JOHN WETTON & GEOFF DOWNES Icon Frontiers (2005)
This album marks the return of the partnership that provided so
successful for Asia in the 80’s. There will doubtless be a lot of interest
in this album and rightly so. Geoff Downes did guest on John Wetton’s last
solo album ‘Rock Of Faith’ but now we get a whole album’s worth of their
Joining the two main men are guitarist John Mitchell (Arena/Kino/John Wetton) and drummer Steve Christey (Jadis/John Wetton).
Overall the sound does hark back to those Asia albums ‘Alpha’ and ‘Asia’,
especially on ‘Let Me Go’ and ‘I Stand Alone’ which feature layered
harmonies and tight guitar soloing. Elsewhere, ‘God Walks With Us’ features
a moving vocal delivery from Wetton coupled with Downes in full flight on
keyboards and church organ.
Former ELO cellist Hugh McDowell adds greatly to the sound on a few numbers, whilst Wetton’s former King Crimson colleague
Ian McDonald guests. ‘Please Change Your Mind’ again has Wetton in a
heartfelt plea, whilst the closing track ‘In The End’ has Annie Haslam
(Renaissance) adding her distinctive vocal talents and good to see she is
still in fine vocal form.
The album certainly lives up to expectations and if you’re an Asia fan I
highly recommend you add this album to your collection. The only slight
disappointment is the lack of a real guitar led, rock anthem like the Asia
classics ‘Don’t Cry’ or ‘Heat Of the Moment’. But, hey, this is still a damn
fine album. Now all we need now are some live shows...
Review by Jason Ritchie