RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Asia – XXX
Frontiers Records


Rating: B

Asia is back with a new album just in time to celebrate three decades since their self-titled, multi-platinum debut was released. While the name XXX makes sense, perhaps they should have thought about calling it something else, because when one Google’s “Asia XXX” a lot more than music comes up!

For years, the world has been waiting for a truly solid follow-up to the debut. The band has released some good songs, and had a few decent albums, but nothing that was really all that good when put to the test of time and taken as a whole. This has always been a disappointment to the fan base as John Wetton, Geoff Downes, Steve Howe and Carl Palmer are some of the most talented musicians on earth.

Classic Rock Revisited is proud to announce that XXX is worthy of being played right alongside the best the band has to offer. Asia did not recreate their debut, that is not possible. However, they have released, thirty years down the road, the best follow-up to the original release of their career.

While there are no songs as strong as “Only Time Will Tell” or “Heat of the Moment,” there are plenty of highlights on the disc.

“Tomorrow the World” is a majestic track while “Face on the Bridge,” the first single off of the new release, really is worthy of being a hit. “Ghost of a Chance” is the best song on the album and fans will rejoice and play the song over and over.

Wetton’s voice is stronger than it has been in twenty years. Steve Howe has taken more interest in this album as well, as there is a lot of complex guitar parts throughout.

While XXX won’t sell as many as the first album, it is worth celebrating the band finally getting it right and making an album, start to finish, of strong material.

By Jeb Wright