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Styx - Cornerstone CD (album) cover




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2.67 | 165 ratings

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1 stars At the end of the 70s, Styx was becoming one of the biggest names around. The Grand Illusion and Pieces of Eight were hits, and the pressure was on to deliver another smash. They released Cornerstone, which became another hit with the masses. This is evidence that excessive abuse of cocaine can cause hallucinations. That's the only logical answer as to why this was loved. After the rockier feel of Pieces of Eight, Styx dove headfirst into the pop scene. Well, they must have hit the bottom and cracked something, cause this is awful.

The album is famous for it's power ballad Babe, which Dennis DeYoung wrote for his wife. Poor woman; I always find myself blaming her. Styx were no strangers to cheesy ballads, but this has to be one of the worst money generating odes ever penned. However, this seems like gold when First Time comes along. It's not often you see a band try to copy the success of one of their songs on the same album. It tries to be like Babe (which is already setting the bar low) and fails miserably. Why Me only left an impression because that's what I kept asking myself the whole time I was listening to this album. Boat on the River stunned me by being a fairly decent song. I liked the mandolin part and the whole thing had a great mood. I could scarcely believe my ears. The rest of the songs on the album are dull, from the so-glossy-I-can-practically-see-it Lights to the faux-deep Borrowed Time.

I first heard this because my mom, a Styx fan, gave me a copy and said I would love it. For the next three months I was thoroughly convinced my mother hated me. The album was indeed a cornerstone upon which the band built a career out of banality and derivative pop music that managed to shift units despite a noticeable lack of quality. It would be years before the rockier aspect of the band returned, and by then it was too late. While Styx's last two albums were enjoyable, this is atrocious. After I finally made it through this disc I began to fantasize about what I'd rather do than ever hear it again. I would rather have my legs eaten by a shark, then cut open its stomach and eat my own half-digested feet than ever listen to this album again. I'm amazed the producers didn't laminate the vinyls so they looked glossy. I'm all for good production, but it's obvious when a band uses studio techniques to make a bad album actually worse.

To paraphrase fellow reviewer Chris Stacey, This album isn't bad because of "Babe." It's bad because it sucks.

Grade: F

1800iareyay | 1/5 |


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