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Asia - Aura CD (album) cover




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3.28 | 184 ratings

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3 stars In 2000 there seem to be a rumor there would be a reunion of the original members of Asia. The reunion didn't suceed, in 2001 Asia re-appeared as a duo with the original member Geoff Downes on the keyboards and John Payne on the vocals along with a lot of session musicians like Ian Crichton from Saga, Elliott Randal, Tony Levin and original guitarist Steve Howe amongst many others. Cover artist Roger Dean did a fine job in creating another masterpiece which refers to Alpha, the second Asia record. On Aura the band sounds more FM-orientated as ever. No more heavy Aor riffs here, but a bunch of tasteful melodic (soft)pop songs. Strange enough this album has 2 covers of 10 CC in the tracklisting : "whenever you are" and "ready to go home". Is the well of inspiration is getting dry ? If you don't know the original versions you couldn't tell the difference between these songs and the rest of the tracks. This album is surely enjoyable but don't expect a real progressive rock album. Aura sounds as an album from Mike + the mecanics with much more keyboards. But also the guitars are doing a fine job here which isn't a surprise as you know that Asia uses the skills of 5 guitarist of world fame. Fans of progressive rock will like "Free" the only epic on this album. The instrumental title track is also fine and reminds me of the first solo effort of Downes. The real surprise of this album are the extra tracks which were originally intended to get a new record deal. "Come make my day" and "Hands of time" may lack the excellent sound quality of the Aura-tracks but they sound as Asia used to sound in the eighties, great songs ! Most of the other music of the album is sounding to easy and soft for progressive rock fans.
Fishy | 3/5 |


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