Talented bass player and prolific composer John Wetton (King Crimson, Uriah Heep, UK, Asia, et al) brings his sixth solo album Raised in Captivity on Frontiers Records. Helping Wetton are compatriots from past and present associations including Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Eddie Jobson (UK), Mick Box (Uriah Heep), Steve Hackett (Genesis), Steve Morse (Deep Purple), and Geoff Downes (Asia). While he's been balancing time with both UK and Asia activities, Raised in Captivity does not necessarily mimic either one. If anything it may be Asia in a more AOR melodic rock setting.
Actually quite a few songs kick on Raised in Captivity. Notably Lost for Words, Raised in Captivity, New Star Rising find Wetton and company deliver some fine, and at times heavier, melodic rock. Then there's more lighter fare airy ballad-like number with a folk side in Goodbye Elsinore and Steffi's Ring. Those hoping for more pop prog akin to Asia may find it on The Last Night of My Life or the anthem We Stay Together. More interesting is The Human Condition, a strong number that invokes nuances of prog and blues. At the end, Wetton is joined by Dutch singer Anneke Van Giersbergen (Agua de Annique, ex-The Gathering) for the symphonic rock of Mighty Rivers; it's both moving and uplifting.
The song mixture is eclectic, and some might call this work uneven in nature. But patient listening proves otherwise. My only complaint was with the length of some songs. Some go on and on like Eddie Rabbit's I Love a Rainy Night. By example, Lost for Words and Goodbye Elsinore could have had a 30 seconds to a minute dropped without injury to the song. Nevertheless, with Raised in Captivity, John Wetton proves once more his immense skill for creating good songs.
On his sixth solo album John Wetton once more impresses with his strong song composition, offering fine fare from melodic rock to prog to symphonic rock.
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