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Asia: XXX




ASIA dates back to the humble beginnings of the MTV. Formed in 1981, the band debuted in 1982, and the self-titled effort was number one in the States for nine weeks. The singles “Time Will Tell” and the perennial “Heat of the Moment” didn´t do them any harm in selling ten million albums world-wide. “Alpha” followed but by the third album the band started disintegrating and in the 90´s only Geoff Downes remained. Various solo efforts and Wetton-Downes constellations followed, but it was not until John Payne joined in 1991 that the band got stability enough to function until 2006. Various musicians have been members over the years, and one of those splits occurred in 2006. ASIA featuring John Payne on one side, and the four original members, Wetton, Downes, guitarist Steve Howe and drummer Carl Palmer began recording a reunion album. The results can be heard every other year; “Phoenix” (2008), “Omega” (2010) and now this album.

The previous reunion albums were not bad, but this is an enjoyment. Geoff Downe´s vocals seem so right in opener “Tomorrow the World”, only to be surpassed by the well-arranged mid-paced “Bury Me in Willow”. Arrangements and musicianship are as can be expected almost out of this world. The spark and the spark of past releases like “Astra” can of cause not be expected of a band with members who have or will soon reach the normal retirement age. The eighties hit feeling is ubiquitous of cause, with a sneaky feeling of an 80´s movie score. Geoff´s keys are a wet dream for a retro aficionado! I´d say this is the most convincing hour of the band since reforming.

Track List
Tomorrow the World
Bury Me in Willow
No Religion
I Know How You Feel
Face on the Bridge
Al Gatto Nero
Ghost of a Chance

Writer: Mikael Johansson
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