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Thread: Arc Of Life, new band featuring Davison, Schellen, Sherwood, Kerzner and Haun

  1. #451
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    Hey guys. I'll be joining Billy and friends at the Alan White tribute concert this weekend in Seattle. If any of you are going and see me come say hi! I'll be performing some Yes music paying homage to Alan and also, for me, to Chris as well. That rhythm section was really powerful. Nothing like it really. Chris and Alan. I never really knew them. Just met them a few times but I always appreciated their immense sound on albums like Tales of Topographic Oceans, Going For The One, Drama and 90125.
    Many of us are fans of the Bruford/Squire rhythm section, but there's no denying Chris and Alan had a highly tuned musical telepathy. I can't think of one time they were out of sync with each other.

    I can't make the tribute, but I hope you get a good crowd, Dave!
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  2. #452
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    Alan was one of those drummers, who I would compare to Ringo.
    Not flashy, never over the top tom runs, or having a drum set that needs it's own semi.
    He just knew how to play what fit a song, to make it better without being overpowering or draw attention to himself.

    I always loved the closeups of his face(concert DVDs) where he'd get this squished up look of concentration, as though he was in pain...loved it.
    He added so much to Yes, we miss him terribly.

    I agree, the Squire/White combo was incredible.
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  3. #453
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    I am not sure how to exactly describe what I am thinking/hearing, but what is the “effect”, for lack of a better term, that Billy seems to always do to his voice in the studio on his multitude of projects? I didn’t notice it on The Quest though.

    I think it takes something away from his vocals.

    YMMV

  4. #454
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrw View Post
    I am not sure how to exactly describe what I am thinking/hearing, but what is the “effect”, for lack of a better term, that Billy seems to always do to his voice in the studio on his multitude of projects? I didn’t notice it on The Quest though.

    I think it takes something away from his vocals.

    YMMV
    I don't actually know offhand what effects he uses mainly because I can't bring myself to listen long enough to make an assessment. However, there has been a fair amount of discussion on that topic here. He definitely likes to use a lot of processing on his vocals, and I count myself among those who think it severely detracts from the music. The odd thing is, his voice sounds just fine without all that goop. Perhaps it's simply that *he* doesn't care much for his own unprocessed voice.

  5. #455
    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    The odd thing is, his voice sounds just fine without all that goop. Perhaps it's simply that *he* doesn't care much for his own unprocessed voice.
    I agree, and I think that might be why he puts so much processing on his own vocal tracks.
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  6. #456
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    I agree, and I think that might be why he puts so much processing on his own vocal tracks.
    Yeah, you're absolutely right. For me, overtuned/overprocessed vocals are the reason I don't enjoy Fly From Here Return Trip as much as the original.
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  7. #457
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    Quote Originally Posted by Czyszy View Post
    Yeah, you're absolutely right. For me, overtuned/overprocessed vocals are the reason I don't enjoy Fly From Here Return Trip as much as the original.
    I don't think Trevor Horn's vocals on Return Trip are overtuned and overprocessed at all...I just don't hear that...but.....
    that being said, I agree, I love Benoit David's vocals on Fly from Here, and prefer it over Trevor Horn. But they're both enjoyable albums for me.
    Last edited by Top Cat; 10-01-2022 at 08:15 AM.
    Soundcloud page: Richard Hermans, musical meanderings https://soundcloud.com/precipice Bandcamp: https://richardhermans.bandcamp.comYouTube: https://youtu.be/F34jl6fQVmA

  8. #458
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    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    I don't think Trevor Horn's vocals on Return Trip are overtuned and overprocessed at all...I just don't hear that...but.....
    that being said, I agree, I love Benoit David's vocals on Fly from Here, and prefer it over Trevor Horn. But they're both enjoyable albums for me.
    I agree. I don't hear any damaging overprocessing of vocals on Return Trip. (I prefer that version in fact.)
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  9. #459
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koreabruce View Post
    I don't actually know offhand what effects he uses mainly because I can't bring myself to listen long enough to make an assessment. However, there has been a fair amount of discussion on that topic here. He definitely likes to use a lot of processing on his vocals, and I count myself among those who think it severely detracts from the music. The odd thing is, his voice sounds just fine without all that goop. Perhaps it's simply that *he* doesn't care much for his own unprocessed voice.
    Billy’s vocals were much better on The Quest than any of his other recent output.
    Last edited by jrw; 10-01-2022 at 11:52 PM. Reason: Typo

  10. #460
    I prefer less processing on vocals too personally... generally speaking I mean (unless it suits the song). I did a cool effect on my new album The Traveler on disc 2 of the special edition where I ran it through distortion and a flanger. I think it came out pretty cool! Here check it out https://sonicelements.bandcamp.com/t...-pt8-this-time But, usually I go for a more natural vocal sound that's maybe doubled at times. However, that's when I'm the engineer/producer. I'm not for Arc of Life so I have nothing to do with those decisions. I do like Billy's natural voice though. Like anyone some songs suit the singer better than others.
    For my solo albums Dave Kerzner and my bands/projects In Continuum, Sonic Elements, Mantra Vega, Squids Out To Sea and more go to: http://sonicelements.bandcamp.com Sound of Contact available on Inside Out Arc of Life on Frontiers

  11. #461
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    I don't think Trevor Horn's vocals on Return Trip are overtuned and overprocessed at all...I just don't hear that...but.....
    that being said, I agree, I love Benoit David's vocals on Fly from Here, and prefer it over Trevor Horn. But they're both enjoyable albums for me.
    Agreed, I don't hear any overprocessing on Horn's vocals there either.
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  12. #462
    New Arc of Life album comes out tomorrow. https://orcd.co/arcoflifenew
    For my solo albums Dave Kerzner and my bands/projects In Continuum, Sonic Elements, Mantra Vega, Squids Out To Sea and more go to: http://sonicelements.bandcamp.com Sound of Contact available on Inside Out Arc of Life on Frontiers

  13. #463
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    Argh, it just took me 10 minutes to reset my password - that stupid verification image is impossible to see clearly (Perhaps due to colourblindness!).

    I'm just listening to this new record on Apple music, and it's pretty good. Enjoying it a lot. I'll be popping into my local city centre later, so I might see I can find the physical release.

  14. #464
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    I've just had this on Spotify a couple of times and sadly, for me, it's more of the same. I'm afraid I just can't get on with how Billy structures his songs. Each track is like five different songs vying for attention.

  15. #465
    I have just listened to the new album. Some first reactions! Subject to change! I enjoyed it much more than the first album, but then I really didn't think much of the first album...

    It is very like a lot of other CIRCA:/Prog Collective/Billy Sherwood solo releases. There's this bit where the instruments drop out leaving just a heavily processed vocal... yep, heard that trick lots of times before from Sherwood. Oh, there it is again. What is the point of this album? Why does it exist? That's a question I find myself asking more of new releases as I get older. This is another 6 songs from Billy Sherwood. You can add them to the 7 songs from Billy Sherwood released on the latest Prog Collective album earlier this month. These new 6 songs, they're OK, there's nothing terrible, no "You Make It Real", no "Mystery Tour", but the album finished playing a few minutes ago and I can barely remember anything about it. The last song is longer than usual... but it doesn't do anything interesting with its 18 minute run time!

    If the purpose of an Arc of Life album is to bring together the talents of Davison, Sherwood, Haun, Schellen and Kerzner to make something greater than the sum of its parts, that sounds interesting. I hope that can happen with the third album. But Don't Look Down isn't that, and it hasn't communicated to me what its point is. I will listen further, maybe it will.

    (If you want a recent album from Sherwood, I think the best one of late was CIRCA:'s Valley of the Windmill, followed by the Prog Collective's Worlds on Hold. If you want some good Jon Davison appearances, try The Samurai of Prog's Lost and Found, Mogador's Chaptersend or In Continuum's Acceleration Theory Part One: AlienA. If you want some interesting Jimmy Haun work, try finding a (digital) copy of Jon Anderson's Sunlight.)

    OK, I've just put on the last song again. Echoey vocals chanting the band name... heard that before in CIRCA:. Wobbly guitar crash and shift into a processed vocal over a driving bass line. That's a signature Sherwood move. Instruments drop out leaving just the vocal, then instruments return: see comments above. The song waxes and wanes, stops and starts, but I don't get a sense of progression.
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  16. #466
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post
    I have just listened to the new album. Some first reactions! Subject to change! I enjoyed it much more than the first album, but then I really didn't think much of the first album...

    It is very like a lot of other CIRCA:/Prog Collective/Billy Sherwood solo releases. There's this bit where the instruments drop out leaving just a heavily processed vocal... yep, heard that trick lots of times before from Sherwood. Oh, there it is again. What is the point of this album? Why does it exist? That's a question I find myself asking more of new releases as I get older. This is another 6 songs from Billy Sherwood. You can add them to the 7 songs from Billy Sherwood released on the latest Prog Collective album earlier this month. These new 6 songs, they're OK, there's nothing terrible, no "You Make It Real", no "Mystery Tour", but the album finished playing a few minutes ago and I can barely remember anything about it. The last song is longer than usual... but it doesn't do anything interesting with its 18 minute run time!

    If the purpose of an Arc of Life album is to bring together the talents of Davison, Sherwood, Haun, Schellen and Kerzner to make something greater than the sum of its parts, that sounds interesting. I hope that can happen with the third album. But Don't Look Down isn't that, and it hasn't communicated to me what its point is. I will listen further, maybe it will.

    (If you want a recent album from Sherwood, I think the best one of late was CIRCA:'s Valley of the Windmill, followed by the Prog Collective's Worlds on Hold. If you want some good Jon Davison appearances, try The Samurai of Prog's Lost and Found, Mogador's Chaptersend or In Continuum's Acceleration Theory Part One: AlienA. If you want some interesting Jimmy Haun work, try finding a (digital) copy of Jon Anderson's Sunlight.)

    OK, I've just put on the last song again. Echoey vocals chanting the band name... heard that before in CIRCA:. Wobbly guitar crash and shift into a processed vocal over a driving bass line. That's a signature Sherwood move. Instruments drop out leaving just the vocal, then instruments return: see comments above. The song waxes and wanes, stops and starts, but I don't get a sense of progression.
    That's a good summary, I agree with it. I enjoyed listening to it, but when I'd finished found nothing memorable as well.
    I did find a lot better than the first one. I'll probably give it a spin again - I was working when it was on and found it didn't distract me from what I was doing!

    I couldn't find the CD in bricks and mortar shop, but when I went to Amazon to buy I got distracted and bought something else instead. :-)

  17. #467
    Album Release Day! Here's the info.

    The new Arc Of Life Rock Band album is out! Arc Of Life, featuring members of YES (official) and Sound of Contact: vocalist Jon Davison, bassist/vocalist Billy Sherwood, drummer Jay Schellen, keyboardist Dave Kerzner, and guitarist Jimmy Haun, have released their new album, "Don't Look Down"! Available to stream or purchase a physical copy now. https://orcd.co/arcoflifenew
    For my solo albums Dave Kerzner and my bands/projects In Continuum, Sonic Elements, Mantra Vega, Squids Out To Sea and more go to: http://sonicelements.bandcamp.com Sound of Contact available on Inside Out Arc of Life on Frontiers

  18. #468
    Quote Originally Posted by bondegezou View Post

    If the purpose of an Arc of Life album is to bring together the talents of Davison, Sherwood, Haun, Schellen and Kerzner to make something greater than the sum of its parts, that sounds interesting. I hope that can happen with the third album. But Don't Look Down isn't that, and it hasn't communicated to me what its point is. I will listen further, maybe it will.
    You're very intelligent Henry and I'm always interested to hear what you have to say. When you mention the band's purpose and put it that way you make a good point. It's true we haven't yet taken full advantage of what this blend of musicians and songwriters could do together. We didn't all get together to make a band from scratch. The purpose of Arc of Life initially was for there to be a new band and creative outlet for songs Billy and Jon wrote together while on tour with Yes that was different than songs they wrote for Yes albums like The Quest. We were going to then make a second album written together as a band but the pandemic made it hard for us to get together so the second album was done in a very similar way as the first album (but happens to be "proggier" than the first for those who like longer songs and various instrumental bits). Billy is the main songwriter, the band leader, one of the two lead singers, bassist/multi-instrumentalist and producer/engineer so it has his creative stamp on it more than anyone else that's true. And, I think it's fair to say that if someone is a fan of his other projects and albums then they'll love this.

    It'll definitely be fun and interesting if both I and the other guys can contribute more in songwriting, arrangements and/or production moving forward. I don't push it. I was invited into their band after they already got it going and they asked me to be their keyboard player which I'm happy to be live and in the studio. But, eventually the purpose of the band may evolve into being the best of what these 5 people can do together in collaboration. It'll surely change the sound. I like that kind of evolution in a band.
    For my solo albums Dave Kerzner and my bands/projects In Continuum, Sonic Elements, Mantra Vega, Squids Out To Sea and more go to: http://sonicelements.bandcamp.com Sound of Contact available on Inside Out Arc of Life on Frontiers

  19. #469
    Member Paulrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squids View Post
    The purpose of Arc of Life initially was for there to be a new band and creative outlet for songs Billy and Jon wrote together while on tour with Yes that was different than songs they wrote for Yes albums like The Quest.
    So an album of music that's proggier than what was on the first AoL album was considered not appropriate for Yes?
    I'm holding out for the Wilson-mixed 5.1 super-duper walletbuster special anniversary extra adjectives edition.

  20. #470
    Quote Originally Posted by Paulrus View Post
    So an album of music that's proggier than what was on the first AoL album was considered not appropriate for Yes?
    I was actually referring to the first album in terms of what the purpose of the band was. It was to have a home for that material. But, also, I didn't use the word "appropriate". I said "different" songs than the ones they wrote for Yes... and I don't even mean "different sounding", I mean a different group of songs they'e allocated for Yes vs. another project.

    I don't claim to know what their process is of choosing which songs from of each of the members of Yes go into their albums as I'm not privy to such info and I wasn't there. But, I do know the other side which is that Billy and Jon had an abundance of songs initially for the first Arc of Life album that weren't going to be on a Yes album (for whatever their reasons were) so they created Arc of Life as a vehicle for that material. Once the new band existed, the plan was to get together and write as a band. However, since the pandemic messed that up, Billy wrote most of the second record so that we could follow up with an album sooner than later and not make people have to wait several more years. What Billy wants to write for a Yes album vs. an Arc of Life album is, of course, his choice. His and perhaps the other guys in Yes if they're presented with any of them. I'm sure it's the same for any of the other members who have solo albums or side project bands.
    For my solo albums Dave Kerzner and my bands/projects In Continuum, Sonic Elements, Mantra Vega, Squids Out To Sea and more go to: http://sonicelements.bandcamp.com Sound of Contact available on Inside Out Arc of Life on Frontiers

  21. #471
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    This new album is evocative of classic Yes in many ways, from the sound of Jon’s voice to many of the instrumental voicings and vocal harmonic structures. Perhaps they didn’t want to do that within Yes (official) itself, as it might seem like relying too much on past glory, as being a nostalgia grab, or just not being sufficiently forward-looking. Or maybe there just wasn’t enough room on Disk 1 of The Quest for any more non-Howe material.

    Whether the songs themselves have any staying power, we’ll time will tell.

    In any case, I bought it, I like it, and I’m happy to support all five of these guys in their work.
    "I have not yet begun to procrastinate."

  22. #472
    Mod or rocker? Mocker. Frumious B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
    This new album is evocative of classic Yes in many ways, from the sound of Jon’s voice to many of the instrumental voicings and vocal harmonic structures. Perhaps they didn’t want to do that within Yes (official) itself, as it might seem like relying too much on past glory, as being a nostalgia grab, or just not being sufficiently forward-looking. Or maybe there just wasn’t enough room on Disk 1 of The Quest for any more non-Howe material.

    Whether the songs themselves have any staying power, we’ll time will tell.

    In any case, I bought it, I like it, and I’m happy to support all five of these guys in their work.
    But go back to the old Yes records like The Yes Album and listen to how snappy and clean they sound. You can clearly hear every instrument and voice. Every element is doing something interesting, has purpose and totally justifies its existence in the mix with nothing wasted, and always brimming with warmth and humanity.
    "It was a cruel song, but fair."-Roger Waters

  23. #473
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frumious B View Post
    But go back to the old Yes records like The Yes Album and listen to how snappy and clean they sound. You can clearly hear every instrument and voice. Every element is doing something interesting, has purpose and totally justifies its existence in the mix with nothing wasted, and always brimming with warmth and humanity.
    All true. Nor does it contradict anything in my comment -- which centers on the word "evocative," and does not attempt to compare quality or merit -- so thanks.
    "I have not yet begun to procrastinate."

  24. #474
    This album is an improvement over the first one. Billy's "Squire-ish" songwriting style is on full display here. It's an aspect of the Yes world that could have been more present on the Quest, so it's nice to hear it here.

    My only musical critique is similar to The Quest, which is that Davison's vocal cadence often seems stilted. It's like someone speaking but putting the emphasis on the wrong words in their sentences--you can still get the meaning, but it sounds awkward. It's a consistent thing with him, so I guess that's his style.

    As ever, I don't care for Billy's mixing style and really wish he would find someone else to do his mixes. Going back to the first Circa album and The Big Peace, there's a consistent thuddy boominess in the low end and hollowness in the vocal midrange area that are off-putting and make his mixes sound thin and lifeless. And yes, all the vocal processing goop on Billy's voice. I think people's opinions of Billy music would be a lot more favorable if it was better mixed.

  25. #475
    Quote Originally Posted by rdclark View Post
    Or maybe there just wasn’t enough room on Disk 1 of The Quest for any more non-Howe material.

    In any case, I bought it, I like it, and I’m happy to support all five of these guys in their work.
    Thanks for buying it. Btw, just because this band and album shares members with Yes doesn't mean any of the songs were supposed to be for The Quest. The same people who are in one band can write specifically for a different band's album. It may not be what first comes to mind but that's actually the most likely thing. That said, I don't know what material was offered to Yes or not. Just saying that despite there being common band members it is a separate thing.
    For my solo albums Dave Kerzner and my bands/projects In Continuum, Sonic Elements, Mantra Vega, Squids Out To Sea and more go to: http://sonicelements.bandcamp.com Sound of Contact available on Inside Out Arc of Life on Frontiers

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