|First posted 9/7/2020.|
Released: March 19, 2014
Peak: 159 US, 92 UK, -- CN, -- AU
Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world (includes US and UK)
Genre: heritage rock
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)
All songs written by John Wetton and Geoff Downes unless noted otherwise.
Total Running Time: 49:39
3.000 out of 5.00 (average of 3 ratings)
About the Album:
Asia surfaced in the early ‘80s as a supergroup comprised of John Wetton (King Crimson, Uriah Heep), Steve Howe (Yes), Geoff Downes (Yes, Buggles), and Carl Palmer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer). The original lineup only lasted one more album before members started splintering off. Downes, however, maintained the group for the next two decades, often as the only original member.
In 2006, the original four reunited for a tour and followed it with their first studio release in a quarter century. The reunion lasted for two more albums before Steve Howe parted ways with the group again. The other three, however, soldiered on releasing Gravitas with Sam Coulson on guitar. The 27-year-old “acquits himself nicely” MC on the “more reserved album” MC which serves as a showcase for Downes and Wetton’s “longstanding partnership as thoughtful songwriters and technically proficient arrangers.” MC
“Asia have always moved back and forth between their radio-friendly pop side and more classical-influenced progressive side.” MC With its “elegiac, classical tone” MC, “Gravitas bends more toward the latter.” MC It has “moments of bright, burning rock intensity…framed by extended orchestral synth arrangements,” MC such as on the three-part suite Heaven Help Me Now.
While most of the songs were written for this album, the song I Would Die for You is a reworked version of a demo dating back to 1986. WK The song “brings to mind the band’s golden ‘Heat of the Moment’ period.” MC Till We Meet Again also harkens back to another era as it “conjure[s] Queen’s layered majestic harmonies.” MC
There’s also lead single Valkyrie which “draw[s] upon Norse mythology.” MC The song also served as the original title for the album before the band opted for Gravitas instead.
Notes: Various deluxe editions included acoustic versions of “Russian Dolls,” “The Closer I Get to You,” and “Joe DiMaggio’s Glove.”
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