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Articles Home » 2001 Articles » Wetton, John - 2001 Sinister
Wetton, John - 2001 Sinister

ARTIST: Wetton, John
ALBUM: Sinister
LABEL: Giant Electric Pea
YEAR: 2001


LINEUP: John Wetton - lead vocals, bass, keyboards, 12 string guitar * John Mitchell - guitar * Jim Peterik - keyboards, guitar * Martin Orford - keyboards * Robert Fripp - soundscape guitar * Gary Chandler - guitar * Tod Sucherman - drums * Ian McDonald - alto flute * Guy Roche - keyboards * Steve Christey - drums * Dick Wagner - guitar * Steve Hackett - harmonica * Beate - chorus vocals * Sue Shiffrin and David Cassidy - backing vocals * Jim Vallance - assorted instruments

TRACK LISTING: 01 Heart Of Darkness * 02 Say It Aint' So * 03 No Ordinary Miracle * 04 Where Do We Go From Here * 05 E-Scape * 06 Another Twist Of The Knife * 07 Silently * 08 Before Your Eyes * 09 Second Best * 10 Real World


John Wetton is a man who needs no introduction. He's been in the business for so long and so many people look up to him. After a selection of live releases (one of the best being 1999's 'Nomansland'), 'Sinister' marks Wetton's return to the studio.

The Songs
After a long, building intro, 'Heart of Darkness' is a classy slice of melodic rock, the kind I always associate with Wetton - not really progressive rock, but not straight ahead AOR either. However, it's the album's second track, 'Say It Ain't So', which made my jaw hit the floor. It has an excellent old-school arrangement, with a huge chorus and stabbing keys in classic AOR tradition, this is a song which the John Payne fronted Asia could only dream of writing. Co-written with Jim Vallance, it's certainly one which Mr Wetton should be very happy with. Also treading the AOR path, the balladry of 'No Ordinary Miracle', co written with Jim Peterik of Survivor fame, is another winner. Featuring guest sports from Arena/The Urbane's John Mitchell and IQ's Martin Orford, I'm sure this is another song which will become a favourite among Wetton's fans. 'E-Scape' is an instrumental cut featuring guitar work from the legendary Robert Fripp. It showcases the more progressive side of John Wetton's work. The atmospheric keys here are complimented by some dreamy flute playing from ex-Foreigner/King Crimson man Ian McDonald. Sounds float from the speakers like a soundtrack to an imaginary film.. I only wish the track could have been a little longer! Returning to more melodic rock based material, 'Twist of the Knife' is a rocker co written with Alice Cooper's old guitar-slinger, Dick Wagner. Again, the use of a big chorus, resplendent with vocals to match, ensures, like 'Say It Ain't So', this really hits the mark. 'Silently' (co-written with husband and wife team Sue Shiffrin and David Cassidy), is pure AOR in the Robin Beck/Michael Bolton (circa 1982) vein and will absolutely delight fans of the genre. It's worth the price of admission alone - if you really care about AOR, you must hear this. The acoustic based 'Real World' makes a good closing number with its gentler qualities. Opinions on Wetton's voice have always been divided, but if you ask me, I'd say his voice sounds better now than it has for a while.

In Summary
This is without doubt John Wetton's strongest studio offering since his glory days with Asia. You'd be foolish not to snap this up while you can.

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#1 | rostoned on April 28 2008 14:20:50
I don't agree. For me this was rubbish compared to his wonderfully crafted 'Battle Lines'
#2 | Jez on June 14 2008 17:31:34
Definately not JW's strongest cd since his Asia days, infact the worst of his solo albums by a long mile. Bar a couple of tracks, the songs just aren't there, which was a real surprise, as he normally doesnt have a problem in the songwriting department. Nor does he usually have a problem with the sound of his albums - well he does with this. Must have had a bad day at the office all round doing this one. Thankfully, the next album was back on course.
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