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Styx - Kilroy Was Here CD (album) cover




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2.15 | 138 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Musical graffiti

First the good news. After tinkering with the idea on "The grand illusion" and "Paradise Theater", Styx finally went the whole way and recorded a full blown concept album. That's pretty much it for the good news, the rest is not so good!

The story here came from Dennis De Young, "Kilroy was here" also becoming a film! It tells the tale of a time in the future where Rock'n'roll music is decreed to be evil, and banned by the authorities. Kilroy is a big rock star who is (wrongly) found guilty of murder and confined to a prison ship. While he is in prison, Japanese Robots become the "caretakers of society", upholding the moral standards. Needless to say, our hero escapes and sets about putting things right. Interestingly, we do not actually learn if he has any success as the story ends at that point. In a nice twist, the "Paradise Theater" in Chicago becomes the focal point of the action.

It seems though that so much time was spent on the concept, that the music was relegated to a sorry second place. The opening track "Mr Roboto" is an eighties electronic piece of fluff, with jaunty synths and a tuneless melody. Unfortunately, it sets the tone for the album, things descending even further on the likes of "High time".

Dennis De Young comes up with a passable ballad in "Don't let it end" but the song benefits from the mediocrity which surrounds it. It really is difficult to find any redeeming features here. The album is light years from the band's finest works such as "The grand illusion". Even the changing mood of the period in which it was recorded, when bands such as Yes and Genesis were moving way from true prog, cannot excuse this total misfire.

The critical backlash which greeted "Kilroy" together with growing internal turmoil led to the band imploding and the glory days were over. The band has since reconvened in various forms, but this is a sorry end for the classic line up.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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