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Articles Home » 2010 Articles » Asia - 2010 Omega
 
Asia - 2010 Omega



ARTIST: Asia
ALBUM: Omega
LABEL: Frontiers
SERIAL: FRCD 455
YEAR: 2010

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: John Wetton - lead vocals, bass, guitars * Steve Howe - guitars * Geoff Downes - keyboards * Carl Palmer - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Finger On The Trigger * 02 Through My Veins * 03 Holy War * 04 Ever Yours * 05 Listen Children * 06 End Of The World * 07 Light The Way * 08 Emily * 09 Still The Same * 10 There Was A Time * 11 I Believe * 12 Don't Wanna Lose You Now

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.originalasia.com


Background
The previous album from this English supergroup 'Phoenix' had a few good moments, and drew attention because of their signing to Frontiers, plus it was a reunion of the 'original' Asia - from the era of their first three albums. Not all of the songs hit the mark, thankfully that's not the same with their 2010 effort 'Omega'. As far the getting the excitement levels worked up, yep, there were moments when I broke out the air keyboards in a glaze of sweat, only for my Geoff Downes approved headband to soak it all up! Look, I don't wish to hype this album too much, but the facts are.. 'Omega' is a mostly soft rock experience that shows these 4 blokes have still got something to offer, but we have to be realistic and come to understand that the bombastic glory days of Asia circa 1982 are but a distant memory. At least the band kept to the recipe that made them successful in the past, so there is no major deviation of style to be found which is great.


The Songs
'Omega' is still worth having a listen though, and the Pomp and AORsters will still get mileage out of this. Let's check out some of the better moments. 'Finger On The Trigger', 'Holy War' and 'End Of The World' will certainly appeal to the fatalistic among you. It brought back reminders of the material from 1985's 'Astra' album, where the band's songwriting was caught up in the Reagan era of Nuclear conflict and Cold War possibilities. On other songs, there are reminders of the band member's previous but more recent musical endeavours.. 'Light the Way' could be a Wetton solo track, 'Emily' is very whimsical in a British 70's pop sort of way, while 'Ever Yours' has all the makings of a Wetton Downes track with its choral like arrangement. 'Listen Children' is one of my fave tracks here, a bright and happy tune with trademark Asia choruses demanding radio airplay. Downes gets the fanfare synths working overtime on the closer 'I Believe', another track to appeal greatly.


In Summary
Many of us have been fans of the band since day one, and 'Omega' captures a sense of style from their past, plus where they sit now in the present. I think long time fans will be pleased at what's on offer here, it's the sort of album you can easily play in the background all the way through without having to hit the skip button. If that last sentence appeals to your sensibilities, then you don't need any encouragement in what to do next. Just try not to look at the cover jacket, one of the worst of the 2010 year so far.. lol!


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Comments
#1 | Jez on May 10 2010 22:01:14
I Always look forward to a new Asia record and this was no different after a few quite nice samples that have been knocking around for the last few weeks or so. 'Finger On The Trigger' is a re-done Wetton/Downes track from the excellent 'Icon II' disc, but apart from that, 11 all new tracks to peruse. First things first, if you don't like Asia and Wetton/Downes stuff in general then I don't expect this new album will change your mind one iota, so stear clear. If you do enjoy them, then although there are no real surprises on show, there are some really good songs on here, and it is also alot better than the previous 'Phoenix' disc, which although contained some nice tunes, was way too one paced and tame and after a few spins and lost a lot of it's impact quite rapidly. As with 'Phoenix', the slower/ mid paced paced stuff is still on show and there maybe on or two too many of them, but that aside, this is generally a pretty solid set throughout.
Wetton sounds great as usual, Downes adds some lovely keyboard touches and there is definitley more fire in the belly on show than this time around. This is still nowhere near the glory days of the first trio of albums or even some of the excellent John Payne era stuff (Aria and Aura in particular) but it is a good disc all the same.
 
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