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World Trade


Review by Gary Hill

There are many who claim that Billy Sherwood is nearly solely responsible for the song writing and arrangements on Yes' Open Your Eyes album. Listening to this album from him with his band World Trade, there are reasons to buy into this argument. Certainly the arrangements here call to mind that album many times. That said, this is a great prog album that brings in an accessibility and pop sensibility that prog is often missing. It should also be said that Chris Squire co-wrote and guests on two cuts on the disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2003 Year Book Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
One World Going Round
A brief intro of effects and percussion starts this, then a short blast of sound leads to a brief piano solo. An acoustic based melody that is appropriately quite Yesish comes in. This starts building up in an organic manner, feeling a lot like something from Yes' Open Your Eyes. The arrangement on this is fairly straightforward, but effective.
Dark Sky
A cool hard-edged, almost groove based riff starts this one, which feels aptly dark. The cut has a lot of electronics and a great arrangement. It gets quite hard rocking in texture at times, but overall has a rather stripped down presentation. An instrumental break is set on an intriguing off-kilter bass line and really adds a lot to the number.
The Evolution Song
This mellow one feels like something from Sting's Dream of Blue Turtles disc. It is one of the tracks on the CD that is both co-written by and features Chris Squire.
Golden Age
This quirky tune feels like a more hard-edged take on something The Buggles might have done. It is actually quite interesting.
In The Wake of the Storm
This one is one of the most blatantly OYE like songs on the CD. It starts with piano, then moves into a strong prog arrangement. The piece is accessible, you quite intriguing. It features a great arrangement both musically and vocally.
In Your Mind
This one is a pretty straightforward progish rocker, not really special, but entertaining nonetheless. It drops to weirdness to end.
Not the Only One
A balladic composition, this one is fairly generic - not bad, but nothing all that special. It gets a bit harder edged at times.
The title cut, this is one of the best pieces on the album. It is an energetic one that seems to contain elements both of modern prog and the classic variety. It even shows hints of Zeppelin and Rabin era Yes. The chorus is catchy and bass line is oh-so-Drama-era-Chris-Squire.
Say Goodbye
The other Chris Squire contribution to the CD, this is bouncy and rather pop oriented, but still has some strong prog leanings. It is an intriguing cut, particularly in the off-kilter arrangement. This one is really quite good, even if a bit understated. Segments here feel like Squire solo, and the later bridge is quite powerful. The guitar solo is rather metallic, but definitely strong.
One By One
This is an oddly textured brief round.
Wheels of Life
Dramatic keys begin this, then it drops to more electro popish keys before an accessible, halfway pop prog segment takes over and begins building up. The cut explodes for a time into a killer fast paced prog jam, then drops back in for a rather odd break. This plays through, then a new melodic and fairly triumphant sounding jam takes the cut, leading it into a short instrumental break with has some interesting textures. Next a rather Howeish guitar solo ensues and the cut evolves from there. This one kind of keeps reworking and eventually another round type segment emerges. This is a standout number.
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