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GPS Window To The Soul Inside Out Music
· Produced By: John Payne

· Running Time: 64.18

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: Progressive Melodic Rock

· Links: Inside Out
89%
Songs: 86%
Sound: 93%
It is really a shame how things worked out for the last concoction of Asia. The band really hit their straps with the Silent Nation release and anticipation was high for the follow-up, which was near complete before being scuttled by the re-union of original Asia members.
Still, that gave vocalist John Payne and fellow current Asia cohorts Jay Schellen and Guthrie Govan the impetus to get creative on their own project.
For all intents and purposes, GPS is a natural progression from the musical base established by Silent Nation.
I have read opinions of this album favoring it over Silent Nation and others that still prefer the Asia record. I'm in that camp, but the difference is barely negotiable.
Both are great records and GPS is going to bring a lot of joy to fans of that line-up.
Ryo Okumoto (from Spock's Beard) steps in to replace Geoff Downes on keyboards and is the perfect man for the job.
This is quite an epic album and one with considerable rewards for listeners willing to invest a little time in it. There isn't a track under the 5 minute mark and several around the 7 minute mark.
It has a definite progressive and harder edge – more so than the last Asia album, while at the same time carrying over the melodic sensibilities of that line-up, not to mention the killer rhythm section, thanks to Payne (bass) and Schellen (drums).
Opening with the edgy 7 minute rocker Window To The Soul, the album turns left into Asia territory with the lush 8 minute AOR track New Jerusalem.
It gets even more melodic and rather emotional on the classy 8 minute rock ballad Heaven Can Wait, which features some raspy, emotional vocals.
Other album highlights include the Asia-esque Written On The Wind; the rich arrangement of I Believe In Yesterday; the commercial rocker All My Life, complete with 80s feel; and the closing hard rocker Taken Dreams.
The Bottom Line
I can't help but think the album dips a little in the second half, but the opening 5 tracks are really nothing short of classic John Payne and sets this band up to be a dominant force in the world of melodic progressive rock. GPS is an instant winner for fans of recent Asia and for fans of vocalist John Payne.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Windows To The Soul

Line Up:
· John Payne: Vocals, Bass, Guitars
· Guthrie Govan: Guitars
· Jay Schellen: Drums
· Ryo Okumoto: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
· Asia - Silent Nation
· John Payne
Track Listing
· Window To The Soul *
· New Jerusalem *
· Heaven Can Wait *
· Written On The Wind
· I Believe In Yesterday *
· The Objector
· All My Life
· Gold
· Since You've Been Gone
· Taken Dreams

--*Best Tracks


12/12/06: Dimitri - dd@2112.com
Rating: 100
Phenomenal album with amazing voice guitars AND synthesizer. Must have in any collection.

09/12/06: WREDMON - WREDMON@COX.NET
Rating: 90
REALLY GOOD STUFF1 LOTS OF MENTION REFERENCE JOHN PAYNE'S VOICE. THE RASPINESS SOUNDS BETTER THAN THE VOX OF TEN YEARS AGO. AND NO ONES MENTIONED HIS BASS PLAYING. TRACK 4 IS AWESOME, AND WHETHER IS EQUIPMENT OR WHAT, HIS BASS SOUND IS AWESOME. PLUS, JAY SCHNELLEN DRUM WORK IS MILES AHEAD OF 4/4 CHRIS SLADE, WHO SHOULD STICK TO AC/DC RHYTHMS AND NOT PROG LEANING MASTERPIECES. OUTSTANDING CD, BETTER THAN SILENT NATION!

08/12/06: Bob - bob@gerszewski.net
Rating: 95
Having been a big Payne era Asia fan, I didn't know what to expect here with GPS. What was produced is simply one of the best records of the year. This appeals to Payne Asia fans I'm sure, but stands on its own as a fine work aside from that. It will appeal to those who like prog and hard rock, and it certainly has great melodic style as well. Its been awhile since I've heard an album like this, and it's very welcome to arrive.

Individually, Payne's voice is harder, yet just as fine as ever. And his authority matches the quality and force of the songs. Often absent from recent Asia was Schellen's fine hard rock style drumming. Guthrie Govan is allowed to freestyle more on the guitar and there is enough of that here to please many a guitar fan. Lastly, Ryo Okomoto's keys simply are brilliant here; subdued and special at the same time. He's picked his spots carefully to shine. It all works great. You almost say "Geoff who" (and I am a huge Downes fan).

Lastly, the production is solid, not overdone. You can listen to this album quietly, or as loud as you want and it still comes off as unique and special.

Its too bad we don't have more records like this these days.

08/12/06: cruz e - c.ramos67@netzero.com
Rating: 95
Great album,I think that it is as good as SILENT NATION,way better than the two before,great production and sound,really impressed,bring up the next one.

07/12/06: Jules - julian@sharpmoves.com
Rating: 95
I think that this is a very fine release. For me the songs are of better quality than the last few Asia releases (some highlights, but some filler also) and the musicianship second to none. The songs are pretty consistent and after a few listens the hooks just stay with you. Yes there are some prog elements, but they don't get in the way of the songs which are well written. Definitely one of my top three CDs of 2006.

07/12/06: Patrick - colin.patrick4@libertysurf.fr
Rating: 95
As a fan of Asia since their first album (fan of Wetton and Payne eras), i wonder why they have stopped a creative band featuring John Payne since 1991? And I saw 3 great shows with Payne on “aqua”, “aura” and “silent nation” tour, with different setlists which were always a great combination of Wetton and Payne eras.

Now we have 3 bands:

- the original members of ASIA are together only for touring, don't propose any new songs (a new album was expecting in the beginning of their reunion). Their set is only made from the 2 first albums, none tracks from "astra" which don't feature Steve Howe (but with Downes, Wetton, Palmer), and from "aqua" which don't feature John Wetton (but with Downes, and featuring Howe and Palmer), and so none from Payne era, and some tracks from previous bands of Wetton, Downes, Howe, Palmer: a reunion to me with is only a look at their past. It’s sad that ASIA take a long part of their history in silence (albums from “astra” 1985 to “silent nation” 2004). Real Asia fans would be happy to have a reunion tour like YES made in 1991.

- Wetton/Downes Icon who have release their second album since, but to me the musicianship is far beyond the songs itself.

- GPS the following project from 3 members of the previous ASIA line-up. GPS "window to the soul" is a great following to ASIA's "silent nation” with a more prog sound and guitars sounding more hard. Longest songs, great musicianship, and their force is when they're playing is that they're keeping great melodies. “window to the soul” is one of the best album of 2006.
Made several months after ASIA "architect of time" aborted project, GPS delivers with "window to the soul" great songs and shows talented and inspired musicians.

It’s a shame GPS made only one tour in UK supporting Y and T in october. Hope for this band and for their creative members, that many prog or AOR fans will find their way to support GPS.

07/12/06: Laurent - jazzhard@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
I am not a huge prog rock head and bought this album because I am a huge Jay Schellen fan. This record is fantastic ! It is not an album made to showcase the players' skills in difficult to follow music. This is an album where the songwriting is the focus. Even though you'll need several listenings to get all the nuances, the songs leave a mark on you right away. Jay Schellen's drumming is stellar. The guy's a genius. Govan's guitar is all over the place and the guy is the son of Steve Howe and Gary Moore (he fortunately doesn't look like them LOL). Payne's vocals are a bit rougher than with Asia and he sometimes sounds a bit like Black Sabbath's Tony Martin. But the great winner here are the songs. The band wrote songs in opposition to musical pieces. Brilliant work !


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