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ASIA-XXX

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It has been nearly three decades since their self-titled, multi-platinum debut was released, hence this latest one being called XXX, though in this digital age, XXX means something different than the Roman number for 30.
During these last 30 years Asia have released some good songs, and had a few decent albums, but nothing that was really as strong as the debut. This has always been a disappointment to the fan base and to me as I know that John Wetton, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer are some of the most talented musicians on earth, and they should be churning out classic tunes like ‘Heat Of the moment’ time and time again. Yet for me, this has never happened, and I have always tended to drift back to the debut, and hope that the next Asia record will be better.
So is this (their third release since the original members reunited in 2006) new one just another run of the mill record, or have they pulled something special out of the bag, ?. Well I’m pleased to say that this is quite possible the strongest Asia record yet, after their debut off course.

‘Tomorrow the World’ opens this opus , and what a track it is, it is grand in statue, and listening to it, you just know the rest of the album is going to follow in the same vein, full of great AOR music.
Geoff Downes is very much at the forefront throughout this record, with his keyboards driving many of the songs and taking a number of solo spots, yet that is not to say Steve Howe is left out in the cold, far from it, he plays beautifully complex guitar work and solos over and behind the keys, layering them as only Asia can do
“Face on the bridge” is the first single to be taken from the album, and what a song it is – catchy, polished, and certainly radio friendly.
“Ghost of a Chance” is the best song on the album for me, showcasing all that is great about Asia, lush melodies, and catchy hooks.
Wetton’s voice is sounding just as strong now, as it did nearly thirty years ago, and the rhythm section provide just enough meat to keep the songs firmly in the AOR camp.
An album that all AOR or Melodic rock fans need to check out, a stunning return to form, highly recommended 9/10.
ASIA are:

Geoff Downes – keyboards
Steve Howe – guitars
Carl Palmer – drums
John Wetton – bass, vocals

Track listing

01. Tomorrow The World
02. Bury Me In Willow
03. No Religion;
04. Faithful
05. I Know How You Feel
06. Face On The Bridge
07. Al Gatto Nero
08. Judas
09. Ghost Of A Chance

Track listing (Deluxe edition CD/DVD)

01. Tomorrow The World
02. Bury Me In Willow
03. No Religion;
04. Faithful
05. I Know How You Feel
06. Face On The Bridge
07. Al Gatto Nero
08. Judas
09. Reno (Silver and Gold)*
10. Ghost Of A Chance
11. I Know How You Feel (Midnight Mix)*
* Bonus tracks

DVD: Face On The Bridge (Music Video); Faithful (Music Video); The Making of XXX (Featurette)
originalasia.com/

General Manager and 'THE' competition guy at planetmosh.com. Manager of The Goddanm Electric www.thegde.co.uk, Tour manager for Serpentine, and ex-general Dogsbody at Hammerfest.co.uk. Media partner to numerous bands. Also takes photos, writes reviews and likes classic rock, with a touch of thrash to get the blood flowing.