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Asia - Aria CD (album) cover

ARIA

Asia

 

Prog Related

2.73 | 104 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Crow
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Pretty decent second Asia album from the John Payne's era...

If you like the first Asia's works, with the classic line-up, I think you'll also like this album... Despite the musicians are not the same except for Geoffrey Downes. Nevertheless, his keyboards have enough personality to give this album a reconnaissable sound. You only have to hear the beginning of Military Man to notice it... I think he is a really talented keyboardist, specially in creating ambiences and giving deepness to the songs.

The rest of the musicians make his work pretty good... John Payne have a strong and really personal voice. He provides power and feeling to every song. His bass is also correct, like the slapping he makes in Don't Cut the Wire... And what to say about Al Pitrelli? His work here is far from his guitar hero work in Savatage, because it's not necessary. On the contrary, he makes a really detailed and precious guitar work. His solos are not protagonist, but in songs like Don't Cut the Wire, Sad Situation or Feels Like Love (my favourite guitar solo in this album...) he really shines on this aspect. If you appreciate the delicate guitar work of people like Steve Lukather, you'll surely enjoy with the Al Pitrelli's work in Aria!

The style of the album is not really far from the typical Asia's standards... Maybe more hard rock oriented, and so AOR as always. I'd not say this is progressive, or symphonic... Like the rest of Asia's efforts, it has its symphonic moments, and some complex structures. But it's not progressive... Just a very melodic hard rock with an strong 80's AOR feeling, despite this album was made in 1994.

Best songs: Anytime (good opening... Paynes signs in your face, introducing the album's sound and direction), Summer (precious acoustic Pitrelli's guitar work... For a mellow and talented track), Enough's Enough (I really like the verses... And I also like the epic instrumental interlude, wich remembers mi to the german band Europe!), Military Men (another epic track... With a great Payne's singing, and a great Pitrelli's guitar melodies).

Conclusion: I think this a very good melodic hard rock album... With a lot of enjoyable songs, with catchy choruses and a brilliant musicianship. But not really progressive or symphonic... So although I think this album is very good, I have to low the rating down. Nevertheless, I strongly recommend Aria to every 80's AOR lover, and to all the Asia's fan, both the Wetton or Payne's ones!

My rating: ***

The Crow | 3/5 |

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