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Asia - Asia CD (album) cover




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3.21 | 592 ratings

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5 stars It's quite disappointing how much hate this album receives. Is it progressive rock? Not really, but that doesn't mean it deserve all the negativity. This album is good AOR and deserves a nice spot alongside 80s arena rockers like Survivor and Triumph. You probably heard it many times already: quartet known for their respective progressive works are expected to write a great prog album, but they had other plans. Owned it on cassette first, and had bought it on a whim. I knew "Heat Of The Moment", but hadn't heard the other stuff before. It's a very nice 80s rock album that has very melodic passages, some small, yet clever nods to their progressive roots.

"Heat of The Moment" is on Top 40 radio. Sounds like a hard rock version of "Video Killed The Radio Star" in terms of chord structure and such (ironically, Geoff Downes is a Buggle). Still sounds good nonetheless.

"Only Time Will Tell" One my favorites, it is very melodic and is littered with great synth work and great Howe shreds. The group brings it home with the nice sound of this song.

"Sole Survivor" Starts out with heavy guitar, and devolves back to an upbeat rocker. Guitar and synth duet here and there.

"One Step Closer" another of my favorites. Very upbeat, and not too heavy, the synth work here is almost New-Wave. Vocal work is not too harsh, and the chorus is very mellow.

"Time Again" starts out very proggish with Howe's ominous guitar before the song really starts revealing a song that (to me) sounds like a battle of some sorts. There are some odd pauses where the guitar and keys do some call/response avant stabs to each other.

"Wildest Dreams" is another melodic number. Funnily enough, this song is actually about war. A mix between the upbeat rocking energy of "Heat Of The Moment" and also melodic chords of "Only Time Will Tell". During the chorus, you can hear Howe feeding his guitar through either chorus or a leslie speaker. There is a really nice guitar/synth duet in the middle of the song. Really The songs ending is very nice and ends in a Gmaj7.

"Without You" is the most progressive offering for those who got this far. The song starts as a ballad, but turns into an upbeat song that changes quite a bit. Howe comes in on Acoustic guitar when the song goes back into ballad mode, and I thought it was very cool.

"Cutting Fine" speaking of acoustic guitar, this upbeat number starts with acoustic guitar before going full electric and the synth strings swell into place. This is one is kind of cheesy because of the vocoder that comes in near halfway. The ending of the song turns into a piano/synth/organ ballad and to me that was also quite progressive.

"Here Comes The Feeling" Is an upbeat finisher that starts symphonic, and has piano (both acoustic and electric) littered throughout. Howe comes in on acoustics again which is cool.

In all, this album is not going to please progressive purists, but for those who enjoy 80s rock music, this is a definite addition to your collection. It's arena AOR with some symphonic and progressive flavorings.

Progmin23 | 5/5 |


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