While the debut album was brilliant, it had a real clunker of a song (One Step Closer) which sounded like Steve Howe (a great guitarist, but at best a background singer) tried to sing it, but was overdubbed by John Wetton. ALPHA is more consistent. Every song is a keeper. The best tracks are: Midnight Sun, My Own Time, The Heat Goes On and best of all, Open Your Eyes - an art-rock tear-jerker that would make Justin Hayward proud!
While the opening track (Don't Cry) is an upbeat pop-song the album becomes angrier and sadder with each song except for Midnight Sun.
What's even sadder is the fact that just a few months after ALPHA was released, singer/ bassist John Wetton was fired from the group by manager Brian Lane. Apparently, guitarist Steve Howe (like Lane, a YES-man) resented the fact that while Asia was at first considered Howe's band, it was John Wetton who was the star of the show: Wetton, not Howe was invited to host on MTV, radio interviews, etc. Even when Wetton returned in 1984 (and repaid Howe by sacking him), the magic was gone. A textbook example of "Jumping the shark".