And here another re-release, at least disc one of it. And of course, also John Wetton (R.I.P.) needs no further introduction either. Be it as a solo artist or participating in bands like King Crimson, Uriah Heep, UK and probably the commercially most successful Asia, the man has been around the block.
Disc 1 was originally released in 1996 and features 12 songs, including Voice Of America, Rendezvous 6:02, Only Time Will Tell and of course Heat Of the Moment. What you get is that mighty voice, accompanied by either acoustic guitar, or keyboards. Timeless music and a class A performer, you can’t go wrong there.
Disc 2 was hand picked by the man himself, before he left us after his battle with cancer. It is a concert from 2005, aptly titled Akustika II, return to Amerika. On it are 15 tracks, and while there are a few doubles from disc one, it is still worthwhile. Part because of the extra songs, and part because some of his talking between the songs has been left to listen to. And he comes across as a humble, honest and quite humorous man.
So while I will miss there will never be new music coming, I am thankful for his legacy, as many of his songs are in the soundtrack of my life. Impressive.
There is always an exception to a rule. So where as normally I am not really fond of mini albums, or EP’s if you prefer, in the case of Wood by Exit 31 I am only too happy to ignore house rules. So what makes this a stand out album? Well it starts with the knowledge that the 7 songs are brought to you in a special arrangement; acoustic guitars, percussion and vocals. And when I say vocals I am really selling these guys short. In my humble opinion their harmonisations are right out spectacular. Not exactly sure how many of the band contribute, but at least 3, but probably more.
So on songs like Call Your Name, Betray Me, Levity or pick just any title, the delivery totally comes alive when all those voices unite. And that is not saying that the rest is below par, far from it. Maybe not an album for every moment, but for those special moments, this is sure one that will create beautiful new memories. Memories for all of time…
Nothing more to say except yes, I really want to hear their previous albums now!