Robert Jenkins | Celina, TX United States | 08/15/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is an album that can't figure out what it wants to be. Is it a Greatest Hits album, a comeback album, or what? Asia was trying to get off the ground again (minus Steve Howe), and I guess Geffen felt they couldn't sell a new album after 5 years and the regrettable failure of Astra without a few of the tried-and-true classics. It doesn't really work. The "Then" part of the album is a fine group of songs, but there are just too many good ones missing (particularly "Go" and "The Heat Goes On") for it to really work. There are actually only 4 new tracks on the album. Of these, the best by far is "Days Like These", a very uplifting song that was a minor hit in 1990. I also liked "Summer Can't Last Too Long". It is very much like the material that was soon to come on Aqua in 1992. In fact, the album almost seems like a transition between the "Wetton" Asia of the 80s and the "Payne" Asia of the 90s. If it wasn't for the 4 new tracks, I would call this album superflous, especially after the release of "Heat of the Moment" in 2000, which does a much better job as an 80's Asia Greatst Hits album. I bought this album, but it seems like kind of a cheat to pay full album price for essentially only 4 songs. Since "Days Like These" is available on "Heat of the Moment", I would say this album for serious Asia fans only. If you're looking for an intro to Asia, get "Heat of the Moment" instead. This one should have been released as a 4-song EP, for a lower price, or else they should have come up with a few more songs and done a full album of new material."
"Asia" was one of those bands who sounded structurally complete with original sound, innovative rhythm, supported by an extraordinary set of first rate trained musicians and captivating chorus; and the merit is still remarkable according the circumstances in which the creativity as vehicle of expression had experienced a sensible decay. And I want to be specific with this statement; I mean those bands whose sound was beyond of a rock band, bands such as The Queen, Scorpions or Genesis, who explored new roads and blended rhythms and melodies.
The creative vein was product of this untiring keyboardist Geoff Downes who in this compilation didn't compose the piece "Days like these", whose muse was inspiration of Steve Jones. Of course, it's worthy to remark the presence of the legendary Carl Palmer in drums and percussion, after having been part of that unforgettable band "Emerson, Lake and Palmer in the late sixties and early seventies.
The album smartly was divided in then and now. This is essential to find the experienced evolution. Pay attention for instance in the piece "days like these in which the synthesizer leads opens with a sort of innovative fanfare the rhythm to come, I mean the influence of Palmer is more than evident in this first stage. You may realize how the band experienced a sensible transformation with major emphasis in the chorus, trying to fill the enormous void left by the premature departure of Freddie Mercury.
Asia is now part of an important period in the musical evolution of the eighties and nineties. "
A Mini Greatest Hits Package with Maxi Problems
WAYNE EIKNER | SHREVPORT, LA United States | 03/26/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The "Then" material is fine with all four of Asia biggest commercial hits ("Heat of the Moment", "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes", "Only Time Will Tell" and "Don't Cry") and the excellent "Wildest Dreams" (featuring a nice Palmer solo in the middle of this song). The "Now" side is weak. "Days Like These" is fun and energetic. But, "Prayin' 4 A Miracle" struggles. "Am I In Love?" is too sappy and "Summer (Can't Last Too Long)" sounds like Asia trying to immitate A-Ha (Yuck!). And, of all the songs on the "Astra" CD to put on this release for the "Now" side, Geffen or somebody else picked "Voice of America". Why in the world would anybody use this song when they could have used the excellent "Go" instead? Don't commit to this CD. Buy the new "The Very Best of Asia - Heat of the Moment -(1982-1990)" instead if you want to see how good this group really was in the 80s. Nice cover art though."
Basic Asia mini compilation, but not their best
Jose Ramon Hernandez | Mexico | 02/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first half of this CD contains the Asia's greatest hits, the comercial succeses that everybody knows: Only Time Will Tell, Heat Of The Moment, Wildest Dreams, The Smile Has Left Your Eyes and Dont Cry. But these are not the best of the group (Where are Cutting it fine, Without you, Here comes the felling?) And the second half contains four new songs, good songs but totally pop and ballad oriented without Steve Howe,and the Astra's song Voice of America.If you want the best of Asia, buy their debut and Alpha albums."
Lacks a few songs.
sauerkraut | 07/09/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Then and Now is good. It could have been better, though. While I think that what's on it is decent, I also believe that it doesn't have enough meat to it. There should have been more songs included from the previous three albums. The songs that are included are good, though. "Sole Survivor" and "Here Comes the Feeling" should have been included. Just including two songs from Alpha wasn't good enough, either. More than just one song from Astra should've been included, too. It sounds like I don't like this compilation, but that's not completely the case. I like the four new songs that they recorded for this album. All four of the songs are listenable. "Am I in Love?" is a really nice ballad. "Days like These" is really energetic, too. Then and Now leaves out a few songs, but it is still okay (just a bit incomplete). The album cover is cool, also. Worth a listen."