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Asia - Arena CD (album) cover




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3.32 | 162 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Messrs Howe, Wetton and Palmer have left the arena

A strange album for Asia this one, as it finds the band in something of a transition phase. It's generally heavier and less accessible than previous albums, with no obvious singles. The "big" sound which made the early Asia albums so popular is missing, replaced by a softer less in your face style. Asia appear to be trying to move away from their original pop based music towards a more progressive style, but falling between the two stools.

The problem is, the music here isn't really strong enough to sustain the new direction (things would improve substantially on later albums). The most progressive track on the album is the nine minute "The day before the war", but in truth its still a fairly basic song. "Into the arena" and "Arena" merge together well to form a pleasant if understated opening piece, which sets the scene for the rest of the tracks. "Two sides of the moon" has a light, almost pop feel to it, "jaunty" is probably the best word to describe it.

It's difficult to identify any real highlights with "Arena", not because it's a bad album, it is indeed enjoyable, but the band appear to be in cruise control and lacking in inspiration. (Ironic that the album name is that of one of the best prog bands around!)

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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