sing “A Whiter Shade of Pale” there’s probably not much appeal. Like I said, I just don’t get why such a thing as Worlds on Hold needs to exist. If you do, you’re welcome to listen to it as often as you like, just don’t foist it on me.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Hackett, Roine Stolt, John Wetton, Sonja Kristina Linwood, Todd Rundgren, Alan White, Tony Kaye, Steve Hillage / System 7, Martin Barre, Patrick Moraz, Jan Akkerman, Billy Sherwood, L. Shankar, Arjen Anthony Lucassen (Ayreon), Various Artists, Prog Collective

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