Akustika: Live In Amerika
Akustika II: Return To Amerika

John Wetton

As a singer, bassist and songwriter who played with Asia, UK, King Crimson, Uriah Heep and Roxy Music, John Wetton was a giant on the prog music scene. The double-CD set of Akustika: Live In Amerika / Akustika II: Return To Amerika offers a glimpse into the late musician’s career when he played solo shows in 1995 and 2005 with songs from the bands he was with, as well as a few he’d done on his own.

We get basically two acoustic shows here with keyboard backing in spots. There is a beautiful rendition of “Voice Of America” from Asia’s Astra that opens the first CD. Wetton’s voice sounds especially angelic on UK’s “Rendezvous 6:02.” Asia’s Top 10 hit “Heat Of The Moment” is also featured on CDs. Of note is that on Akustika II you hear more of Wetton’s rich voice and acoustic guitar…and lots more interaction with the audience.

There is a good amount of Wetton’s solo material here. “Woman,” from the singer’s first solo album Caught In The Crossfire, is a simple, slightly stuttering piano ballad. “You’re Not The Only One” and “Hold Me Now” are from Wetton’s second solo album, alternately titled Voice Mail (the title of the Japan-only release) and Battle Lines (the international reissue).

The included booklet is filled with written recollections about John Wetton from close friends and fans, along with previously unseen photographs. As a complete package, Akustika: Live In Amerika / Akustika II: Return To Amerika gives you a wide swatch of what John Wetton was about, delivered simply and masterfully. He was a giant talent who is surely missed.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.

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