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Asia - Asia CD (album) cover




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3.16 | 498 ratings

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4 stars Asia's first and best!

Although featuring such a prestigious lineup coming from legend prog rock pionneer bands (YES, ELP and KING CRIMSON) and a superb fantasy cover art and logo by Roger Dean, do not expect long and complex tracks, nor 70's rock feel and experimentation. Either does it sound like YES, ELP or even less KING CRIMSON. So ? What has the blue dragon to offer ?

"Asia" consists in 9 short but very efficient synth-rock / AOR / pop-prog songs, surprisingly catchy with great melodies! You can sing along and they keep going in your head. There are even genuine hits in it ("Heat of the Moment", "Sole Survivor", "Only Time Will Tell"...) ! But wait, you said it was pop-prog, what does it mean? Where is the progressive part ? As we said, this is not truly progressive, but the album has some prog elements and feel in it. Besides the melody, guitar and keyboards sometimes distill enjoyable fantasy atmospheres and pre-neo-progressive touches. The record is not exempt from some weak cheesy moments and dripping passages, but fortunately listens very well and transports you to another imaginary land.

In conclusion, ASIA is 70's art rock injected to 80's FM tunes, mini-fantasy prog marrying with pop-rock melodies. This debut opus should please STYX and TOTO fans and other people who wants to try something else in their prog journey, if they're not afraid of eighties' AOR / radio songs. Far from being an hardcore symphonic or neo-progressive aficionado, I really enjoyed it!

Modrigue | 4/5 |


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