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Gravitas CD/DVD

AsiaAudio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Price: $13.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Biography

When they appeared in the early '80s, Asia seemed to be a holdover from the '70s, when supergroups and self-important progressive rockers reigned supreme. Featuring members of such seminal art rock bands as King Crimson (John Wetton), Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Carl Palmer), and Yes (Steve Howe), as well as Geoff Downes from the Buggles, Asia did feature stretches of indulgent ... Read more in Amazon's Asia Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 25, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Frontiers Records (Universal)
  • ASIN: B00HZOBBM0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Valkyrie
2. Gravitas
3. The Closer I Get To You
4. Nyctophobia
5. Russian Dolls
6. Heaven Help Me Now
7. I Would Die For You
8. Joe Di Maggio's Glove
9. Till We Meet Again
10. The Closer I Get To You (Acoustic) [Bonus Track]
11. Joe Di Maggio's Glove (Acoustic) [Bonus Track]

Editorial Reviews

32 years after their wildly popular self-titled debut album's release, the legendary British rock band, ASIA returns with a brand new studio album entitled Gravitas. This album Introduces new guitarist Sam Coulson who was recommended to the band by none other than Paul Gilbert of Mr. Big. The new album is being hailed as their best album since its classic early '80s releases. This collector's edition CD/DVD features two bonus tracks and a DVD with a videoclip for first single Valkyrie, behind the scenes footage and three Asia classics recorded live with a full symphonic orchestra in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 33 Years On and Still Strong March 25, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Asia continues their prolific output since the2006 reunion with their fourth studio album, “Valkyrie,” written by John Wetton and Geoff Downes. Notably, however, guitarist Steve Howe has retired from the band and is replaced on this album with 27 year old Sam Coulson.

First impression, obviously, is the album cover which is a beautiful, classic Asia, Roger Dean design. Onto the music – As has been the case since their reformation, Wetton remains in fine voice; you’d never know 30 years had gone by. The album is frontloaded with its best tracks, the best being the first (and originally title) track, ‘Valkyrie.’ Wetton’s vocals literally soar on this track and it’s one of Asia’s best tunes, period. Second track, ‘Gravitas,’ is an 8 minute epic consistent with Asia’s prog roots. A long Geoff Downe’s adagio intro is followed by another standout Asia tune which could have been pulled from any of the band’ first 80’s era albums. It also provides an opportunity for newcomer Coulson to demonstrate his talents. Other standout tracks include ‘Nyctophobia’ and ‘I Would Die for You.’ ‘Nyctophobia’ is a fun synth-driven song and one of the best on the album (incidentally, nyctophobia is an irrational fear of the dark).

‘Valkyrie’ also includes several ballads, such as the plodding ‘The Closer I Get to You.’ While inoffensive enough, the song is characteristic of the type which has been overly represented on Asia’s last three albums ‘Russian Dolls’ is similar. ‘Joe DiMaggio’s Glove’ is one of the better ballads on the album.

The album closes with the foot stomper ‘Till We Meet Again,’ not bad, but not a favorite either.

Overall, this is another solid album from Asia with some of their best tracks in ‘Valkyrie,’ ‘Gravitas,’ and ‘Nyctophobia.’ I can’t imagine any Asia fan being disappointed with this album.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful March 25, 2014
By J.
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Asia has always been a group with talented musicians and songwriters. They have the ability to write and perform catchy songs while still demonstrating their skills as individual musicians. With Gravitas, we are introduced to Sam Coulson who takes over the guitar work from Steve Howe. Sam has his own style--he won't be mistaken for Steve--but that isn't a bad thing. Sam's solos are remarkable and add, rather than detract, from the overall feeling of the songs.

John Wetton's voice is as strong as it has ever been. There is a confidence in it. Carl's drumming and percussion work continue to evolve--which is saying something because he is arguably one of the best drummers in the world. And of course, there is Geoff Downes, who I consider to be the glue of the band. Even in the most bombastic of Asia songs, Geoff infuses subtleties lost in much of today's popular music.

Highlights of this album to me, personally, are "Heaven Help Me Now," "Valkyrie," "Nyctophobia" and "Till We Meet Again." To be fair, there aren't any duds on this work.

As a side note: "I Would Die For You" is a remake of the same song which was released on the Wetton / Downes CD many years ago. While I would have liked this CD to be all fresh material, the remake of "I Would Die For You" was recorded in a way that felt fresh, so it's all good.

If you are an Asia fan, you'll love this CD. If you are fan of good music, you'll love this CD. If you love Gangsta rap, yeah, this CD isn't for you.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continued Success March 25, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
With the departure of Steve Howe i feared a let down. This isnt the case. From a lyrical sense Wetton is better than ever and from a voice standpoint he's never sounded better. Palmer's drums are more towards the forefront, more so than on XXX. Downes delivers more of his stellar keyboard work and writing ability. Coulson, while not everywhere on this album, the places he is are stellar. Great solos throughout. If you liked the last 3 you should like this as well. It does lean more towards an ICON feel than the other 3 Asia albums but Wetton and Downes do all the writing. In the future i'd like to see what Sam can come up with as well.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've been listening to Gravitas for a week now, and I hear a compelling, powerful recording from three exceptionally talented veteran musicians, as well as a fresh boost of energy from a robust young talent on guitar. Gravitas is a well-played, well-recorded testament to Asia's longevitiy and timeless ability to create amazing music. John Wetton sounds strong, confident and superb - the harmonies on "The Closer I Get To You" are stunning and this melodic energy carries over to every track. Geoffrey Downes clearly worked his arse off on this album, composing some movements and soundscapes worthy of sacred praise (the brilliant title track alone should be considered a classic progressive rock epic). And Carl Palmer continues to amaze with his ever-evolving drumming, throwing innovative fills and energy even in a 4/4 setting.
Finally, kudos to Sam Coulson who has a great, warm tone and style, sounding terrific on this album. For the sycophants that perceive Asia as done with the absence of Steve Howe, I say "rubbish" and give Gravitas a few listens.
Asia is still very much firing on all cylinders and if you are a fan of the band or great, sincere, emotionally charged and well-composed music, acquire Gravitas today.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Second best of regroup
…although "Original Asia" isn't quite what it used to be. Clearly Steve Howe left on good terms as his friend, Roger Dean, continues to supply the artwork. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Dean Baird
3.0 out of 5 stars The weakest Asia album since the reunion
Phoenix was a masterpiece, Omega was excellent, XXX was fresh and full of quality songs, but Gravitas is the first album of the whole Asia career which does not fulfill my... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Gerryphoenix
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Negative or Positive review
If you like ASIA, you should enjoy this CD
but if you are looking for anything new and different ???
Published 3 days ago by George C. Hutton
4.0 out of 5 stars Asia in transition ... and safety first?
I've listened to this album for two weeks straight ... only the occasional radio tune, Saga-The Human Condition, and Black Country Communion-Afterglow has popped in from time to... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Arlo.TDM
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as weighty as the album title suggests
"Gravitas is Asia by Asia. At last."
John Wetton.

Beg to differ.
Gravitas is Asia by John Wetton and Geoff Downes.
Again. Read more
Published 6 days ago by R. Muir
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good for what it is
I have a lot of Asia albums, but wouldn't consider myself a huge fan. The last 3 studio albums I bought, listened to once and put them away. This one's different for me. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Popper
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Classic
The honesty and passion expressed on these songs is brilliant. "Gravitas", "The Closer I Get To You" and "Joe DiMaggio's Glove" are the best tracks. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Mr. Thomas J. Gavin
4.0 out of 5 stars Reminds me of Alpha
More specifically, this album reminds me of Alpha tracks 3 - 11 (aka, if you took away Don't Cry and The Smile Has Left Your Eyes). The glorious Asia sound is here for sure. Read more
Published 9 days ago by vikerii
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
John Wetton never ceases to amaze me his voice is one of the best in Rock ! The compositions are great Everyone's input is strong . Carl Palmer Need I say more ? Read more
Published 11 days ago by Impailer1
3.0 out of 5 stars 41 Times
That's how many times John Wetton and crew sing/say "Nyctophobia" during the song Nyctophobia (ok, I fell asleep at one point, so maybe 42). Read more
Published 12 days ago by D. Morris
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