Progressive 70s rock seems to be making a comeback. Recent releases from Yes and the original Asia sound strong and reminiscent of past glories. Now Asia, King Crimson and Roxy Music bassist John Wetton has joined in the action with his sixth solo release Raised In Captivity, an album that also features Deep Purple’s Steve Morse, Genesis’ Steve Hackett, King Crimson’s Robert Fripp and other guests.
Quite a few songs are a little rockier than expected on Raised in Captivity, most notably Lost for Words, Raised in Captivity and New Star Rising, which finds Wetton and his crew more on the melodic side than the progressive side. The melodic rock shows off Wetton’s songwriting skills and recording abilities through storytelling lyrics, but he shines best when the music sounds more like Asia.
There are several moments of King Crimson and Asia on this release, which is expected, but the mix of songs goes beyond the obvious influences and sometimes into the obscure. The oddest is the celtic sounding Goodbye Elsinore, which could easily be a depressing Great Big Sea ballad.
While the album is an enjoyable listen, especially the third or fourth time out, the majority of the songs suffer from being a slight bit too long. Maybe that’s because of the nature of his past works, or maybe it’s just an album where he can stretch his legs a bit. Either way, Wetton fans will enjoy this release and those interested in discovering the works of a progressive rock giant will enjoy the title track and Lost For Words.