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Asia - Silent Nation CD (album) cover




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3.11 | 159 ratings

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3 stars Coming off what could be considered Asia's best album, this is a huge disapointment. The music itself sounds, as with most Asia records from any era, sounds the same as it did before, only with John Payne, which is to say, not that bad actually. The jazz tinges that were found on some of the previous 90s records have been toned down quite a bit, and it really dosent help the music at all.

1.What About Love? - Your standard 4/4 Asia track, nothing really interesting happens. The music is so commerical it seems, even the lyrics are made for the business, just about what Asia was talking about in their early days, but in a much more dated sense and is not very well executed. Good instrumentation, but the sloppy vocals and lyrics can't help the grade for this track. (6/10)

2.Long Way From Home - Though not as bad as the first track, it dosen't really interest me. The guitar playing is excellent, and the keyboard flourishes are always new and fresh. The vocals will always bring the songs down on the Payne Asia records, as he starts to sound very lazy, as he does really on this whole album. (7/10)

3.Midnight - Slightly heavier than the other tracks and with better lyrics, but it lacks force to make the heavy sound convincing. Great instrumentation, as the drumming and fast paced bass playing is always on task and busy. (7.5/10)

4.Blue Moon Monday - Asia can definatly release better proggy tracks than this one, as shown on Arena and Aura, but this one gets the job done. The playing is dream like and spacy, with excellent synth playing that is definatly trippy, in the sense of space that is. The vocals performaned by Payne are actually the best on this song, as he gives a little more soul and more emotion on this track than he did on previous ones. Guitar playing is smooth, but not really blues, as the title may infer, actually far from that. Track is slow, which amps up the dream quality. The top of the tracks, but not really a standout compared to other songs from the band. (8.5/10)

5.Silent Nation - As a title track, I thought it would be slightly better. It still has a dream quality, but almost sounds like a copy of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" from Pink Floyd in the intro, but it dosent come off as well as Gilmour's. After a fairly good intro, the track turns into your standard pop tune with vocal harmonies to perfection (well, not really) and a steady beat. Nothing very interesting, actually. (6.5/10)

6.Ghost in the Mirror - The track is actually much happier than some of the other songs on the album, with shimmering acoustic guitar playing and a very heavy and steady drum beat that everyone has to tap their toe to. The track almost borders on pop country, but still has a rocker type of feel; almost southern rock. The track is outside of their zone, which I can appreciate, but it dosent really pull off as well as anyone would think. (7/10)

7.Gone Too Far - The track may not be the best of the bunch, but it can hold its own with its intense and excellent guitar riff in the intro. The vocal melodies will always annoy me, as Paynes voice always annoys me in this track, even the whole album. The slow playing keybaords by Geoff Downes are truely excellent. This track is much better than some of the tracks. (7.5/10)

8.I Will Be There For You - After a fairly good track, we get this. A huge mess that goes no where and is a totally AOR s**t song. The song itself sounds very disjointed, as the drumming struggles to keep up with the awkward changes that John Payne is doing with his vocals and bass, as the guitar keeps plugging in useless riffs that are not really needed. This is the worst track on the album. (4.5/10)

9.Darkness Day - Slow vocal intro into a steady rocking beat with excellent keyboards...good track? Yes, actually. This is one of the longer pop songs that I can appreciated, due to its good playing and hooks that make the song so likeable. The keyboard riff and guitar played with the great drums and bass guitar are great. The lyrics don't mean much, and the vocals don't make then any better, but the track is a keeper. (8/10)

10.The Prophet - Ending in almost the same way as Aqua, with a serene type of water flowing and whale noises, with some occasionally keyboard sounds, then enters the piano which leads into a good, but great closer. The reason is, it could have been something more, but everything just sounds like your normal Asia ballad. Sour note at the end, unfortunatly. (5.5/10)

This album is not bad at all, just too average to be considered good. The tracks don't coexist very well, and some of the flow in the songs themseleves is very disjointed. I have to give it a low 3 stars because some of the tracks were good, but not great. Nothing really pops out at me from this average album.

Jazzywoman | 3/5 |


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