There are slight accents done by either the keys or electric guitar and they really add to the beauty of the song. It's a really sparse song and it builds up emotionally in the middle. Then the drums come in and the piano adds some more soul to it. Then the chorus becomes bigger with all the added instruments. Payne also does the raspier vocals as the music builds up. Very versatile voice, very good use of it.
The music that supports him is genius, while it's not even technical, but this is mostly John's song to own the vocals! Lay Down Your Arms- This is another one that could've been a hit had it been released in the 80's on a bigger label. I could picture this one being heard on a classic rock radio station. It's got a nice beat, a rather big chorus, and it's pretty up beat. It brings Asia's earlier works to mind, but this is pulled off with more style and emotion than anything I've heard the past Asia maybe except for After the War off of Astra.
There is a key solo in this song. It's done rather well. I rather enjoy this song. Good tune! Crime of the Heart- This starts off with a sad sounding violin and then Downes plays a piano-synth part that sounds like a Jonathan Cain composition for Journey. Payne comes in and it sounds like one of those cheesy 80's Hair Metal Bands' ballads.
Musically, it is. Lyrically, while it is about that subject, it is beautifully written. As for the music, while it is in that cheesy style, it isn't cheesy. It's pulled off rather beautifully as well. I really do like the song as it is, but I would love to hear Steve Perry of Journey sing this song just because of how the opening piano part reminded me of that band. Now though, the song is really good. Payne puts a huge amount of soul into it and the music behind him only matches his emotion.
The solo is really good and in a few ways, it even reminds me of Neal Schon's style guitarist for Journey. Asia must've had Journey in mind when they wrote this song because all that's missing is Steve Perry's vocals lol. All the Journey references aside though, this is a great song!
I think it could've been a huge hit as well. Great job! A Far Cry- This one starts off with an epic sounding synth and an emotional guitar solo with it. Then the drums come in and the song takes off. I used to like this song a lot, but this one kinda lost its touch.
It's a good song, but to me it's lost that special something that made it fun to hear. It still gets me nodding my head along with the beat, but it's not as good as it used to be. The steel guitar part is good, like all the other songs though. Don't Call Me- I haven't ever really liked this song. When the music comes in after the sounds that open the beginning, it sounds cool and gets my attention, but the chorus is a little uninspired to my ear and I don't enjoy the song for that reason.
To each his own, but I don't like this song. Heaven on Earth- This song starts off with some spacey-sounding synths and John's voice softly comes in over the synths. After a while, the full band comes in and it turns into a really heavy-heart-felt rocker. My head nods along to this song and John's vocals soar in this song! I like this song, though it's not as good as the Boston song of the same title Not many things do compare to Boston. This song does have a good middle instrumental section.
It's brooding and features an eerie feeling. There is a guitar solo that comes in and really picks up the song! With a solo like this, it's not hard to see how Al Pitrelli ended up in Megadeth. His playing is technical and skilled, but with gusto and emotion.
Very good solo and good song! Aqua Part 2 - This is nowhere near as good as the opening Aqua. It's a synth-driven instrumental and it has a drum-machine sounding rhythm part with a few guitar cameos through it, but because of how it came out, I believe this track to be filler.
I would've preferred either no Aqua 2 or to have one that's actually a sequel to the opening track with Steve Howe. Bonus Tracks: Obsession- This song is pretty much the best on this album. Think that the strength of this album could've been raised had they removed a few of the not-so-great songs and put this and another song by the name of Heart of Gold on the album.
Payne's vocals really shine on this song and the music in it is really good as well. This song is such an upbeat song that I don't know why they didn't put it on the actual album. It would've fit in so well!!!
I really love the chorus in the song! The guitar solo in this song is too short though. My only complaint about the actual song. There is a small solo that happens as a counter melody to the final chorus and it really adds to the emotion. Then the solo continues after the chorus is finished. Great song! Should've made the album!!! Good quality recordings for those that enjoy hearing live bonus tracks.
Verdict- If you like Asia, you should definitely pick up this album. If you haven't gotten into John Payne's Asia, you should go in chronological order because this one starts off in familiar territory musically and then the others go off into very different sounds, but you can hear some of what would come on the next album in here, but for the most part, it's hard rock mixed with Asia's typical sound. Good mix with this vocalist. Good album overall! Happy New Year and Happy Shopping! Asia's fourth full studio album entailed a substantial leap forward from the group's output starting with Astra and continuing Album) Live In Moscow ' With John Wetton and Geffen guru John Kalodner out of the equation, Geoff Downes explored more light and space in directions consistent with the hard-rock and prog leanings of Asia's celebrated debut album.
Downes could have moved farther from the vocalist-dominated, metal-pop-ballad approach that the two aforementioned Johns likely planned and certainly favored, but Aqua was at least a transition in a welcome direction. John Payne on vocals and bass was more conducive to a collaborative rock-band approach than was Wetton at the time. The songs on Aqua are fair to very good in quality, patchy taken as a whole, probably owing to their mixed pedigree and sometime reliance on hair-metal formula.
The presence of Al Pitrelli's guitars adds heavy-metal The Voice Of Reason - Asia (2) - Aqua (Cassette that sometimes work well, sometimes don't. All told it's a worthwhile hodgepodge with occasional wince-inducing bits to endure. Most notable for occasional ramp-ups of musical quality is the presence on several songs of Steve Howe playing acoustic guitar.
Some listeners have viewed Howe's involvement as a transparent bid for a credibility boost given the absence of Wetton, even though Howe was reportedly happy to participate and did some touring with the new Asia line-up. A more intriguing mystery, and a more compelling candidate for the case of possible "name-dropping" where Asia is concerned, is the question of how much drumming Carl Palmer provided on Aqua.
Several sources indicate that Palmer was unable to fully participate in the Aqua sessions due to an impending ELP reunion. What's puzzling to the amateur drum detective is that Palmer appears in the credits as the "primary" drummer, with Simon Phillips and Nigel Glockler listed as "additional" drummers and Michael Sturgis given a musical thank-you among many others. The following round of Spot The Drummer is meant to be fun.
It capitalizes on a fairly unique situation: how often does one get the chance to assess an album on which the credits are vague, perhaps by design, so that it's not always easy to know which of four high-end rock drummers is playing on a given song? No doubt a seasoned drummer could handily spot the players per song, and said person might grumble, "If you can't tell the difference, why does it matter?
First, a couple tracks are no-brainers: "Obsession" appeared on InsideOutMusic's reissue of Aqua as well as Asia's earlier Archiva release--presumably it was an outtake from the original Aqua sessions. On Archiva, the drums on "Obsession" are credited to Nigel Glockler. Again on Archiva, Album), Carl Palmer is credited for "The Smoke That Thunders," which sounds like an alternate take of the drums on "The Voice of Reason" set to a different synth background; in any event, the drums on this track are strongly characteristic of Palmer's playing.
It's also worth noting that Nigel Glockler is credited in Archiva as the drummer on at least one Rain song "Tears"and he was in the mix of session players around the time of the Rain recordings. Most important, Phillips, Glockler, and Sturgis are all highly capable drummers who can change their drumming approach to suit whatever song they're serving per session.
All of which increases the challenge for the drum detective. Best guesses follow as to who drummed on the songs not named above Interestingly, the Bacon version sounds like the same drum track as that on Aqua but with different production. Unfortunately, the writing credits on Bacon's album are spotty as they deviate from those established on earlier recordings, casting some doubt on the information's reliability. Given the history and playing style, it's possible that Nigel Glockler played drums here.
Best Guess: Michael Sturgis. And again, Max Bacon recorded a solo version for which it seems the same drum track was used with different production. Many reviewers rightly point to this song as the best on the album, and Album) rhythmic groove is a substantial component of the song's success.
In an information vacuum Simon Phillips would have been a good guess, but his website and the existing credits point elsewhere. Again, Nigel Glockler would be a fair guess, although this track feels less like his playing style than "Someday. It's worth noting that Glockler is quite versatile, having drummed with Toyah Willcox as did Simon Phillips in a punk vein and with GTR in a more prog-leaning style, aside from his best-known work with Saxon.
Also, he played drums on Steve Howe's Turbulence album. Howe played on this track, during an acoustic interlude in which cymbal ambience is heard from the drummer. Best Guess: Nigel Glockler. On Album) other hand, the cymbals and some fills hint at Glockler, even if they're within scope for Palmer. It could be that Palmer wouldn't have held back as much coming out of the spacey part in the middle, or maybe he was pressed for time. This is one of the most challenging Aqua songs to analyze with regard to percussion style.
Best Guess: Carl Palmer. It's possible that Glockler was the drummer here, but Palmer is more likely. Nigel Glockler has publicly noted his ability to record along sequenced rhythms or click tracks, so he might be the most likely candidate if this song employed a human drummer in any capacity.
Some percussive variation and interesting fills appear toward song's end, but there's a sameness to the drum and cymbal strikes that suggests programming or triggering, the latter of which Glockler has stated is not his preference. Another possibility is that Michael Sturgis--who was involved with the aforementioned Rain sessions from which this song might have originated--played some percussion on earlier tracks that were used here. The waters are muddy, and this is another very challenging song on which to analyze percussion.
Best Guess: programmed percussion. So, if the above observations are correct Except for the Sturgis tracks, the Howe parts are dropped in to spots without drumming, so there's no real opportunity to hear Howe's sound against the other drummers using full kits. It's especially noteworthy that the only track on which Downes, Howe, and Palmer play is "The Voice of Reason," where Howe's mandolin during the first half is an acoustic counterpoint to the power-rock sound of Palmer's percussion in the second half, so that they're not playing at the same time.
No doubt it was good business practice to promote Carl Palmer as the drummer on Aqua, but it would have been more straightforward to acknowledge the efforts of multiple percussionists given their roughly equal contributions. Most listeners will no doubt rightly focus on whether or not the music makes for good listening.
The hope is that those who choose to look a bit more deeply into things will find helpful information here. It would be great to have any information or insight of a corrective nature in comments on this review. See all reviews. Top reviews from other countries. This is a great album from the New style Asia in fact out of the 8 albums I own by this super group this is definetely one of my favourites.
The remastering by SBV Germany is excellent in fact any artist you see on this label rest assured you will be getting fantastic sound quality well done to this label. The album is full of strong songs and the whole band have made a really good solid album here,compared to other Asia albums like Aura. Aria,Silent Nation etc this album is of a more up tempo nature in sound both in acoustic,electric guitaring and keyboards all in all a great solid album from Asia.
Dont be put off cos John Wetton is not in this line up trust me Asia sound great and the quality of there music stands up as is. Hope review is of some help to you. One of Asia's more overlooked offerings, 'Aqua' represents John Payne's debut on bass and vocals after John Wetton's departure.
Payne's vocals are a lot Album) bleeding hearted than Wetton's but the transition of frontmen is fairly seamless. Continue with Facebook. Are you sure to delete your private version? The public one will be reloaded. Cancel Confirm. We'll review to fix it. We appreciate your help. MIDI file has been generated, click the button and download it. Download pdf files with Yalp Premium.
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