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Asia - Aria CD (album) cover




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2.83 | 138 ratings

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3 stars The second album in the Payne-era has maybe the heaviest Asia-sound ever. Although the songs are mostly very simple, the album works great as a whole, because all of the tracks are based around a feeling and the children motif is to be found on the first and last track as well.

1. Anytime: Fantastic opener, especially the intro in crescendo with children's voices in the background. Forceful one, the singing, the drums and the synths druing the chorus are excellent.

2. Are You Big Enough?: This song starts aggressively, but then becomes cumbrous and dark yet energetic. The outro is pretty good with some light coming in together with the new synth sound.

3. Desire is more proggy than its predecessors. We hear the basic verse-chorus thing twice (the chorus being great), after that Al Pitrelli shows off his skills through a short guitar solo, which is followed by the repeated post-chorus along with oriental background vocals. And now comes the miracle in the form of an absolutely nice synth riff, plus the shortened chorus filled with oohs, while the ending is breathtaking.

4. Summer: The fourth track is a simple ballad starting with an acoustic guitar intro. There are some great points here: a funny wrong note made by some percussion, and the surprisingly good bass line (Asia was never famous for having great basses).

5. Sad Situation: Nothing complex, a decent one, the pre-chorus is extraordinary, though. The main melody is ordinary. Sad Situation is the second shortest song, with overrepeated chorus. Finally, in the end everything is muted together to let Payne sing the last line .

6. Don't Cut the Wire (Brother): A hard song again, the longest along with Desire. Payne sings gruffly, the refrain is pretty good, well chequered by the synth, and the bridges. Musically it is the best song, the ending section is serried: the vocals are not pulled out, their volume is the same as that of the instruments.

7. Feels Like Love: That's power ballad, starting with very calm opening moments, followed by one of the few piano pieces on the album. The power breaks out for the chorus, then a shift brings in new melodies and a guitar solo.

8. Remembrance Day: The lyrics may be about the American Civil War, that shows the riff, which imitates the horses whinnying. The refrain is strong, the song oddly wears some metal trademarks.

9. Enough's Enough: The Heroic Three begins, the best moment of Enough's Enough is the awesome monumental finish.

10. Military Man: The second song dealing with militarism on Aria, the drums convey an impression of a marching. After the second chorus, there's a quiet part, in the next place a flute brings it to the climax.

11. Aria: And yes, finally the piano joins in, which I missed so far...excellent, the perfect closing track. Desire's synth riff returns, the final notes fade out with children talking in the background.

Good album anyway, but no chance for being essential.

Diaby | 3/5 |


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