new Asia is AWFULA
Posted by: The Other Joe ()
Date: April 25, 2001 10:56PM

Just one opinion.

Well, I only have Aqua, Aria, and Arena. They all suck. I've heard a lot of good things about Aura, but they sound like all the same type of good things I heard about Arena. I've been burned once. I'm not buying Aura. I've heard a few clips, and I'm sorry to say it but there hasn't been any improvement as far as I can tell. It's just more of the same.

I don't like the singer, John Payne. He is probably the biggest reason for my dislike of the recent formation of the band. I'm not a John Wetton worshipper, and I'm not the webmaster or participant in the John Payne sucks unfan club. To me, he is just wrong in every way. For one thing, he strikes me as a bad hair metal singer like Bret Michaels or something. As if that isn't bad enough, someone told him that he's got soul. He doesn't. He sounds like a Bret Michaels doing a remake of Michael Bolton's remake of Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay. He's just plum awful. There's this one episode of Brady Bunch where the kids were selected by some hippie TV commercial director to do a spot for a laundry detergent. Their wacky aunt Myrna, who claims to be an actress of some sort, tells them to get "motivated." They over-act and over-emote in way that is totally cheesy. As a singer, John Payne is also "motivated." He overdoes his emotion to the point of feeling completely contrived. It makes me cringe. In additional to his bad natural tone and hideous phrasing, he has a tendency to miss notes by just enough to drive me nuts, especially on Aqua.

The vocals are just one dimension to the awfulness of the 90's Asia output. Another problem is that the song-writing is just plain flat. Nothing grabs me. No hooks. I can listen to the entire album straight thru and absolutely nothing sticks. I have no desire to singer along, even though it might be an improvement. It's just impossible to get into the music at all. I have the exact same problem with the highly over-rated band Ten as well, so judge that for what it's worth. In the 80's, I was disappointed by the song-writing on Astra, but it sounds stellar compared with the crap on these releases. Admittedly, I noticed a very tiny improvement on Arena, but it isn't enough to merit any real attention. It just illustrates how terrible Aqua and Aria were.

The third problem is that the whole thing sounds uninspired. It's like they hired a bunch of studio musicians who were just working for a paycheck. I sure that some of them were, but just compare hired hand Pitrelli's playing on this material to his hired hand work on the Savatage stuff. It's night and day. It's like even he knew how bad the Asia stuff was. The music has no life and its performance mirrors that lifelessness. You'd think that at least Downes would sound like he's enjoying the music, but he doesn't. The music is plain tepid.

The album art is cool, though.

Save your money to buy a decent reissue.


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SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
Asia AURA: better than Andrew's 62% 176 koogles 04/25/2001 06:07AM
Re: Asia AURA: better than Andrew's 62% 129 Richard 04/25/2001 06:14AM
Re: Asia AURA: better than Andrew's 62% 116 Jonte 04/25/2001 06:26AM
Re: Asia AURA: better than Andrew's 62% 120 Peter M. Bietenholz 04/25/2001 07:03AM
Hmmmm.... 109Surfpunk04/25/2001 07:12AM
Re: Asia AURA: better than Andrew's 62% 112 koogles 04/25/2001 07:52AM
Re: Asia AURA: better than Andrew's 62% 107Peter M. Bietenholz04/25/2001 04:42PM
Re: Asia AURA: better than Andrew's 62% 108mark kennedy04/25/2001 05:40PM
Re: Asia AURA: better than Andrew's 62% (Whoops!!! 117mark kennedy04/25/2001 05:48PM
Thanks Mark! 106 Andrew 04/25/2001 07:02PM
Re: Thanks Mark! 118mark kennedy04/25/2001 10:57PM
Re: Asia AURA: better than Andrew's 62% 113 adolfo 04/25/2001 08:25AM
It kinds bugs me... 120 Andrew 04/25/2001 01:41PM
This is only the second time... 116 koogles 04/25/2001 02:44PM
That's OK! 118 Andrew 04/25/2001 03:01PM
Re: Asia AURA: better than Andrew's 62% 110 Brian 04/25/2001 07:35PM
Best John Wetton-less Asia CD 121 koogles 04/25/2001 10:42PM
Re: Best John Wetton-less Asia CD 108Peter M. Bietenholz04/26/2001 12:30AM
Re: Best John Wetton-less Asia CD 107Dave04/26/2001 04:18AM
new Asia is AWFULA124 The Other Joe 04/25/2001 10:56PM
Asia is not that h-aura-ble! 126 koogles 04/25/2001 11:17PM
New Asia remains awful. 107 The Other Joe 04/26/2001 03:22AM
Hey Joe... 106Surfpunk04/26/2001 04:02AM
Your Bret Michaels comparison remains awful 108 koogles 04/26/2001 08:39AM
Re: better than Andrew's 62% ? No 118 ddregs 04/26/2001 06:16PM
The key to appreciating Aura... 130 koogles 04/27/2001 12:03AM
The key to appreciating Aura... 111mark kennedy04/27/2001 05:08PM

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