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WETTON DOWNES Icon Acoustic TV Broadcast
Frontiers (2006)

A special acoustic performance by Asia original members John Wetton and Geoff Downes.

This album not only features tracks from the excellent 'Icon' album but many Asia classics re-worked in an acoustic format.

Joining these two are Arena's John Mitchell on acoustic guitar/backing vocals, ex-ELO cellist Hugh McDowell, flautist Ian McDonald (ex-Foreigner) and Annie Haslam (Renaissance) reprises her co-vocal on 'In The End' of the 'Icon' album.

Now Asia fans be warned as the Asia tunes on here are not as you'd expect them! Take 'Heat of the Moment' - no crashing guitar power chords but instead Geoff Downes' piano takes on the guitar parts (as it does for much of the Asia material).

The other added extra are Hugh McDowell's cello riffs - there is no better word for the deep sounds he drags from his cello! Just listen to 'The Smile Has Left Your Eyes' or 'Don't Cry'. Stand out for me has to be the almost heart wrenching harmonies on 'I Lay Down' and 'Voice of America' which is simply stunning in this stripped down format.

Musically Wetton's voice and Downes' keyboards take centre stage, although Hugh McDowell's cello adds much to the mix.

Another 'must have' for any self-respecting fan of these two talented musicians. Asia fans may take some while to adjust to the very different sounding versions on this album but believe you me it is worth the effort.


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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