Album: Raised in Captivity
Artist: John Wetton
2011 Frontiers Records s.r.l.
CD: FR CD 522

John Wetton: vocals, acoustic guitar, bass, keys
Billy Sherwood: guitars, drums, percussion

Steve Morse: guitar solo (1)
Robert Fripp: Soundscape (2)
Steve Hackett: guitar solo (3)
Geoff Downes: keyboard solo (3, 7)
Alex Machacek: guitar solo (4)
Tony Kaye: Hammond organ (6, 10)
Eddie Jobson: violin (8)
Mick Box: guitar solo (9)
Anneke van Giersbergen: duetting vocals (11)

Produced by Billy Sherwood
Mastered by Dave at Channel Fuse Media Mastering Studios
Recorded at CircaHQ Studios, California in January 2011
(11) courtesy of Jeffrey Fayman
Management: Martin Darvill
Cover/booklet concepts: John Wetton
Artwork/photography: Michael Inns/Karen Gladwell
Additional photo: Carla Huntington

1. Lost for Words [Wetton/Sherwood] (4:59)
2. Raised in Captivity [Wetton/Sherwood/Fripp] (6:10)
3. Goodbye Elsinore [Wetton/Sherwood] (4:44)
4. The Last Night of My Life [Wetton/Sherwood] (5:54)
5. We Stay Together [Wetton/Sherwood] (4:27)
6. The Human Condition [Wetton/Sherwood] (5:23)
7. Steffi's Ring [Wetton] (2:37)
8. The Devil and the Opera House [Wetton/Sherwood/Palmer-James] (6:51)
9. New Star Rising [Wetton/Sherwood] (4:34)
10. Don't Misunderstand Me [Wetton/Sherwood] (3:44)
11. Mighty Rivers [Yoav Goren/Gil Talmi/van Giersbergen] (5:21)

Notes: (**) Raised in Captivity was the original name for Wetton's 1990 solo album, Battle Lines. Wetton has compared the lengthy time spent on Battle Lines with the very quick and easy experience of making this album in close cooperation with Sherwood. Sherwood has also noted the same. There's then an array of guest appearances from Wetton's past (including Fripp and Palmer-James from King Crimson, Jobson and Machacek from UK, Downes from Asia) plus Tony Kaye via Sherwood. (Kaye's appearance puts Wetton's tally of Yesmen he's worked with up to 11: Banks, Bruford, Kaye, Howe, Wakeman, White, Downes, Horn, Rabin, Sherwood and Khoroshev.) It was planned that former UK guitarist Allan Holdsworth would do the guitar solo on (4), but he was eventually busy with other work and Wetton asked Machacek instead. (11) was co-written by guest vocalist van Giersbergen with the Globus team, although despite this and previous tracks together, Wetton has yet to meet van Giersbergen in person. Asia previously played another Globus number on Phoenix ("Orchard of Mines"). This track reportedly also features the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Choir, although they are not credited on the album. Wetton has quoted Frontiers Records' boss as requiring a "hard rock priority or no deal" for the album. Raised in Captivity is in the style of Wetton's other solo albums or recent Asia, but Sherwood's input is also very apparent. So, there's a CIRCA: sound to the likes of "The Human Condition", for example.

"We Stay Together" is labelled as a bonus track and was omitted from the subsequent Japanese release on King Records. This adds at the end "Face to Face" (no relation to the Yes song of the same name) and a new version of "After All" (with all proceeds from it going in support of the Japanese Tsunami Relief Fund), a song originally on Wetton's 1997 solo album Arkangel.

Wetton provided notes on the album for his website in Aug 2011: he describes (1) as oweing "more to UK than any other influence". The lyric to (2) relates to growing up in the stifling atmosphere of 1950s England. The song was intended as the title track of Battle Lines, Wetton's 1994 solo album. The choral canon at the end of (3) is a nod to Brian Wilson, but the song was conceived when Wetton was on a ferry from Denmark to Sweden. While most of the album began with ideas from Wetton, (4) began as an idea from Sherwood, but Wetton added this lyric. (6) partially documents incidents during recording of the album. Wetton's description of (9) is particularly interesting:

This song was born in Criteria studios, Miami , 31 years ago. It was one of a batch of songs (Heat of the Moment, Ride Easy, Here Comes The Feeling)that I wrote on the old Bosendorfer Grand in the studio after everyone had left for the evening.
It never found a home until now. Originally titled 'Now or Never', it even went through 2 more title changes during recording in California. 'Big Star Falling' was one, but I'm glad I settled on 'NSR'. Billy Sherwood did a lot of work on this track, as it didn't seem to want to format. Billy kept changing the arrangement until it fit [...] there are Beach Boys nods everywhere(BS is also a fan).

And this is Wetton on (10):

I wrote the song on piano (it was one that was presented for 'Omega', but got shot down in flames by Mike Paxman before it was really aired)and played all of the keyboards (piano, mellotron, synth) except the Hammond Organ. The best bit for me (apart from the faux Rachmaninov chord sequence) is the vocal block behind the second verse, where the voices form the 'pad'. It's a device that Abba used brilliantly, and Asia's Alpha's The Smile has Left Your Eyes employs it (also in the second verse). I love the mellotrons in the chorus, and I wish we'd done a banjo solo instead of the chorus after the bridge, a half step key-change after that taking the choruses out would have been spectacular. As you may have noticed, this is my fave track at the moment. The mellotrons, lead vocal and piano were recorded by Steve Rispin at Liscombe. 

In Wetton's comments he laments missed opportunities for what to do on (2), (4) and the bonus track "Face to Face". Perhaps then he would agree with me when I say the album seems too rushed in its creation... perhaps not! Unfortunately, despite both Wetton and Sherwood doing strong work on their other recent output and all these guest stars, Raised in Captivity is very disappointing. Much of it is generic and forgettable: "We Stay Together", "New Star Rising" and "Don't Misunderstand Me" standing out in their mediocrity. Highs are Jobson's guest appearance on "The Devil and the Opera House" and a stronger opening track, but overall this is very missable. (HP, 26 Jul 11; updated 3 Sep 11)
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