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Sheehan, Billy: Cosmic Troubadour

Known more for his thundering bass-playing ability than for his vocal talents, Billy Sheehan nevertheless shows off both on his second solo album, Cosmic Troubadour. Once you get used to Sheehan's slightly thin yet rather mesmerizing voice on a half-dozen of the 15 songs here, this album becomes a more enjoyable listening experience. The sound of "Back in the Day" hearkens to the era it evokes, as does "The Lift" - especially its New Wave intro - and "Toss It On the Flame" borders on blues-metal. The tunes with vocals are strategically placed between and around the instrumentals, giving Cosmic Troubadour more of a traditional album vibe.

As expected, those instrumentals shine, from the pulsating darkness of "The Suspense Is Killing Me" to the gurgling electronics of "Dreams of Discontent" to the bass-heavy jazz inflections of "Don't Look Down" and "Long Walk Home" to the King Crimson-meets-Rush polyrhythms of bonus track "A Million Tears Ago." Through it all, Sheehan (playing all instruments save drums) continues his pursuit of innovative yet accessible melodies and arrangements. He never comes across as bored, and thanks to his flirting with electronic programming and his refusal to never stop moving musically, he actually sounds relevant. Cosmic troubadour, indeed.

Track Listing
1) Toss It On the Flame
2) Back in the Day
3) The Suspense Is Killing Me
4) From the Backseat
5) Don't Look Down
6) Something She Said
7) Dreams of Discontent
8) Dig A Hole
9) Taj
10) The Lift
11) A Tower in the Sky
12) Long Walk Home
13) Indisputable Truth
14) Hope
15) A Million Tears Ago (Bonus Track)

Added: February 9th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official Billy Sheehan Web Site
Hits: 2470
Language: english

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