Customer Review

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not their best, 30 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Gravitas (Cd+dvd) (Audio CD)
I've waited a few days and a number of listens to this CD before making my mind up. After the last two albums - Omega and XXX - this was not quite up to that standard, albeit marginally better than Phoenix. The big talking point of course would be how did Sam Coulson fit in and would it make much of a difference after the departure of Steve Howe? Well to my mind Sam did a reasonably good job here. He's a different type of guitarist and more suited to the AOR or Stadium Rock type of music, similar to that of Mandy Meyer who played on the Astra album. I just felt he was somewhat strait-jacketed into the structure of the songs a little too much before Wetton and the guys said 'alright Sam, you can cut loose' in the solo sections. Otherwise his guitar playing was by and large too much in the background.

The songs themselves were variable. Valkyrie and Nyctophobia were the two clear best with Heaven Help Me Now closely on their heels (this was more like the old 80s Asia sound). Gravitas sort of was alright, it had good melodies and a nice proggy make up to it, but Russian Dolls was a disappointment after such a great atmospheric start and John Wetton's wonderful singing. It kind of died and went nowhere. Till We Meet Again tried too hard to be an anthem and failed. It was boring. However, Joe Di Maggio's Glove was quite good and may well end up being one of the better ballad-type offerings from the band in years to come. Loved the lyrics to it too. I would Die For You sounded far too much like the candy floss tat on Phoenix and is instantly forgettable to me.

So 3 stars (7 out of 10) - good but could have been better. I would also like to touch on the DvD as well. The Makign of Gravitas was a waste of time and told us nothing and yes, was made for £50 as another reviewer said. I did like the 3-track excerpt of the band's gig at Plovdiv and I would love to see this line-up live, and hoping they will play Go as part of the set!
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Mar 2014 23:19:20 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 19 May 2014 01:36:58 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2014 07:57:21 BDT
I saw this lineup at the Clumber Parkfestival last August, up north. I can tell you the did play Go. Sam rocked out more too, live. It is odd on the new cd how lost he is ie. Quiet except for some solos. He wont want to stay long unless he gets more involvement.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2014 08:40:11 BDT
Tony Roberts says:
My favourite Payne Asia album was Aura. Thought that was head and shoulders above the rest of his.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2014 08:41:34 BDT
Tony Roberts says:
Glad to hear they played Go, David. Hopefully Coulson will be 'trusted' by the others to have more of an input next time round. He ought to make the point as well, I think, of being treated like one of the four rather than some session guitarist.

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2014 12:34:13 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 19 May 2014 01:37:15 BDT]
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