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John Wesley

Crossover Prog

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John Wesley Disconnect album cover
3.23 | 44 ratings | 3 reviews | 20% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Disconnect
2. Any Old Saint
3. Once A Warrior
4. Window
5. Gets You Every-time
6. Mary Will
7. Take What You Need
8. How Goes The War
9. New Life Old Sweat

Line-up / Musicians

- John Wesley / guitars, vocals
- Dean Tidey / guitars
- Mark Prator / drums
- Patrick Bettison / bass
- Geri X / backing vocals
- Alex Lifeson (Rush) / guitar on Once A Warrior

Releases information

Label: InsideOut
March 31, 2014

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
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JOHN WESLEY Disconnect ratings distribution

(44 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (36%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOHN WESLEY Disconnect reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Second Life Syndrome
2 stars Every once in a while, an album simply doesn't connect with me. Ironically, the album this time is called "Disconnect" by John Wesley. Wesley has a long history in progressive music, being attached to Fish and Porcupine Tree at various times. His multi- instrumentalist capabilities have taken him far. However, here he is with his sixth solo offering, and he has a full band behind him.

Being an excellent guitarist, "Disconnect" is really a guitarist's album. Guitar is front and center, to a fault, I believe. Indeed, Alex Lifeson even guests on guitar for one of the tracks, "Once a Warrior". So, if you love guitar, this might be your thing. I'm rather disappointed, though, as I find that every thing else about this album is completely average or worse. Drums, bass. and even vocals are all humdrum and uninteresting. And don't get me started on the lyrics, which, for the lyric enthusiast, are not worth your time.

Yet, I can complain about the rest of the instruments on this album, but I think the major problem is the horrible mix and the domination of the guitar. For whatever reason, I cannot stand the guitar tone on this record. It literally gives me a headache, even on low volumes. It's steel-hard, loud, and bombastic. It completely masks the rest of the instruments to the point where the band never really feels like a band, but instead seems like background musicians keeping time for the guitarists to bore us to death. Solos go on and on forever without ever having an ounce of soul or emotion. Technical feats come and go without anything truly interesting ever happening. Indeed, most songs sound the same: lame attempt at a verse and chorus followed by a few minutes of guitar drudgery. Rinse. Repeat.

Indeed, ever since I saw the weirdly sexual music video for "Disconnect", I knew this album would never pan out for me, and I was correct. I tried, but I can't get past the boring songs, the pretentious guitar work (especially on "Any Old Saint"), and the aura of arrogance that I can't seem to shake. Rough, blasting guitars mean nothing when the artist can't seem to give them any meaning within a song structure. Indeed, it's difficult to base all your writing on guitar without paying attention to the other instruments, melody, and rhythm. In the end, this album feels like one big set-up for John and company to show off on guitar. You know what, though? The guitar never really impresses anyways. Overall, "Disconnect" is a disappointment and a failure.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars John Wesley, known mostly to prog fans as a frequent Porcupine Tree collaborator, has created in Disconnect a fine collection of artistic, melancholy, and guitar heavy songs that show off his talents as song writer/singer/guitarist. Highly emotive and electric, Disconnect resonates with angsty melodies and guitar solos; not especially experimental or "prog", but nonetheless soulful and powerful.

In general, we could consider Wesley's songwriting as being a step above pop-rock standards. Songs on Disconnect are typically at the 5 minute mark, with a fair bit of variety. The Porcupine Tree influence is apparent, but this is definitely a Wesley project, and not a Steven Wilson imitation. We're given a range of tempos, dynamics, and moods; sometimes aggressive, other times lush and full.

Thematically Wesley's lyrics on Disconnect are dark, dealing with topics such as the loss of direction in one's life, failing to live up to moral expectations, walking away from those that love us, and nostalgia. Not exactly going to leave you in an upbeat mood, or strike you as being especially well written. The lyrics are fairly conventional; however, Wesley is a great singer, who soulfully sets the mood of the album with his distinct tenor.

Being known for his guitar work with Porcupine Tree, Wesley's playing here may be a key point of interest. In general, he's really good. Disconnect is heavy without being oppressive, electric without being shrill, creative without being pretentious, and emotive without bathos. There is an understatement to the Wesley's playing that gives the songs sort of a hand-crafted feel. On the flip-side, he doesn't dazzle us with virtuosity or complexity. Most of the songs are mid-tempo, and Wesley's soloing has sort of a meandering and bluesy feel. Enjoyable, but not going to grab hold of those coming to the show expecting to be blown away with guitar fireworks. Wesley's backup band compliments the tone of the album well, but the same commentary applies to them as well - there isn't much here that will make prog fans stand up and applaud.

So overall an enjoyable art-rock diversion from a solid singer/songwriter/guitarist. Disconnect will probably appeal to some more than others, especially those who (ironically) connect with the songs' theme of disconnection, though it may find only occasional playing in a prog fan's library.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3- Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Latest members reviews

4 stars Many people might know John Wesley as the touring guitarist with Porcupine Tree. That's where I stumbled across this man for the first time. Not being a Porcupine Tree Fan, but seeing a concert advertised in a club around my neighbourhood many years ago while living in Germany, I went anyway ... (read more)

Report this review (#1299746) | Posted by King Manuel | Sunday, November 2, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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