Wetton Downes Icon 3 Frontiers Records
Produced By: Wetton & Downes

Running Time: 53.53

Release Date: Out Now


Musical Style: Pop Rock

Links: Frontiers
Songs: 70%
Sound: 85%
I have given the partnership of vocalist John Wetton and Geoff Downes a fair bit of leeway in recent years. The first two Icon releases were cool, if not a little soft and the two live albums were utterly horrible. Then the last Asia album was also far too laid back, but still featured some quality tunes. I was positive in my review as I knew many would love it and many wouldn't and that was about how the split went.
So, with a view to looking at this release as another record fans of the duo should love, I dive in and have come up disappointed again.
This is another well crafted and recorded album and the performances themselves cannot be questioned, but the song quality simply isn't there and the record is way way too laid back.
The trilogy of songs Green Lights and Blue Skies, Raven and My Life Is In Your Hands creatute what amounts to a 10 minute lullaby until the last track finally kicks into second gear for a minute or two. Only Twice The Man I Was, Never Thought I'd See You Again and Don't Go Out Tonight really lift the tempo past leisurely.
There is an audience for records like this and these guys have more than their share of eager fans to eat up anything they release.
I do appreciate and admire the talents of both, but I have heard better elsewhere from both of them and will stick to the first album (which I rate the best) and some classic Asia in between. This is definitely not a record for those that love a chorus to hit them as often as possible.
The Bottom Line
In a word slow. If a late night album to relax to is on your shopping list or you simply must have everything Asia related, then this is for you. Otherwise I think the guys might be stretching the songwriting resources a little thin now and might be better taking a little longer to ensure they have the best set of tunes available to offer fans. And please pick up the pace a little.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
Wetton / Downes
Acoustic TV Broadcast
Live - Never In A Million Years
Icon II - Rubicon
Icon 3

Line Up:
John Wetton: Vocals, Bass, Guitars
Geoffrey Downes: Keyboards
Dave Kilminster: Guitars
Pete Riley: Drums
Hugh McDowell: Cello

Essential For Fans Of:
Wetton/Downes - Icon
Asia - Phoenix
Track Listing
Twice The Man I Was *
Green Lights and Blue Skies
My Life Is In Your Hands *
Sex, Power and Money
Anna's Kiss
Under The Sky
Don't Go Out Tonight *
Never Thought I'd See You Again
Peace In Our Time

--*Best Tracks

19/12/09: Paul -
Rating: 68
As a fan of Asia and the first two Icon cds, I was disappointed to read the reviews, as well as listening to the sound clips. Nevertheless, I couldn't help myself, so I grabbed this cd. I will say that, despite giving it a score of an "Average" 68, I was somewhat pleasantly surprised. It wasn't as bad as I expected. Whether or not this is a rock cd is the true issue here. The answer is... not really. Once you understand that, you can listen and (somewhat) appreciate what has been done here. Honestly, it's not a cd that will remain in my collection much longer, and I'm not really sure if any of the songs on here will be kept digitally. If I do, the top candidates would be: TWICE THE MAN I WAS, DESTINY, DON'T GO OUT TONIGHT, & NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE YOU AGAIN. These guys are artists, and as such are entitled to record whatever they choose. Just don't expect Asia or rock n roll.

30/04/09: Vanish -
Rating: 90
I think it is an excellent album, who cares about the rockin' part, I think it is a nice easy going album to put on and chill out. "Raven" is an excellent song.

26/04/09: Sebastian -
Rating: 60
My favourite was "Rubicon" and I was hoping to hear something even better now... But I didn't.. Hopefully next time the guys put more uptempo tracks into the final songlist. The songs didn't touch me the way it was in the previuos releases, but I know that the two can accomplish that. Looking forward to Icon IV though! :)

25/04/09: Mark Tuomisto -
Rating: 4
With some of the older acts coming to age, this one (Wetton/Downes)is no different. Old and tired. Just like the Rolling Stones, Deep Purple, The Who, Yes, Nazareth, Elo, Rush, Mott the Hoople(?) and dare I say, Triumph. The magic is gone and it is time to move on. I remember the beauty of "Gemini Dream" from the Moody Blues and relish it to this day. Another is "Turn of a Friendly Card" (Alan Parson's project).One more is "Learning to fly" by Pink Floyd. All, wonderful hits in their time and their swan songs. Please (fans of Wetton/Downes and Asia) let it go! It's just awful and way slow and over produced. They were good but not now. What are they, late 60's , early 70's in age? You're done! Just my thoughts at 45 years of age...

25/04/09: Roger -
Rating: 95
Why is it everything has to be uptempo all the time, it's if it's an obssesion that everything has to be loud and in your face all the time, yes there are slow tracks on this cd but what the hell they are very strong songs none the less. I think wetton and downes have produced another masterpiece, so slow songs or uptempo songs what's on offer here is the real deal if you don't like it go and waste your time listening to iron maiden who couldn't do a ballad if it killed them...LONG LIVE SOFT ROCK !!!

24/04/09: Ian -
Rating: 20
Same old, same old. Boring.

24/04/09: Cris - cromera@gm.xde
Rating: 40
By far the weakest output of the Icon project...seems like the leftovers from the last ASIA album "Phoenix". They surely can do it better. Too many fillers, like background music in stores.

24/04/09: Curtis -
Rating: 80
I have to agree with what has been said in Andrew's post. Icon was supposed to be a little softer than the Asia stuff. I expected that but I think that if you blended both cd's into one, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The songs are not bad. The playing and singing are very nice. Andrew said in his recap, I listen to this at the computer right before I go to bed.

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