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Asia - Archiva 2 CD (album) cover




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1.88 | 41 ratings

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2 stars I could literally copy my review of Archiva 1 and just place the same text under Archiva 2. There really isn't any difference between these two archival compilations released in 1996 and featuring outtakes and unreleased material from the first three albums of Asia's Payne era.

Like Archiva 1, the music on Archiva 2 is chiefly AOR material, but quite substandard in quality to the usual studio album output of the band. There was a reason why these songs never made it onto an Asia album and it becomes quite apparent as one fights the urge to press that skip button on their CD player. I suppose the only really interesting song is a cover of ELO's Showdown. Frankly, if I had made a cover version like that, I'd be embarrassed to release it to the public. It really lacks the skill and performance needed to pull it off and comes off as a sad, almost Sesame Street-like imitation.

The other sore spot for me about Archiva 2 was that it and its predecessor should have been released in one 2-CD package instead of separate releases. If I had known the quality of the material on these were this poor, I would have never bought them. I suppose maybe Asia had anticipated releasing an Archiva 3, Archiva 4, etc. It's probably a good thing they didn't as whatever resemblance of quality they had over the first two surely would have dissipated completely with more releases. Funny enough, Asia did release another archival compilation in 2000, which featured a mix of stuff from the two Archiva releases and hits from their studio albums.

I guess this sort of thing happens when a band releases and repackages stuff over and over to milk it for all it's worth. Only for Asia fans. If you're not one, then don't bother with this. Two stars.

progaardvark | 2/5 |


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