Frontiers Records
Release date: August 2, 2005

Vocals: B-
Guitars: C
Bass: C
Keyboards: C
Drums: C
Recording Quality: B+
Lyrics: C+
Originality: B-
Overall Rating: C-

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Icon is the new release that reunites Asia main men John Wetton (Vocals, Bass) and Geoffrey Downes (Keyboards). It’s hard to believe that Asia’s first release was in 1982, and that that album remained number one for nine weeks on the USA charts. The second and third Asia albums were also big sellers worldwide, and delivered several hit singles of their own. It’s with similar fervor that listeners should have the same high expectations for this newest collaboration.

The opening track, “Let Me Go,” led by an operatic opening (“Overture – Paradox”), which fades into a snare roll and thumping bass, will have all fans of Asia saying “Rejoice! The Progressive Pomp Rock Masters are back!” The entire song just oozes with melodic goodness, especially when the catchy multi-layered chorus kicks in. Supplement this with guitar accompaniment by John Mitchell (Arena, Kino) and the end result is one massive anthem. This track leaves little doubt that two of the masters of Progressive Pomp are indeed back. This song demands to be placed on auto-replay several times … it’s that good!

After catching your breath from “Let Me Go,” you’ll wonder how these gents will top themselves next. Sadly, the answer is they don’t. All the remaining tracks seem less Progressive and less Pomp. It’s no wonder why Frontiers Records decided to use “Let Me Go” as the song of choice for their Web site’s intro, which touted this release! It’s the most upbeat of the lot. “I Stand Alone” and “Hey Josephine” have reasonable chances of being hits as they contain some of the elements that make “Let Me Go” great. But, in the end, they just don’t have the same anthem-like “Pompitude” and memorable chorus lines.

Sadly, without more tracks of the same caliber as “Let Me Go,” it’s impossible to recommend this release as a “must buy” or even a “possible buy” for Metal Express readers. It just doesn’t contain enough “oomph” or contain enough memorable passages. It’s not that Wetton and Downes aren’t accomplished musicians or songwriters, it’s just that they seem to have targeted a “softer” audience, if you will. For a representative of these tracks, check out “Spread Your Wings,” which is currently on Jukebox rotation on the Metal Express Radio Web site.


John Wetton: Vocals, Bass
Geoffrey Downes: Keyboards
John Mitchell: Guitars
Steve Christey: Drums

Guest Musicians:
Annie Haslam: Vocals
Mike Stobbie: Keyboards
Ian MacDonald: Flute
Hugh McDowell: Cello


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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