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World Trade: Unify
World Trade - Unify CD Album Review

World Trade: Unify

Melodic Progressive Rock
3.5/5.0

After a 22 year hiatus, Unify marks the return of melodic progressive rock band World Trade. The band was formed in 1989 by guitarist Bruce Gowdy and the ubiquitous musician, producer, and engineer Billy Sherwood (Yes, Asia, Yoso, Circa, et al) as bass player, vocalist, and principal songwriter. Unify, the band's third album, reunites them with the original line up that includes Guy Allison on keyboards and Mark Williams on drums.

World Trade Band Photo

World Trade

Having never heard any of the former albums, yet knowing Sherwood's musical background, I had some suspicions to the World Trade sound. It's essentially an amalgamation of Sherwood's collective experiences with the aforementioned bands, like Yes with a shot of Asia and Circa. Perhaps more narrowly, World Trade sounds like a hybrid doppelganger of Eighties Yes.

The music, the songs, within Unify are lightly technical, marginally ambitious, melodic progressive rock. The album is so subdued, subtle, and mild to nearly pass as elevator music or department store Muzak. The album lights along like an a flittering butterfly in a warm summer breeze. With some interest, you watch the butterfly wisp along with seemingly no sense of direction, but then the creature disappears in the wind and so does your interest. That's how I felt both times I listened to Unify. With one song I was there, with another song I wasn't, and after awhile everything ran together. I was trying to manufacture interest while at the same time wanting to get to the end. I'm not trying to be unkind here, merely honest. I found Unify a tedious listen.

But that's not to dispute the inherent talent that Sherwood and company have for songwriting, musicianship, or production, which is exceptional and to be applauded. While Unify wasn't my prog rock cup of tea, I think fans of melodic progressive rock in general will find the album appealing. Perhaps, with a few more spins, if I want to take the time, my interest will grow and my opinion change. You come to my site for honesty, and there you have it.



CraigHartranft.net - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

The Bottom Line

World Trade sounds like a hybrid doppelganger of Eighties Yes. While Unify wasn't my prog rock cup of tea, I think fans of melodic progressive rock in general will find the album appealing.

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