Something Else! sneak peek: John Wetton with Robert Fripp, "Raised in Captivity" (2011)

On a break between reunion tours with UK and Asia, John Wetton rejoined his former King Crimson bandmate Robert Fripp for the standout title track on his forthcoming Frontiers Records release Raised in Captivity.

Together, they begin the tune on an appropriately spacy note — as “Raised in Captivity” seems to float weightlessly into a crunchy bassline by Wetton. Fripp then adds a series of grinding, brilliant blurts while Wetton and former Yes multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood (Wetton’s main collaborator on this, his sixth solo album) settle into a more conventional arc — neatly approximating, really, the prog-pop of Asia, Wetton’s charttopping 1980s band.

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: John Wetton goes in-depth on a trio of his most important musical stops - Asia, King Crimson and UK - while frankly discussing how drinking nearly ruined all of it.]

That is until Fripp returns, playing a solo of unpredictable momentum that sounds, by turns, like a nervy shiver then a panicky sneer, and then like stray-cat music. As Wetton repeats the soaring chorus, “Raised in Captivity” is finally subsumed once again by wave after dreamy wave of tape-looping Frippertronics.

John Wetton, with Robert Fripp – “Raised in Captivity” (2011, Frontiers Records) by somethingelsereviews

[ONE TRACK MIND: Billy Sherwood talks about working with John Wetton on 'Raised in Captivity,' calling the prog-rock singer-bassist's UK project a touchstone influence.]

Wetton collaborated with Fripp in King Crimson between 1972-74, then co-founded UK in 1978 and Asia in 1982; he has also worked with Roxy Music and Uriah Heep. Sherwood isn’t the only Yes connection on Raised in Captivity: Former keyboardist Tony Kaye appears on “The Human Condition” and “Don’t Misunderstand Me”; and fellow Asia co-founder Geoff Downes, now part of a reformulated version of Yes, appears on a track (“Steffi’s Ring”) here as well. Other guests include Steve Morse (Deep Purple) on “Lost for Words,” Steve Hackett (Genesis) on “Goodbye Elsinore” and Eddie Jobson (UK) on “The Devil and the Opera House.”

John Wetton’s Raised in Captivity will be released in Europe on July 1 and in North America on July 12 by Frontiers Records.

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Nick DeRiso

Over a 30-year career, Nick DeRiso has also explored music for USA Today, All About Jazz, Ultimate Classic Rock and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the nation by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Contact him at nderiso@somethingelsereviews.com.

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