Review Summary: By this point, good music sounded like the impossible for Asia.
Here's the biggest problem with Silent Nation, the last Asia album that got no attention (seriously, almost every album before this was ignored): you can't stop listening to it. Oldies like Asia have never exactly been stellar: and this just proves it: it's so bad it doesn't even remotely have POTENTIAL left, not the slightest morsel of it. The music by this point was dying: Arena being the last album to actually have something good about it. It could be the saddest thing in the band's history since they decided to stop mainstream music. (Though Astra was good)
Silent Nation's issues do not stop with the fact that the instrument riffery is drawled-out and boring, the lyrical flare in the vocalist is about as exciting and noticeable as Steve Segal in his "action-packed" b-movies, and the drumming is repetitive and the past albums that made the drums passable is gone, it possesses no elements of any likability. The songwriting sounds like a bad rip-off of modern day hip-hop (listen to I Will Be There For You), or a bad parody of modern day power metal (the title track). If it's a saving grace, they do not SING bad, but the production is more jagged and rough than two daggers, the instruments are about as bland as orange juice after brushing your teeth, and the lack of passion takes away any credibility the album had, if there WAS any. It ***ing SUCKS.
If there is one thing, and I do stress, ONE thing, that would actually make this album worth listening to, is the fact that it is the last Asia album that is truly awful. The two albums after this actually turned out to be slightly more tolerable than anything else before it, so the endless streak that Asia had been going through, the end of it is sadly the worst part of their career. It is also the last album to feature John Payne, which is a relief, considering the absence of poppy-inflection John Wetton was starting to become unbearable, for anything could of been better than Payne's bland lyrics. And after a few listens, you'll learn to tolerate it.
Wait, I'm kidding. Silent Nation is about as 10% as good as anything else released before it. And guess how much we liked those albums?
* John Payne – Bass guitar, Guitar, vocals
* Geoff Downes – Keyboard, backing vocals, percussion
* Chris Slade – drums
* Guthrie Govan – Lead Guitar
Released by Victor Entertainment in 2004.
Although I don't recommend it, the album before this, Aura.