Asia
Gravitas


2.0
poor

Review

by menawati CONTRIBUTOR (92 Reviews)
April 1st, 2014 | 25 replies


Release Date: 03/25/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An essential release for those seeking a reliable cure for insomnia.

There are only two possible reasons why Asia are still releasing records; they genuinely get a kick out of churning out album after album of inoffensive arena rock or they need the cash. Whatever their motivations are there is no doubt that after over 30 years' worth of this stuff they are still showing no signs of throwing in the towel, even though it seems that Steve Howe finally had enough and elected to jump ship for this 14th album. This sort of syrupy commercial rock is, of course, about as fashionable as Hitler moustaches but there is always a certain section of the record buying public that seem to lap it up as long as it's catchy, easy on the ear and has a few choruses to hum along to in the shower. You could certainly say that about their self-titled 1982 debut which attained massive commercial success off the back of a few slices of superlative AOR. There was also a certain guilty novelty about spinning an album of unashamedly sing-along tunes by four of the stalwarts of the 70's progressive rock movement.

Thirty years on the novelty has long since died and so has, it seems, the group's ability to pen anything even remotely memorable. As one would expect from musicians with the pedigree of Carl Palmer, Geoff Downes and John Wetton the delivery is exemplary. Wetton's vocals never disappoint, whatever the setting, and new boy Sam Coulson gives a creditable performance as Howe's replacement. But there's no spark, no inspiration, no passion and certainly no attempt to break out of their tired old formula of mid-tempo keyboard laden commercial rock. Even for those that abhor this style of music a decent example of the genre force-fed to them via a sibling or partner should have the capability to sear its sugary melodies onto their subconscious and force them unwillingly to start humming one of its tunes at inopportune moments, much to their chagrin. This one, however, is mercifully free of any strong hooks or catchy choruses that may pollute your life in such a way so it can be safely experienced without fear of any such contamination.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


16113 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Valkyrie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIpmYEYC2rU

Since I wrote this review the song above is annoying the shit out of me by cropping up in my head all the time so I must admit my final paragraph may not be totally accurate.

Digging: H.P. Lovecraft - H.P. Lovecraft II

Tyrael
April 1st 2014


20946 Comments


Band has always sucked so this is not a surprise at all

good rev

Digging: Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


16113 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

thanks Ty, heat of the moment is a bit of an anthem tho cmon

manosg
April 1st 2014


6527 Comments


Always though of them in the same league as Toto, Foreigner, Boston and Journey but each of these bands have released at least one album that was enjoyable for me. Anything worth checking by Asia?

Digging: Witchfynde - Give 'em Hell

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


16113 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

there are a few songs on their debut that are ok but that's about it really

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


21639 Comments


lul asia

Digging: Soen - Tellurian

KILL
April 1st 2014


72086 Comments


might give this a listen for a laugh

Digging: Steve Hackett - Out of the Tunnel's Mouth

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


16113 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

if you can make it to the end then you certainly do deserve your newly won king of sputnik award for sheer masochistic grit

KILL
April 1st 2014


72086 Comments


lol i actually listened to all of arena once, johnny dared me

tempest--
April 1st 2014


14399 Comments


m/


Mad.
April 1st 2014


4066 Comments


Awesome review, album sounds dreadful.

One thing "there is no doubt that after over 30 year's worth" - the apostrophe should be after years

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


16113 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

nice spot mad i'll change it thanks

MrSirLordGentleman
April 1st 2014


4764 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I still don't get how can you be that bad with those line-ups ... well this band is like the worst "classic prog" band lol

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


16113 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

not sure why they are ever labelled as prog it's always been drossy commercial rock from them in spite of the personnel

Underflow
April 1st 2014


2593 Comments


Great review, won't be listening to this anytime this lifetime.

MrSirLordGentleman
April 1st 2014


4764 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It's like a time machine, we're on the 80's again

Arcade
Contributing Reviewer
April 1st 2014


3186 Comments


it was the heat of the moment
telling you what my heart meant

Digging: First Aid Kit - Stay Gold

CaptainDooRight
April 2nd 2014


30242 Comments


It's not fair 2 2 asia

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
April 2nd 2014


1917 Comments


Only ever listened to the first album by Asia. Nice review, don't think I'll bother with this album.

Digging: Obliterations - Poison Everything

Tyrael
April 2nd 2014


20946 Comments


'I still don't get how can you be that bad with those line-ups'

supergroups tend to suck tho



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