Now here's a re-release worth every single penny for buying it! Asia, one of the […]
By Michael Dalakos
August 5, 2005
Asia - Aqua album cover

Now here's a re-release worth every single penny for buying it! Asia, one of the most famous melodic Rock acts, joined forces with Inside Out and the first outcome of this collaboration was the re-release of this exceptional album.
But let's have a short look at the band's timeline during the period of Aqua. Aqua points at a decade of the band's existence. It's the year 1992 and a year earlier the departure of John Wetton is definitely a serious problem for the band. Geoff Downes enlists another magnificent singer / bassist: John Payne. Still another serious problem exists. The band tries desperately to avoid the dinosaur characterization many long-running bands now carry. So a bigger update is needed. This is solved by the enlisting of guitarist Al Pitrelli, who's definitely much heavier oriented than all his predecessors. But there's more! Steve Howe's return is also a big surprise!
The rest is pretty much known history (after all, this is a review about Aqua, not Asia's biography). Looking at such a piece of work in retrospect, I find it hard to imagine how difficult it must have been for the band to balance between a successful recipe (keep in mind that Asia had already sold many millions of albums) and the urge to break some barriers regarding artistic expression. I think that Aqua in such matters is pretty much successful. It carries a heavy burden, a legacy of one very important Rock band and its journey to a new age. Aqua is a bit heavier than the previous releases. Still it doesn't lose the symphonic tag all Asia releases carried up till that moment.
It contains amazing songs like Who Will Stop The Rain?, Little Rich Boy, Don't Call Me, but above all is a living proof of the band's persistence in time.
This re-release comes with a fresh production and three bonus tracks. Two of them are live versions of songs included in the album so I can't really say that the bonus material is something amazing. Yet this is a fantastic opportunity to listen to this great album with a totally revamped sound. Enjoy the experience!!!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

"Aqua" Track-listing:

Aqua Part One
Who Will Stop The Rain?
Back in Town
Love Under Fire
Little Rich Boy
The Voice Of Reason
Lay Down Your Arms
Crime Of The Heart
A Far Cry
Don't Call Me
Heaven On Earth
Aqua Part Two
Obsession (Bonus)
Little Rich Boy (Live/Bonus)
Love Under Fire (Live/Bonus)

Asia Lineup:

Geoff Downes - Keyboards & Backing Vocals
John Payne - Vocals & Bass
Carl Palmer - Drums
Al Pitrelli - Guitars
Steve Howe - Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Pedal Steel & Dobro

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