Prog Collective, The - Worlds On Fire,
Billy Sherwood is back with the third album under the Prog Collective banner, the first since 2013’s ‘Epilogue’, and again it follows a similar pattern in that he has invited in loads of guests to help out so we have performances from the likes of odd Rundgren, Derek Sherinian, Jan Akkerman, Steve Hackett, Steve Hillage, Patrick Moraz, Sonja Kristina, Joe Lynn Turner, L. Shankar, Arjen Anthony Lucassen, Roine Stolt, Graham Bonnet, David Johansen and others. While the original concept may have been to work in a similar fashion to Alan Parsons in the Seventies we get something that is many ways is a pastiche and certainly adds nothing to the original. Sherwood is an outstanding bassist who has made important contributions to many bands, but for the first half of this release it just feels like musicians are going through the motions and putting in sections which are “prog” without having any heart and soul.
But at least for the first half it is traditional material, as the second half sees them work their way through a host of covers which seem somewhat pointless. Okay, so I must admit I enjoyed John Wetton’s take on “Penny Lane”, but why we needed “More Than A Feeling” (Alan White, Tony Kaye & Billy Sherwood) or “Nights In White Satin” (David Clayton-Thomas & Geoff Downes) us beyond me. It reminds me a great deal of the rather pointless Magna Carta tribute compilations which came out in the 90’s. Massively polished, over produced, this is not something I can see myself readily returning to.