Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
on 10 January 2003
I have been a fan of Asia for many years, and this is still my favourite album.
A lot of prople felt that Asia should have developed the "prog" aspect of their music on this album, but instead they penned the radio-friendly monster hit "Don't Cry", and despite the immediate success, lost some of their fan-base.
However, I think it's an excellent track. The lead guitar melody that starts off the song is great (apparently played by John Wetton after Steve Howe thought it was too cheesy!), the chorus memorable, the whole structure is a joy to hear.
The next song, "The Smile Has Left...", is another wonderful song, with a bucketload of emotion and superb singing from John W. After that, the songs do become a bit more "prog", with an increased use of instrumental sections.
Standout tracks for me are The Heat Goes On, which is still a concert opener for the band today, and boasts an excellent keyboard solo, Eye to Eye, full of big vocal harmonies, True Colours (great rock chorus), Midnight Sun (Steve Howe solos his head off), and to finish perhaps the most prog song on the album, Open Your Eyes, which ends in a glorious fanfare, and I imagine was a live highlight in the '80's.
Asia have moved on, changed most of their personnel, and remain a good band, both live and in the studio. Their later material is worth checking out.
But I have yet to hear anything to top this for me.
PS: I also love their debut.