|GPS Window To The Soul||Inside Out Music|
It is really a shame how things worked out for the last concoction of Asia. The band really hit their straps with the Silent Nation release and anticipation was high for the follow-up, which was near complete before being scuttled by the re-union of original Asia members.|
Still, that gave vocalist John Payne and fellow current Asia cohorts Jay Schellen and Guthrie Govan the impetus to get creative on their own project.
For all intents and purposes, GPS is a natural progression from the musical base established by Silent Nation.
I have read opinions of this album favoring it over Silent Nation and others that still prefer the Asia record. I'm in that camp, but the difference is barely negotiable.
Both are great records and GPS is going to bring a lot of joy to fans of that line-up.
Ryo Okumoto (from Spock's Beard) steps in to replace Geoff Downes on keyboards and is the perfect man for the job.
This is quite an epic album and one with considerable rewards for listeners willing to invest a little time in it. There isn't a track under the 5 minute mark and several around the 7 minute mark.
It has a definite progressive and harder edge – more so than the last Asia album, while at the same time carrying over the melodic sensibilities of that line-up, not to mention the killer rhythm section, thanks to Payne (bass) and Schellen (drums).
Opening with the edgy 7 minute rocker Window To The Soul, the album turns left into Asia territory with the lush 8 minute AOR track New Jerusalem.
It gets even more melodic and rather emotional on the classy 8 minute rock ballad Heaven Can Wait, which features some raspy, emotional vocals.
Other album highlights include the Asia-esque Written On The Wind; the rich arrangement of I Believe In Yesterday; the commercial rocker All My Life, complete with 80s feel; and the closing hard rocker Taken Dreams.
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