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Asia - Archiva 2 CD (album) cover




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1.88 | 41 ratings

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Symphonic Team
1 stars Scraping the barrel clean

This is the second of the two Archiva compilations (continuing Asia's long standing tradition of having their album titles begin and end with the letter A). While these albums were initially released individually, they have since been released as a two-in-one 2CD edition. Both Archiva 1 and Archiva 2 cover the very same period of the Payne-era and as such the interest anyone can possibly have in such a compilation is limited, to say the least. Releasing two compilation discs full of leftovers from a period that produced only three original studio albums is really pushing it!

If you have the studio albums Aqua, Aria and Arena you will have a pretty good idea of the type of music involved here. Some songs stick out, however. But not in a good way! Satellite Blues, for example, would certainly not fit on those studio albums as it is totally different from what we are used to from Asia. It is, as the title implies, as Blues Rock number and it is as generic and ordinary as it possibly can get. We also have the Electric Light Orchestra cover Showdown, which is quite painful to listen to (or should that be Payne- full?).

The quality of the material here is certainly much lower than on the studio albums of this period, as can be expected from leftovers. But also compared to Archiva 1, this second compilation is weaker. In a way, Archiva 2 is the leftovers of the leftovers! You have to have some kind of Asia obsession (which is the title of one song here) to be interested in this stuff (and how many people have such an obsession? Not too many, I presume).

If you rate the Payne-era Asia albums highly and you want more of the same, Archiva 1 & 2 are worthy additions to your collection. At least Archiva 1 is. If you don't have those three studio albums, I would, however, certainly not start with these compilations before getting those original albums. Personally, I think that Aqua, Aria and Arena are good albums, but I find very little interest in these Archiva releases, particularly in this second one.

SouthSideoftheSky | 1/5 |


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