Friday, July 22, 2011

JOHN WETTON: "Raised In Captivity"

Rating: 6/10

Label: Frontiers 2011

Review by Alan Holloway

My only real experience of John Wetton has been through the group Asia, who delight and bore e in equal measure depending on what album I listen to. It’s no surprise, then, that his latest solo album (co written with Billy Sherwood), has moments of joy and at other times threatens to put me into a coma.

It all starts off rather well, with the upbeat and catchy “Lost For Words”, a track which would certainly fit in well with Asia’s set list, as indeed would the title track, which veers off into a more creative direction but retains it’s fire quite well. “the Last Night of My Life” is more akin to Yes than anything else, as is “The Human Condition“, “The biggest drawback here are some of the slower tracks, although “Goodbye Elsinore” has a simple chorus that is simply a delight to sing along to. “Steffi’s Ring” is a bit of a snore fest, whilst duet “Mighty Rivers” finishes off the album and my patience at the same time. In fact, the second half of the album is pretty tame, saved only by the injection of pace that is “New Star Rising”, which mainly serves to make the tracks around it look like pensioners at a race meeting.

When “Raised In Captivity” works, it works rather well, with some rocky tracks and others that weave an interesting and entertaining web of prog, pop and rock that is fun to try and unravel. When it’s dull, it’s dull to the point of a man telling you about trains, and not even interesting trains at that. With that said, it’spar for the course for this sort of album, and there will no doubt be many Wetton fans who will thoroughly enjoy what he has served up. Bear in mind my mark is from someone who like his prog to have a bit of bite to it, and even then there’s still enough bite here to enjoy.


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