Sunday, March 16, 2008

Audio Clips of New ASIA Album posted sound bites from the new ASIA album, Phoenix. First of all, I never thought this album would see the light of day, and if it did, it would suck hard. Well, I was wrong on the first count at least - it's coming out April 11.

On the second, I guess it depends on how much you like Asia's more glossy, ballad-oriented second album Alpha, 'cause this one sounds like they picked it up right from there.

The first track sounds pretty good. Actually really good. But after that, it's Asia ballad after Asia ballad, which I could leave aside, really. I dig Asia for guitarist Steve Howe, and he seems pretty downplayed in what I heard. I want him to bust out a Time Again lead, but I don't hear a vehicle for that in this album.

Not to dwell solely on the negative, Wetton's voice sounds surprisingly strong. The production sounds really good as well. Not as present as the first album but not as flimsy as the second. It sounds fairly high budget.

But given that they signed a contract with EMI and therefore must have SOME sort of strategy, maybe they are figuring this album will appeal to a generation of 80s rockers who have mellowed and really like ballads. If you're a fan of The Smile Has Left Your Eyes, this one is for you!

I will probably buy the first tune off of iTunes and pass on the rest.


Dr. John said...

I have to agree with you, Isorski. The clips all sound rather limp save for the first track, which sounds as strong as the weaker songs on the first album. If I only want to get the first song, thank God for iTunes...

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't judge an album only by some clips!
I've just listened to the full album promo and there's more to discover than the first song. Sure - there's nothing "essential", but there are not only ballads. 2/3 of the songs are at least mid-temp, some have even surprising changes in tempo/dynamics. One might have wished they would go for a higher risk and do some more "progressive" stuff, but there are some quite nice orchestral synth arrangements in the vein of "Cutting It Fine" and at least with the 8min three-part song "Parallel Worlds / Vortex /Day" they tried something new - though it's a bit dull in the end. :-(
As I said, there's nothing essential, but for the fan of 70s-ex-prog-rockers-pomp-sound it's the best you can get since ELP's "Black Moon".

1980-F (Germany)

Isorski said...

Well spoken, anon. Perhaps I will try and buy those longer more prog tracks and check them out. Thanks for the tip and mild scolding ;)