Young, John - No Commercial Value

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Heritage Records
Catalog Number: HR002
Format: CD
Total Time: 00:00:49

John Young's second solo CD release No Commerical Value is different from his first Life Underground, being instead a collection of instrumental compositions in the vein of Jonn Serrie, Tangerine Dream, Kevin Braheny, and other like artists. The album opens with a throbbing, bubbling beat over atmospheric washes while a high-toned keyboard sings soaring phrases. Appropriately enough this spacey tune is called "Asteroid." In fact, all of the album's twelve tracks have space-themed titles: "Voyager," "Ascent," "A Clearer Sky," Air Miles." Well, "Sapporo" might be stretching that definition a bit, but the Japanese city does occupy space, and I didn't specifically define what kind of space Young meant. "Voyager" is a delicate, light piece with a tinkling keyboard over humming synths in the background. Expansive in sound, very open. There are some light koto-like sounds in "Sapparo" that easily evoke the region.

My favourite piece is "Ascent," a piano and guitar piece, where keys also float across like flute. It starts with a calm and gentle guitar arpeggio that is repeated by the light piano notes. This would fit right in with the contemporary instrumental category of music. Because of the piano, I'm brought to mind of one my favourites, David Lanz. Young names as his influences as "Messrs. Moraz, Sakamoto, and Vangelis" thanking them for point him "in this direction."

"A Clearer Sky" sounded to me too synthesized, where the use of a drum machine became a bit too obvious. Colder sounding than the warmth of the other tracks. Like a cold, dry, and clear day in winter where there's enough static in your hair to power California for a week - which as I write this, is just about what we need. Although this still falls in the contemporary instrumental genre, it seems far too programmatic, falling somewhere closer to the electronic compositions of early Steve Roach. I think of Empetus especially, but anything before Roach delved into the more ethnic, and warmer, sounds that have been his interest of late. There are moments toward the end where I thought a bit of Craig Chaquico, but this time, not of his distinctive steel-stringed guitar, but of the rhythmic aspects of his style.

All in all this is a very nice CD, very relaxing and atmospheric. It's safe and not very daring, but is a good entry into a rather crowded field of spacey, electronic music.

Asteroid (3:57) / Voyager (4:28) / Chance Encounter (4:17) / Ascent (5:11) / A Clearer Sky (5:06) / Daybreak (3:01) / Corpus (4:12) / Bible White (3:20) / Whirl (4:04) / Araindi (4:31) / Air Miles (4:09) / Sapporo (3:15)

John Young - everything (it seems)

John Wetton - Battle Lines (1994)
Max Bacon - The Higher You Climb (1995)
Life - Cocoon (1997)
John Wetton - Arkangel (1997)
John Wetton - Live In Tokyo (1997)
Life Underground (1999)
Scientific Breakthrough (1999)
Youngwolf (cass only) (1999)
Qango - Live In The Hood (1999) Political Agenda (1999)
No Commercial Value (2000)
Instrumental Music (cassette only)
Greenslade - Large Afternoon (2000)
Cobra - Hungry For Vengeance (2000)
Urban Sprawl - Beyond The Bridges (2000)
John Wetton - Sinister (aka Welcome To Heaven (2000)) (2001)
Ethereal Energy (2001)
Chris Richardson - Dot.Com Explosion (CR is aka John Young) (2001)
Fish - Fellini Days (and FD bonus disk) (2001)
Greenslade - Live 2001 - The Full Edition (2002)
Fish - Fellini Nights (2002)
Ken Hensley & John Wetton - More Than Conquerors (2002)
John Wetton & Ken Hensley - One Way Or Another (2002)
Just One Day (promo EP) (2002)
Significance (2002)
John Wetton - John Wetton Fan Convention - An Evening With John Wetton (2002)
John Wetton - John Wetton Fan Convention - An Evening With John Wetton Unedited (2002)
Live! Allentown, PA July 20, 2002 (2002)
Bonnie Tyler With The City Of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra - Heart & Soul (2002)
The Shape Of Things To Come (2003)
John Wetton - Rock of Faith (2003)
Mammoth - Larger and Live (2003)
Live At The Classic Rock Society 2003 (2003)

Live At The Whitchurch Festival 6 Aug 2000 (VID) (2000)
Ken Hensley & John Wetton - More than Conquerors (DVD) (2002)
The John Wetton Fan Convention - The Official Convention Video (DVD) (2002)

Genre: Electronic

Origin UK

Added: February 20th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 522
Language: english


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