WORLD TRADE - Unify (Review)

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World Trade
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I like the idea of World Trade. The debut was a bit of a prog-AOR classic, but I can barely recall the second release. Unify is #3 and their first with Frontiers.
You’d expect the lineup of Billy Sherwood (bass and lead vocals) along with Unruly Child's Bruce Gowdy – guitars and Guy Allison – keyboards and session superstar Mark T. Williams – drums, would hands down nail it without even thinking. But not so.
This album is just untidy. The production is really quite hollow with almost no drum sound – it’s all keyboards and bass, plus I’m struggling to appreciate Billy Sherwood’s vocals. They sound unnatural and quite strained compared to past efforts.
An appreciation of progressive music is not the issue here. I love a lot of prog-AOR/melodic rock – especially the new Threshold, which is in high rotation.
The main issue here (besides the sound) is the lack of great songs. I simply don’t think many of these go anywhere. The title track Unity is an improvement and the track that follows For The Fallen is ok too.
Lifeforce and the opening track The New Norm are good examples of a decent idea poorly executed. There’s just no flow within the songs.

Dedicated prog fans might get something more out of this, but I will defer to my popular recent conclusion – that is with a crowded marketplace, any album that doesn’t stand out is going to get lost and this is one of those albums.
Unlikely I’ll ever play this again now the review process has finished. I really didn’t get any enjoyment from it.