Billy Sherwood – Citizen (Frontiers)

Genre: Progressive Rock/Melodic Rock

As a permanent Yes man (Sherwood is back in the fold full-time following the tragic passing of bass player Chris Squire earlier this year) it’s perhaps little wonder that Citizen is a record rich in progressive twists and melodic turns.

Underpinned by a deep concept it is, nevertheless, a surprisingly accessible piece of work complemented by a who’s who of rock royalty. This is like Sherwood’s take on Dr Who – the 11 songs chart the journey of a time-travelling nomad reincarnated as various figures through history.

If it sounds complicated then it is. Characters include a World War One trench runner, an assistant to Charles Darwin and a member of a native American tribe. Yet somehow Sherwood pulls it off: the music is consistently sublime.

The title track – featuring the late Squire’s last studio performance – benefits from a blistering burst of Hammond organ and benefits from rangy classic rock roots. A surprise package and one of the picks of 2015.

RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 First Class Citizen