I’m not going to be cute about this. I’m taking the direct route. Asia’s new album XXX is a masterful exhibition of classic progressive rock.
Thirty years on from their multi-million selling debut; the original four members of Asia have proved that the blueprint that made the band so popular all those years ago can still sound amazingly relevant now. Is, as some are suggesting, ‘XXX’ the best thing that Asia have created? For me, not quite. However when you consider just how good the ‘Asia’ album was, and still is, the fact that ‘XXX’ runs it so close, is still a huge recommendation.
There is a real buzz around XXX which is more than justified – three decades since their formation Asia have released an album that is the sound of a band rejuvenated and is a “must buy” for fans old and new alike.
Asia’s fans will lap this up, and I dare say there are a great many who after listening to this, will discover Asia for the first time, and they’ll love it just the same. It has mass appeal, and if there’s any justice in the world, it will sell by the bucket load. If you like the lighter side of rock, then give this album a listen, to hear exactly how things were done 30 years ago. I’m probably gushing, but I’m not ashamed of being a fanboy, it just means I have exquisite taste….. This album is one of my essential albums for 2012, you simply shouldn’t miss out on it.
[XXX] also marks the third release since the reunion of the original lineup of Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton. The last album “Omega” was excellent, and the initial buzz suggested this one was even better. You know what? The buzz was on the money.
Asia’s XXX is simply classic Asia, doing intriguing melodic rock; maybe older and wiser, but still sharp and sounding good…Very recommended.
One of the most successful ‘supergroups’ of the 1980s, Asia managed to combine progressive-rock with AOR (album-oriented rock) into a multimillion-selling titan. With their chorus-heavy, hook-laden songs, they might not have pleased the critics but the fans lapped it up. Given the composition of the band, personnel changes were inevitable and this diluted the impact over the years. However, the original band managed to find time to record together and have produced this extremely fine album that harks back to their first LP while remaining a contemporary sound. There will always be a market for such music as presented here, even if the music press ignore it. Asia will definitely please their existing fans with this release and may even gain some new ones.