Prog-rock supergroup, Asia, is slated to release a new album this May, entitled XXX in honor of their 30th anniversary of being a band.  The original lineup is once again intact, featuring John Wetton, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer, and Geoff Downes.  They’ve already released a single and corresponding video called “Face On The Bridge.”

I’ve always found it interesting that Asia is referred to as a prog-rock band.  Sure, the respective members all come from other prog-rock projects, but I’ve always felt that the music that Asia collectively produced fit much more into the pop/pop-rock category than anything else.  Well, no matter what you like to label it, the new single sounds very much like that early Asia material with lots of chugging eighth-note left hand parts on the synthesizer and layered vocal harmonies on the chorus.  In other words, if you liked the old stuff, you’ll probably dig this.  And if you didn’t, well….

The guys in Asia are looking pretty old (especially Steve Howe [whom I otherwise love as a guitar player], whose countenance is becoming disturbingly similar to Riff Raff from Rocky Horror — see photo below), but they sound pretty good.  John Wetton’s voice has held up surprisingly well over time, and all of the backing vocals sound solid.  It’ll be very interesting to hear what the rest of the album sounds like when it drops in a few weeks.

In the meantime, check out the video for “Face On The Bridge”:

Track listing for upcoming album XXX:

Tomorrow The World (Wetton/Downes) 6:47
Bury Me In Willow (Wetton/Downes) 6:01
No Religion (Howe/Wetton/Downes) 6:36
Faithful (Wetton/Downes) 5:37
I Know How You Feel (Wetton/Downes) 4:53
Face On The Bridge (Wetton/Downes) 5:59
Al Gatto Nero (Wetton/Downes) 4:36
Judas (Howe/Wetton/Downes) 4:43
Ghost Of A Chance (Wetton/Downes) 4:21

Total Time 49:41

 

 

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