Conspiracy - The Unknown

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Inside Out
Catalog Number: IOMCD 128
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:36:00

Some albums are so good, you can write a book about them, while others are so bad, you hardly know what to write about. With the collaboration of Chris Squire (Yes) and Billy Sherwood (ex-Yes, World Trade), in the form of Conspiracy, I have a dilemma. In 2000 they released their first, self-titled album, which featured some alternate versions of Yes songs, including the track "The More We Live," which was written by Squire and included on the Union album. The second release, The Unknown, is also very good, but sounds too much like Yes. Still, not a surprise, as both Sherwood and Squire admit Conspiracy is a sort of spin-off of Yes. So here we have a good album, but with a very known sound and no surprises ...

Despite the fact that both Squire and Sherwood are highly talented musicians, they have one disadvantage: Just like Jon Anderson, Squire is somewhat synonymous with Yes, because of his voice and of his bass sound. This combined with multi instrumentalist and producer Billy Sherwood, who also has a considerable history in Yes, both on record and behind the scenes, results in a very accessible album, with infectious melodies, great vocals and solid compositions without many solos, but a constant quality in the songs. Out of all the tracks on the album, the title track "The Unknown" is my favourite, as it has a slightly different sound with accompanying acoustic guitar as well as a some nice solos by Billy Sherwood. This track shows they can also compose original songs, without the familiar Yes sound being in it.

Although The Unknown is mostly more of the same, I find it a very pleasant album to listen to. It also showed some progression, as there are no Yes related songs on the album, but unfortunately the familiar Yes sound is still present, although not in all songs. For Yes fans, this album should be a blind purchase, but I think it will also appeal to a wider audience. Hopefully the next Conspiracy album will show even more of the composing skills of Squire and Sherwood, breaking away from the Yes label. After all, it's their Conspiracy ...

Released in North America by the now defunct InsideOut Music America (IOMA 2060-2)

[This review originally appeared August 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]
Conspiracy (5:05) / Confess (4:37) / New World (7:22) / ? A World Away (5:48) / There Is No End (5:15) / The Wheel (5:27) / Premonitions (4:10) / The Unknown (11:21) / Bonus Track: I Could (4:22)

Chris Squire - bass, vocals
Billy Sherwood - vocals, guitar
Jay Schellen - drums

Conspiracy (2000)
The Unknown (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: December 8th 2004
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 809
Language: english


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