Review Summary: The supergroup Asia at their best, and one of the most underrated albums of all time.
It's kind of hard to overstate just how huge Asia's debut album (Asia) was. It was the best-selling album of 1982, it reached #1 on the Billboard 200, and the hit single 'Heat of the Moment' has earned a cult following. But does the album actually live up to the standards it achieved? Well, in my opinion, it's the best superpower album of all time, but, the opinion is only up to those who listen. It's definitely worth an iTunes buy if you're still debating on whether to ignore it or own it. I tend to go towards the latter camp, but it all depends on the genre.
Now, just to let you know, the lyrics are supposed to be cheesy. Yes, very much so. The album is far from slow, and it doesn't take time to build. If you're a university student who's into Metallica and has every album possible from Anthrax, then... you may not like this. See, the song's about breaking up with girlfriends, singing about relationships, and all that fun stuff that pop artists sing about nowadays... and that's okay! In fact, it helps improve the album quality.
A hell of a lot of critics have destroyed the album, but the vocal range, pop-related melodies and guitar work, drum rhythm, everything, is all too awesome. "Heat of the Moment" was a massive radio hit. I mean, this attacked MTV, VH1, and topped the Billboard for weeks. Listen to this song, and you can't resist another play. It's timeless, basically.
"Only Time Will Tell" is another amazing song. The keyboard intro and drum work on the song are breathtaking, to say the least. The voice is also really mature in this song, as it was on the previous track. "Sole Survivor" amps it up a little, with a great riff similar to arena rock bands like Journey or the awesome Styx, and the prelude / interlude is great.
"One Step Closer" (NOT TO BE MISTAKEN WITH LINKIN PARK), is my least favourite track on the album. The vocalist sounds WAY too loud, and the keyboards' mixing production is also really loud, while everything else
sounds too quiet. Outside the production, it's average at best. "Time Again" has one of the best openings on the album, and features two or three interesting uses of stereo.
"Wildest Dreams" is a touching song on the terrors of war. The quick, rhythmic solo in this song really seems to fit the flow and focus of the entire track. It's one of the most lyrically impressive tracks on the album. "Without You" ups the lyrics, though, with amazingly descriptive songwriting and amazing mastering on the mature, deep voice of the vocalist. The piano and bass is also awesome. Listening to this alone will help you
gain a new found admiration of the band, and the songwriter's talent as a poet.
"Cutting It Fine" is a slow, building song that will actually take time to grow on you, but the drumming at the end is, to say the least, astounding. The progression and mixing of the song, following the awesome bass of it all, is also what makes Cutting It Fine impressive. Lastly, "Here Comes The Feeling" is quite possibly my favorite song in Asia history. The instrumental bridge, the smooth, likable bass focus, the extraordinary keyboards, lyrically nice, and the production, mixing, and editing is top-notch.
Underrated? Yeah. I know I've given it a lot of praise, but whether you like Asia or not, it's all up to you.