Tuesday, April 7, 2015

CD Review: Prog-Rock Legend John Wetton Releases 2CD Anthology Within A "New York Minute"

As the lead singer of such iconic rock bands as Asia, King Crimson and UK, John Wetton has had an amazing career, but it's his studio work that is the subject of the latest release from Cherry Red Records. The "John Wetton Anthology Volume 1: The Studio Recordings" is a two-disc set which was released last month. It gathers 32 of Wetton's best known solo songs that features help from some fellow bandmates like Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Steve Hackett (Genesis) and Geoff Downes (Asia, Yes) just to name a few. The first disc begins with the lead-in instrumental "The Circle Of St. Giles" that flows into the pop/rock feel of "The Last Thing On My Mind." His 1994 release "Hold Me Now" has an emotional tone to it, before rocking out on "Where Do We Go From Here" and "Another Twist Of The Knife." His 2011 album "Raised In Captivity" gets represented with the heavy metal/prog-rock feel of "Lost For Words," then glides into the intense lyrics of "Archangel." The first disc closes with the adult contemporary soft rock of "Woman" and the wonderful acoustic strumming of the folk sounding "Real World."
The second disc starts out strong with the eighties synthesizer driven "Heart Of Darkness" from Wetton's 2001 album "Sinister." The tempo slows down quickly with "Cold In The Night" and "You're Not The Only One," before showcasing his prog-rock prowess in "Raised In Captivity." He gives off a Celtic vibe with "Steffi's Ring," then showcases his supreme songwriting on the six-minute "Take Me Down" and the emotional "Rock Of Faith." The second disc finishes this set with the acoustic, angelic tone of "Emma" and "After All." To find out more about the "John Wetton Anthology," please visit cherryred.co.uk.
Also new from John Wetton is his latest live album entitled "New York Minute." It features John performing many of his favorite influenced songs backed by the Les Paul Trio in an intimate jazzier setting. The nine songs that make up this recording is a mix of sixties, seventies and eighties classics that get stripped down to the core allowing John Wetton to inject his feelings into the lyrics. Beginning with Steely Dan's "Do It Again," the song places a lot of focus on Wetton's voice which is still warming up and sounds sweeter during Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin On." His take on Blind Faith's "Can't Find My Way Home" is one of the best songs on the album as he matches Steve Winwood's innocent delivery. The Beatles' "Lady Madonna" seems out of place amongst the ballads surrounding it, before closing with his own "Battle Lines." To find out more about John Wetton's latest release "New York Minute," please visit cherryred.co.uk.

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