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WETTON DOWNES Icon III Frontiers (2009)

Shadows Mignon

Asia's John Wetton and Geoff Downes return with their third album under the Icon banner and like previous albums Dave Kilminster (John Wetton/Roger Waters/Keith Emerson) handles guitar duties, Pete Wiley on drums with former ELO/Wizard cellist Hugh McDowell also present. Two special guests as well, new age harpist Andreas Vollenweider and vocalist Anne-Marie Helder (Karnataka/Mostly Autumn).

Of the three Icon albums sadly this is the weakest so far as much of the music has been done before on the previous two albums, like 'Sex, Power & Money' which just seems to outstay its welcome. That said 'Twice The Man I Was' is one of the pair's more rockier moments featuring some crashing guitar chords and a very catchy chorus. Happily though the layered choral vocals, banks of keys and big production values are still used to great effect.

'Raven' and 'Don't Go Out Tonight' are two other stand out songs on this album.

Even though it is the weakest of the three Icon albums it still matches Asia's 'Phoenix' album and with Wetton & Downes the quality of songwriting is never going to dip too much. If you'd not heard one of the earlier albums I am sure you would enjoy this more.


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** 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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