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Asia - Aqua CD (album) cover




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2.86 | 203 ratings

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3 stars So here we have arguably one of Asias best albums, only surpassed by the debut and later effort Pheonix. This album has a completely different vibe than the other records when John Wetton was writting, singing and playing bass for Asia, as they went into a very pop- oriented type of progressive rock. Along comes John Payne and turns Asia more into a heavy progressive outfit, with much more thought out lyrics and more intense music. The sound truely does pay off.

1.Aqua Part 1 - A truely inspiring intro, though nothing more than a nylon string guitar with heavy keyboards played over waves and animal sounds. Surreal, in another word. (8/10)

2.Who Will Stop the Rain? - An interesting track. Not as poppy as the previous albums tracks, but still very pop and hark rock oriented type of sound. Not really bad, but the only thing I truely hate is the "Final Countdown" type of keyboard tone. It's way too cheesey, but the song is usually at the top of Asia's game. (7.5/10)

3.Back In Town - A slightly more bluesy and hard rock type of number, and a personal favourite. The track has a feel that cannot be matched and has a really nice vocal part that i truely dig. The guitars in the track are very metal for the times; crunchy and driving. (9/10)

4.Love Under Fire - A great track, though more surreal and much different from the previous tracks. The oriental - esque keyboards in the intro are really something to behold, as they are well played. The song does turn into a slightly harder number, but is well played with intensity tthat is excellent. (8.5/10)

5.Someday - Might be a very standard track as it starts to sound stale with the dated keyboards and vocal harmonies that caress the song. A track that i usually skip because of its almost bland soundscapes. (6/10)

6.Little Rich Boy - A song that suffers from the same thing as track five, as it has ultra cheesey song writing but is well played. The keyboards just really annoy me on it. Great vocals though, i must say that they are pretty much excellent. (6.5/10)

7.The Voice of Reason - A great track with beautiful acoustic guitar. The track stands out for its almost classical type of sound, though the vocals do bring back a modern type of sound. The lyrics are slightly preachy, but the vocals execute the lyrics excellently. I must say as the song goes on, there is some great clavinet that i truely find awesome. (9.5/10)

8.Lay Down Your Arms - A not so great track. The lyrics do not at all connect with me, and it sounds way too happy to me. The big chorus can't even save the track from total "skip." (3/10)

9.Crime of the Heart - Another track I do not appreciated, but i do think that the violin could have gotten the song somewhere. It soon turns into another arena rock type of track, but could have turned into an interesting classical number. Shame. (2.5/10)

10.A Far Cry - The song dosent really connect with me, though it is well played. I can appreciate the great guitar playing during the intro, but the keyboards make the track sound dated overall. Nice vocals as well. (7/10)

11.Don't Call Me - After a rather, umm......"interesting" introductory sequence, the track settles into a more arena type of track that dosent do much for me. Though for poppish rock, it is well played. Lyrics remind me of the old Asia, and not in a good way as it sounds like normal 1980s pop ballad. (5.5/10)

12.Heaven on Earth - One of the last songs is actually one that I can truely enjoy. The opening section is very dreamy, and I can really dig it when the vocals come in with a very smooth type of sound. The track is an intense rocker and I think its a top cut at times when it truely shines. (8/10)

13.Aqua Part 2 - A reinvention off the first track, though I do not like it. Thank god I can just skip the track as it does not hold any staying power. (3/10)

Though some of the tracks I don't care for, the album is very good in Asia standards. Almost a 3.5, but rounded down to 3 because it just dosent have the certain vibe as some of the other albums that I can really get into. You should try it if your looking for a conceptual type of Asia, though it may not be as grand as some other prog rock epics, its mentionable.

Jazzywoman | 3/5 |


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