XXX by Asia (Frontiers Records)
Asia’s self-titled debut was released in March of 1982, featuring the massive hit singles Heat Of The Moment and Only Time Will Tell. Even today, the album is cited as an influential work commanding respect and admiration from a wide variety of music aficionados. The classic lineup who recorded the legendary first effort has now returned thirty years later, unleashing a thrilling new masterpiece entitled XXX.
Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton are at the very height of their creative prowess, and XXX marks the spot towards what could clearly become another landmark recording for this iconic British rock band. 9 songs in all, ready take transport the listener into an intriguing world of sonic manifestations presented by sheer virtuosos within their craft.
The mighty XXX commences with a haunting piano interlude before bursting into the triumphant strains of Tomorrow The World. An epic beginning that is sure to enrapture even the most critical of Asia fanatic. Up next is Bury Me In Willow, a standout cut that shows all of the signs of being a hit single.
No Religion continues the stunning sense of aural adventure, with the dark yet inspiring lyrics meshing perfectly with the progressive soundscapes. Faithful then fills the air with its gorgeous refrains and dramatic vocal performance, sending the composition into the stratosphere.
I Know How You Feel possesses compelling keyboard meanderings rendering the entire song a dazzling display of technique and craft. Face On The Bridge is grand and sweeping, weaving its timely magic in a spellbinding manner. Then Al Gatto Nero takes the listener round the world with its lush, magnetic refrains.
The album takes a decidedly dark turn as betrayal rears its ominous head with the striking rocking reveries of Judas. And then closing out the XXX experience on a wondrous note is Ghost Of A Chance, leaving the listener on an intriguing note of positive contemplation.
A thoroughly satisfying effort that fans will want to return to time and again, XXX is the perfect album to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the prodigious Asia. In addition to the 9-song recording, there are other editions of the album featuring bonuses such as extra songs, music videos, and even a featurette on the band.
They’ve been recording in various formations since the first self-titled effort, and now with XXX, the Asia legacy continues to shine on throughout the passages of time. XXX was produced by Mike Paxman, who impressive credits include Uriah Heep and Status Quo. Here’s to another 30 years of truly landmark artistry from the truly magnificent collective known as Asia!
(Review by Kenneth Morton)
Asia Official Home Page