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Asia - Phoenix CD (album) cover




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3.22 | 212 ratings

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4 stars Bye Bye Payne...

This is a real good effort from Asia, one of my favourite medallion reunion bands! The sound of this CD pretty much reminds me of the first albums, in fact it could be easily placed as a third Asia album - with the original Line up - as the CD would be recorded at the old 1985-86 days. The Payne Era of the band was forgettable, since their best work "Aura" failed to gain commercial success and John Payne´s voice reminds me some kind of Rick Astley singing AOR Prog. The production is very fine and the sound is very well balanced for the trio Wetton, Howe and Downes (some background keyboards are really too loud in the mix down), however the drums were mixed too much in the background. Palmer work is, as usual, flawless and full of flourishes and perfect technique, but the sound was really bad mixed, specially for the snare drum... Discounting this mistake, the album shows a very good selection of songs, and it is very oriented by melodies. Beautiful ballads (Heroine and I will Remeber You) showcases Wetton´s voice. His bass is interesting in Wish I Know all along, but I don´t understand his choice for finger thumbing the bass way down the entire record and also on the show - Wetton is able to play way better than this! Howe and Downes are very inspired, highpoints to Howe with superb guitar work throughout the album. The opener Never Again is a real good uptempo rock anthem, some flashs of the early eighties sparkled in my mind. Orchard of mines and Extraordinary life are well representants of Asia sound, well crafted... Nostalgy is a good feeling some times...

fredfontes | 4/5 |


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