"Silent Nation" (Inside Out Music; 2004)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

I own two Asia CDs: ?Asia? (1982) and ?Silent Nation? (2004). In a span of over twelve years, purchasing just two CDs would not even rate me a fair-weather fan but, after I bought the first CD, I didn?t think they could ever follow it up. Eventually, I found "Silent Nation" by mistake. I was searching for something else and I must have clicked on Asia instead and, lo and behold!, I discovered "Silent Nation." Not sure what to expect (and since my mental jukebox has ?Heat Of The Moment? playing), I plugged in ?Silent Nation? and flipped through the CD booklet. It seemed that John Wetton had left and John Payne, a session singer, had replaced him in 1991.

A new guitar player is on this disc, Guthrie Govan, and he is born out of the neo-classical age. According to the band's website, he can shred like Vai, Petrucci and Malmsteen. Unfortunately, I didn?t hear much of that on this release. He does have a different style than other guitar players and he does play very well. I just expected more than I got. I will admit, however, that ?Gone Too Far? does emit some fancy picking.

Most of the time, the music here is prog but the guitar is often silent. But, when it does come in, it?s warmly welcomed. There are some Deep Purple-ish keyboards on a few cuts.

Asia?s first CD had major pop hooks and that was cause for celebration. "Silent Nation" doesn?t. The songwriting is a bit weak. The music is good but this CD often gets filed and then dusted off when I do my yearly inventory.

The best tracks are ?What About Love,? ?Long Way From Home,? and ?Gone Too Far.?

Asia: Geoff Downes ? keyboards, percussion; John Payne ? vocals, bass, guitar; Guthrie Govan ? guitars; Chris Slade ? drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright ? 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 20 May 2024 13:38:51 -0400 .