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AMATA

John Wetton

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SouthSideoftheSky
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Symphonic Team
3 stars Acoustica

Amata is a live album featuring a short acoustic performance by John Wetton supported by John Mitchell from Arena on guitars and Martin Orford from IQ on keyboards. The album continues in the tradition of Wetton's old band Asia by having a title that begins and ends with the letter A (as Wetton's own Agenda album and Amorata video, like Amata all recorded live in Poland).

The set list consists of classic songs by King Crimson and Asia as well as some from Wetton's solo albums. Of the 11 tracks, only nine are proper songs and the album runs for only just over 37 minutes. The two first tracks are instrumentals; The Circle Of St. Giles being a keyboard piece and Mondrago a guitar piece. The latter might be a piece written by John Mitchell, I'm not sure.

Wetton's distinctive voice is strong and this is a very good acoustic performance. As should be expected of an acoustic performance with only three people on the stage, Amata presents a rather laid back and mellow concert with little or no room for instrumental workouts or other progressive aspects. The songs alone carry the performance with classics like The Night Watch, Battle Lines, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, Book Of Saturday and Heat Of The Moment. These are all songs that will forever be associated with John. Emma too sounds like a song that could have become a big hit and the rest of the songs are also of high quality. Several of these songs are also featured on the excellent live DVD Amorata and that is the recommended purchase over this one since it also showcases Wetton's electric and more progressive side (with songs like UK's In The Dead Of Night and King Crimson's Starless). However, the Amata album makes a nice companion piece to that DVD.

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Posted Thursday, August 13, 2009 | Review Permalink

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