on September 3, 2011
The perspective and wisdom that comes with age and life experience combined with sheer, raw talent makes Raised In Captivity one of John Wetton's best solo albums. The album begins with a great shot of energy in the tracks Lost For Words and Raised In Captivity. The energy in this recording is offset perfectly by tracks such as Goodbye Elsinore, Steffi's Ring, and Don't Misunderstand Me. My personal favorite is The Devil And The Opera House, which is classic John Wetton. Other personal favorites include We Stay Together and The Last Night Of My Life. Unlike most rock singers his age, Mr. Wetton's voice gets better like a fine wine as is evident throughout the album. Overall, an excellent effort and well worth the purchase price.
on July 30, 2011
"Raised in Captivity" is the brand new solo album by British prog/melodic rock legend John Wetton ("Asia", "King Krimson"). With the members of "Asia" having joined the re-united "Yes" this summer, it seemed like an ideal opportunity for Wetton to revisit his solo career.
It has to be addressed that "Raised in captivity" leans more towards the progressive side of "Asia" than the melodic rock style of "Wetton/Downes-Icon". For that matter the album features an admirable cast of renowned musicians of the genre making guest appearances here: Steve Hackett, Steve Morse, Alex Machacek and Mick Box amongst others. Though undeniably a prog-rock album, the mood of "Raised in Captivity" lightens considerably after the fifth song, to a more anthemic rock approach, evident on songs like "Don't misunderstand me", "The devil and the opera house", and "Steffi's ring"; though fundamentally different in tempos and melodies they all feature extensive choruses with minimal instrumental support-these are the songs where John uncovers his ability.
Finally there is "Mighty Rivers" which opens in ballad fashion and develops into a symphonic apocalypse-the song is actually a duet between Wetton and Anneke van Giersbergen (Ex-"The Gathering") easily amongst the most infectious songs on offer, definite to draw the listener time and time again towards "Raised in captivity". "Raised in captivity" will definitely satisfy fans of "Asia", "Yes" and "Saga" though fans of traditional AOR/melodic rock will probably require a good amount of plays to come to terms with the approach and songs on this solo release.
on July 15, 2011
John Wetton brings (special guests) who is who in UK rock music in his great sixth solo album. John Wetton himself is a notable rock musician (being a former member of bands Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, UK & Asia). This CD (11 tracks) is titled 'Raised In Captivity', John Wetton presents great vocals & collaborates with legendary producer Billy Sherwood. Stand-outs tracks include "Raised In Captivity" (orchestral sound, like movie score building up to wonderful guitars) & "Goodbye Elsinore" (beautiful melody, vocals & guitars). Great tracks include "Lost For Words" (up-tempo 'noisy' rock track with great vocals & melody), "The Last Night Of My Life", "We Stay Together" (Bonus Track with great guitars), "The Human Condition", "Steff's Ring" (great resonating bass), "The Devil And The Opera House", "New Star Rising", "Don't Misunderstand Me" (great orchestral base track & vocals) & "Might Rivers " (a 'mellow' track, great duet). On overall, John Wetton is a rocking mood in this 6th solo album, bringing with him a host of guest musicians (great UK rock legends in their own right), a highly recommended CD listening.
Asia frontman/bassist John Wetton is back with a new solo album this year, titled Raised in Captivity. It's his sixth solo release, and this time around he's partnered with Billy Sherwood (of World Trade, Yes and Streets), who provides songwriting and recording support. The album also features guest appearances by a who's who of classic rock musicians, including Robert Fripp, Mick Box, Steve Morse and frequent Wetton collaborator Geoff Downes.
Raised in Captivity is a very enjoyable collection of melodic rock songs, but that's to be expected given Wetton's track record and the caliber of musicians involved. And of course Wetton's voice sounds terrific as always. The songs on Raised in Captivity alternate between sounding like Asia and sounding like World Trade, depending on whether it's Wetton or Sherwood writing them, but they're all good. Highlights include upbeat opening single "Lost For Words," "The Last Night of My Life" and "The Devil and the Opera House" (that one is very Asia-like), but the whole album is solid.
Fans of Wetton's previous work, particularly his work with Asia, Wetton-Downes and his earlier solo material, will not be disappointed by Raised in Captivity. It may also be a breath of fresh air for those who were less than thrilled with the two post-reunion Asia albums. There's a spark here that those albums lacked.
on August 2, 2011
Finally a new album solo by John Wetton, after touring all over the world with Asia, whose artistic path is characterized by his more pop progressive side and by the mainstream style of the recent albums as well; even though, this time talking about his artistic growth, it's often a kind of consolidation, rather than a better step beyond, in comparison to his best solo albums like "Arkangel" and "Battlelines"...nevertheless the best song here, the title track, demonstrates his ability, along with the importance of the special guests, which have been called by John in order to support the fine orchestration of the album and that's an important goal! Instead the songs "Steffi's ring", "Don't misunderstand me" and "The devil and the opera house" (this latter a bit tiring towards the end), are more commercial, but the sense of melody, by replacing the instrumental support which is minimal, can remark the most natural music talent of this "ever-green" rocker of the British scene! Then I like to point out that the collaboration between Anneke van Giersbergen (former "The Gathering") and John- inside "Mighty Rivers"- is an intelligent and captivating duet, evolving into a symphonic breakthrough, which is the second best tune after "Raised in Captivity".
At the end I prefer John in his most natural efforts (think of "Lost For Words", which is perfect and fitted into the style by Bill Sherwood at all, without forgetting "We Stay Together", where the guitar work is very important....) and I can recommend the present album for the most relaxing moments, being supported by R. Fripp, S. Hackett and S. Morse in the best manner, also when it's more radio-friendly and the work by E. Jobson is unuseful!!
It's very interesting anyway, perhaps not completely essential as a prog-related album, but nevermind...so make your personal choice as usual!!
on January 6, 2013
I discovered this album while checking out a recent Alan Parsons single--when it was highlighted in the "customers also bought" links. After a listen, and a purchase, I can sort of see why.
This is because this album is a big production rock album that features many on-call aces across the tracks (instead of a "band" per se). Each track is packed with counterpoints and complimentary backup vocals, guitar or keyboard riffs sprinkled in the mix, or filling the space at the end of phrases. In all, it was very well done in terms of content. Inventive and engaging songs and lyrics. The first and last tracks are magnificent bookends, with a heart-pounding "Lost For Words" and a lush orchestral finale in "Mighty Rivers." The duet with Anneke van Giersbergen was inspiring, where the orchestration gave immense life to what is really a simple tune. The songs in the middle range from great to good, with none that I'd fast-forward through to the next track. Wetton's voice and phrasing in "Elsinor" really brought out an "Elder Brit Statesman of Rock" vibe, that had me wanting to raise a pint of Newcastle Brown or something.
What holds me back from a five-star rating is the mix. With that many musical elements going on, it was all too easy for Wetton's voice to get drowned out as just one of many sonic contributors-- especially in the choruses. If you're listening in the car, forget about making out the lyrics in a few cases. This is really ironic, because the one thing that binds it all together, that gives this album a rationale, is John Wetton and his vocals. On that note, Wetton can still belt it out compellingly-- at least for paced and sporadic sessions in a studio. His voice is what you'd expect a 60-something version of Wetton to sound like- the original we all knew from Asia with the inevitable tinge of husk that comes with age. While I think they could have taken "Devil and the Opera House" a step down to accommodate what sounds like a shrinking vocal range, it still works.
In all, this album is a compelling set of clever and catchy tracks, and worth spending on a download. I just hope that if it is re-issued someday, they re-mix so that Wetton can better emerge from the wall of sound.
on August 9, 2011
You wouldn't think that John Wetton would have any intentions of releasing a solo album just based on his last two albums with Asia, his partnership with Downes and the Icon series and his touring with Asia. But, lo and behold, Wetton releases a new album. Once again, a great listen from start to finish and typical pop / prog/ rock. I would consider this more of a pop rock album and I'll lean to the rock side. While it may not be as progressive as Asia (if they are really that), Wetton delivers a solid album which, I don't think his fans will be disappointed in. As always, there's a variety of music on it, from slow to more up tempo and everything in between. For those of you that weren't thrilled with Asia's last couple of releases, then it will be well worth it to check out this release and the list of special guests that Wetton uses to deliver a solid musical effort.
on September 12, 2011
Hi. I acquired new CD "Raised In Captivity" in early August and have now finished numerous listenings. Initially I was uncertain how I felt about this obviously well produced and very direct sounding collaboration between John Wetton, Billy Sherwood and the many credited musicians & one guest singer. Really, does Billy Sherwood play all those drums & percussion? I have my doubts on this. The drums are incredible on "Lost For Words". Does Robert Fripp only play on the bookends of title cut "Raised In Captivity" as John writes in the forward of CD booklet dated April 2011? If that is Billy Sherwood on all the guitars in between, he has elevated his guitar licks to genius level. I really suspect that it is Fripp collaborating througout this cut but what do I know? Both of these cuts are outstanding. I first saw John Wetton at "A Warehouse" in New Orleans with the "Lark's Toungues" King Crimson of 1973 but that doesn't mean I know what was happening at Circahq Recording Studio in January 2011. I have enjoyed John with King Crimson once more and John with Asia in 1982 & 2008. I am not surprised by John's versatility, song writing & singing on "Raised In Captivity". His solo contributions at a Spring 2008 Asia show were amazing. John confidently sang & played his 12 string acoustic on several solo offerings & was the outstanding soloist of the evening in my humble opinion. John was certainly competent & personally accessible to the appreciative audience. But now to finish this review: John's versatility & creative musicianship displayed on "Raised In Captivity" is not a surprise. My 5 star rating is not a typo nor am I senile. After 2 weaker recent collaborations with Asia, John gets to shine on this one. I am not going to bore you with individual song critiques. I cannot decide which is the best cut nor can I find a weakest cut. There is progressive, folksy, & popsy and something for almost everyone. I think this CD just keeps getting better with each listening. You don't need a buzz to enjoy it. Overall an outstanding production, John's powerful vocals, fantastic & very professional quality musicianship, and very fresh sounding songs with timeless lyrics makes "Raised In Captivity" a recording that I think will endure the test of time. Maybe the word I am looking for is "mature". I highly recommend this recording to fans of John, Asia & similar tastes for rock, R&B, blues, folk & progressive rock. It is refreshing & encouraging to hear this new John Wetton recording. Please inform me if there are artists making recordings of this excellence so that I may enjoy them also. Congratulations to John Wetton & all that contributed to "Raised In Captivity". Thanks from a fan that doesn't take himself that seriously.
on March 2, 2012
John Wetton, with his pedigree (King Crimson, UK, Asia etc.), he is pound for pound, the best vocalist/bassist/songwriter in rock for the last 40 years. i have looked forward to this solo cd for quite some time. with all of his guests, he weaves this masterpiece. and producer Billy Sherwood (ex-Yes) comes through.
on July 29, 2011
First of all,I am happy this is not another ICON cd. Nothing wrong with ICON but it gets a little stale after awile. I like Raised in Captivity and I am a die hard JW fan. I think it probably ranks #3 as far as the solo albums are concerned. Better then Rock of Faith, Wetton Manzanara, and Welcome to Heaven, but not quite as good as Arkangel or Battlelines. I really like the first three songs; "Lost for words", "Raised in Captivity" and "Goodbye Elsinore". "Devil and the Opera House" gets annoying after a while as does "Last Night of My Life". I love the Billy Sherwood involvement on this CD especially with "New Star Rising" (sounds like it could be taken right off of Yes' Open Your Eyes) and "Human Condition".
All in all a solid JW release which I will enjoy for many years to come. Nothing against Geoff Downs (I'm a big Geoff fan) but I think its good to hear JW working with other artists. I will always love JW and have great affection for both him and his music. I have met him a few times and he is always very nice and humble, a true human being. Rock on JW, your biggest fan in RI, USA.