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Asia - Aqua CD (album) cover




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2.86 | 203 ratings

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1 stars Featuring two of the very few, genuinely progressive Asia tracks in the shape of the rather beautiful album- opener('Aqua I') and the final, closing piece('Aqua II') this is nevertheless another helping of lumpen, risible pseudo-prog AOR burnished with the usual condescendingly over-emphatic vocals, simplistic melodies and groan-inducing fantasy lyrics. Coming seven years after the equally weak 'Astra', this would Prove to the first Asia album of the 1990's though by now only Geoff Downes(keyboards, vocals), Steve Howe(guitars) and Carl Palmer(drums) remain from their early-eighties heyday, original bassist John Wetton having sensibly jumped ship. Here, he is replaced by John Payne(bass, vocals) who would go on to become the group's main driving force after the star names began defecting(that is, until Payne was unceremoniously booted out the of the group he had helmed for almost a decade once the original foursome decided to reunite in 2008). Also featuring is guitarist Al Pitrelli, who shares lead duties with a rather disinterested sounding Steve Howe, though the presence of a fifth member fails to add anything new to the group's sound and what the hell he's actualy doing here is anybody's guess. Simply put, 'Aqua' yet again displays the usual paucity of musical imagination that has become Asia's hallmark, and despite the various members celebrated backgrounds the idea that this is a progressive rock outfit is actually rather offensive seeing as the music on offer here - or indeed on any Asia album - has virtually nothing like the creative breadth and scope shown on the (many) albums of King Crimson, Yes or even - most damningly of all - Buggles. Gruesome.


stefro | 1/5 |


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