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John Wetton John Wetton & Geoffrey Downes: Icon album cover
2.99 | 43 ratings | 4 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Overture/Paradox + Let Me Go (6:28)
2. God Walks With Us (4:40)
3. I Stand Alone (6:08)
4. Meet Me At Midnight (2:34)
5. Hey Josephine (4:52)
6. Far Away (4:04)
7. Please Change Your Mind (4:46)
8. Sleep Angel (4:12)
9. Spread Your Wings (3:46)
10. In The End (4:47)

Total time 46:17

Line-up / Musicians

- John Wetton / vocals, basses, classical & acoustic guitars, co-producer
- Geoffrey Downes / keyboards, vocoder, co-producer

- Annie Haslam / vocals (3,10)
- John Mitchell / electric guitars
- Hugh McDowell / cello
- Ian McDonald / flute
- Steve Christey / drums

Releases information

CD Frontiers Records ‎- FR CD 242 (2005, Italy)

Thanks to fishy for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy JOHN WETTON John Wetton & Geoffrey Downes: Icon Music

JOHN WETTON John Wetton & Geoffrey Downes: Icon ratings distribution

(43 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (37%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

JOHN WETTON John Wetton & Geoffrey Downes: Icon reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars The smile has left their eyes

John Wetton and Geoff Downes first worked together in Asia in the early 80's. Icon is the result of a new collaborative project by the two men. This is hardly the kind of music that will blow the average Prog fan away, but we have here a mostly fine set of songs in the typical Asia/John Wetton tradition. The Icon projects, like Asia's albums, are primarily song dominated and do not involve many instrumental sections or solos. However, there are some tasteful keyboards and guitars throughout the album. On guitars we find none other than John Mitchell from Arena who is also a member of John Wetton's backing band (as can be seen on the excellent live DVD Amorata). Mitchell is a very talented guitarist, but in Icon's music he is not allowed to express himself quite like he does on Arena's albums. On Icon, guitar plays only a supporting role behind the dominating keyboards and vocals.

The distinctive vocals of John Wetton are strong and Downes keyboards are competent and sound more timeless compared to the sound he had in Asia and Yes in the 80's. The keyboards are often just piano and some symphonic synthesiser. There are even some discrete classic sounds like Melotron and organ! The sound of Icon is more organic compared to that of Asia due to the inclusion of some acoustic instruments like acoustic guitars and violin on some songs. Icon leans heavily towards the ballad side of things and the type of songs involved here are often similar to Asia songs like The Smile Has Left Her Eyes. The album would have benefited greatly from a harder edge and couple more of the up tempo songs. Most of these songs sound quite similar to each other and in the end not enough diversity is displayed. Towards the middle the album tends to lose its momentum. The lyrics are not quite as banal as things like Heat Of The Moment or Don't Cry, but I still find some of the lyrics objectionably generic.

The closing track features a guest vocal by Annie Haslam from Renaissance and some very tasteful flutes. In The End is a good song, but it is too late to save the album from being somewhat below good despite very competent song writing and performance. Therefore, I can recommend this first Icon album primarily to fans and collectors of Asia and John Wetton. If you like the ballad side of Asia and John Wetton's solo career, you will not be disappointed by Icon.

The second Icon album would be a large improvement over this first attempt in my opinion. Only two (and a half) stars for Icon #1, however.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is wonderful album. It's very kind rock music with prog elements. And as long as this artist is listed as prog-related, I'm gonna rate it like that.

I'll start unusually from the end. "In the End" is song which pleased me the most. Beginning with just piano, calm synths and some strings, then Wetton's little bit raspy voice starts (he's prog rock veteran after all, behold fellow rockers). But this long awaited surprise is Annie Haslam. She as a sharp contrast to his vocals is right choice. Song is nice and has some interesting variations.

OK, let's get back to business. First track is opened with strong rock sound. In fact this song is all pure rock, I don't see much prog sounds here, if any. Maybe they are here and I'm just hearing bad, or don't know what to look for.

I almost forgot, I don't wanna do track to track review. So just last few points. "God Walks With Us" has tasty melody which I haven't heard for a long time (in other songs), some organs join party here.

It's a good album. And I'm aware it's not so good from prog rock side (3-4), but from rock it is much better (4-5), so I'm giving it 4 stars as a good average. It's really good one and not just pure prog is worth of listening, Queen has their qualities also, right ?

It's a beautiful album.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Having dropped out of the Asia wagon since the station stop from John Wetton there's a couple of decades , I do not expect much from the record production of Geoff Downes. But without me nostalgic for that period of prog, reactivation of the collaboration between the two men could not leave me i ... (read more)

Report this review (#1302421) | Posted by brainsuccasurgery | Monday, November 10, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is clearly the best album since "Battle Lines". John Wetton teaming again with Geoff Downes to get a bit of the Asia sound without Asia. I recently discovered that Geoff Downes just left Asia and that plans have been made for an "Icon" album number two. Considering this inspired album and ... (read more)

Report this review (#71054) | Posted by zaxx | Friday, March 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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