ASIA – Phoenix (Progressive Rock album review)

Asia - Phoenix

Asia - Phoenix

Asia – Phoenix

This double disc set of Asia’s 1982 groundbreaking progressive rock release was rerecorded in 2006 with the original line up, which recorded original release in 1982.

There are two CDs, one being the European mixes and the other consisting of American mixes, and honestly, they’re so skillfully put together, it is hard to tell apart the two different versions.

However, the slight variations can be heard on both discs, as the European version sounds a lot brighter than the USA version, but the songs are still 100% Asia, with their emotionally driven music. “Phoenix” has an undeniable energy about it, which just comes out of the speakers and takes the listener into Asia’s world of total brilliance.

Some of the highlights here include “Heat Of The Moment”, the anthem-like “An Extraordinary Life”, the epic-sounding “Parallel Worlds/Vortex/Deya”, “Shadow Of A Doubt” and “Orchid Of Mines” with its atmospheric touches. Singer John Wetton belts out memorable harmonies, at the same time keeping a solid rhythm with his bass licks. Drummer Carl Palmer shows off his perfect time keeping behind the drum kit, giving all of the songs a strong beat and rhythm section. Steve Howe’s guitar playing seamlessly intermingles with Geoff Downes keyboard playing, giving every aspect of the songwriting a clear and solid edge.

Overall, this is a must for all fans of Asia, and even new listeners into this style of progressive rock, as it’s got tons of mass appeal for listeners into well played, crafted and arranged rock music with a positive vibe throughout.

Furthermore, the double disc Digipac packaging along with a nicely printed color booklet with band photos and lyrics also adds some spice to this all time great prog rock release.

This album is sure to appeal to fans of Yes, King Crimson, Uriah Heep and ELP.    Cherry Red Records     Sarjoo Devani

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