Asia â€“ Phoenix / 2008 Frontiers / 12 Tracks / http://www.originalasia.com /
Asiaâ€™s music is still some of the most played on classic rock radio, but that is not because the act has been particularly active in the last few years. Rather, â€œPhoenixâ€ marks the first reunion for all of the original members of the band, and the first album released by this iteration of Asia since 1983â€™s â€œAlphaâ€. This reunion started as a live show band in 2006, but rapidly found the love that they had for each other. This brought them into the studio, and â€œPhoenixâ€ was the result of these sessions. The band starts their trip back to the top with â€œNever Againâ€, a track that feels as if it responds to the criticisms of the band â€“ that they would play â€œNever Againâ€ as a cohesive unit.
This bold statement is the first single off of the album, which has brought a renewed interest on the band â€“ the act has actually charted already on the UK indie charts, and it should only be a short while before they chart in the US. Â Despite the fact that the band has had twenty-five years apart, the compositions on â€œPhoenixâ€ are solid, and oftentimes, approach the quality and timelessness of tracks like â€œSole Survivorâ€ and â€œHeat of the Momentâ€. What is perhaps the strongest facet of â€œPhoenixâ€ is the ability shown by the members f the band in linking together tracks that were from twenty-five years ago and never recorded (such as â€œDeyaâ€, â€œOver and Overâ€ and â€œAlibisâ€. These tracks work perfectly with â€œI Will Remember Youâ€, â€œNothingâ€™s Foreverâ€, and even the aforementioned â€œNever Againâ€.
While the tracks on â€œPhoenixâ€ work well in the current period, they bookend well with the work that ended â€œAlphaâ€. If you are a fan of Asia from this period, make sure to pick up this album. Hell, even if you like Asia with other iterations of the band, give â€œPhoenixâ€ a listen â€“ chances are that it will surpass the work done by the mishmash Asia work for the later eighties and nineties. Check them out when they go out on tour again â€“ while a studio album is a good indication of their skills, it is only in a live format that they talent and ability can truly shine. Hereâ€™s to hoping that this current (original) iteration of Asia can stick with it for the years to come.
Top Tracks: Nothingâ€™s Forever, Shadow of a Doubt