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Styx - Brave New World CD (album) cover




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2.83 | 69 ratings

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3 stars I'm not sure what to say here exactly, so I'll start with a very short story. When I heard that Styx were going to re-form to record a long awaited follow up album to 1990's "Edge Of The Century" I was thrilled but quite skeptical. I know in 1990 I was unsure of what to think about "Edge!" That disc was a pop / rock album...long gone was any vestige of prog or even art rock. After time it grew on me and I now like that album much more than before - it was a sign of the changing times, and perhaps Dennis DeYoung was what saved the record in the first place. Move to 1999 - Dennis DeYoung ruined THIS record!!!!!

And so I sat in my car waiting for the record shop to open to see what Styx had done over their 9 year hiatus. The cover art looked great, I thought "This must be the album I've wanted ever since "Pieces Of Eight!!!!" A friend and I drove around until the CD was over, and by that time I was barely able to keep myself from jumping out the window! Is this what Styx had become? Apparently so!

Now, several years later and a bit more open-minded, I can say that this album has its moments, and it still has a place in my CD player on occasion. I always looked forward to the new Dennis DeYoung songs, and I was hoping here that he'd find himself and start writing "Suite Madame Blue" or "Queen Of Spades" again!! NOPE!!! Instead we get "While There's Still Time," a nice song certainly, but it had already been sitting around since 1992 when it was written for an "Edge Of The Century" follow-up. It sounds dated and not so fresh!

"Fallen Angel", "Great Expectations" and "High Crimes" are NOT bad songs by any stretch!! But why in the name of all that is art rock did Dennis DeYoung feel the need to include them here instead of on a solo album...or another album or showtunes or something!!! "Goodbye To Roseland," a song written for Dennis's recently deceased father, is one of his shining moments on this disc, and certainly one of the album's better songs.

I can't blame DDY for all of this album's problems, because other than "What Have They Done To You" and "Everything Is Cool," the other material is also a bit lackluster. "I Will Be Your Witness" is something of a Tommy Shaw solo reject, while "Heavy Water" falls into the same category for James Young. Several of these songs were played live on that tour and I have to say they were MUCH better in a live environment..."Brave New World" is a wonderful live song...very moody...very Styx!

Anyway, to wrap this up, don't buy this disc if you aren't familiar with Styx's musical progression from 1983 to here. If you remember Styx as being a prog / art rock band in the 1970's and want to remember them that way, don't buy this as I don't know if you'd quite get it! Better yet, skip it and buy 2003's "Cyclorama!!!"

silversaw | 3/5 |


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