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Styx - Kilroy Was Here CD (album) cover




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2.15 | 138 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars Predominantly panned by reviewers here, yet commercially successful, KILROY WAS HERE is the unlikely merger of a concept album (more theatrical rock album) and 80's synth pop that was all the rage at the time. The concept is made to be even more tantalising by making it a morality-driven tyranny dead set on destroying rock and roll music (Was the PMRC formed at this time?). While it became hot in the 80's, the reason why KWH is so derided now is because it's so attached to the 80's sound, and other than two big hits, the album is painfully forgetable.

Styx have had many AOR tendencies in the past, but their songwriting helped them pull out a good song or two per album with the rest being decent (but still forgetable). Here, we wallow in a mire of dreck 80's tunes that are either yawners or just plain cringeworthy. The doo-wop vocalising in ''High Time'' is simply insulting to the fan that loves ''Suite Madam Blue'' and ''The Grand Illusion''. The second side is entirely disposable with nothing more than uninteresting ballads and awfully anonymous AOR things.

It's with reluctance that I say ''Mr. Roboto'' and ''Don't Let It End'' (the two massive hits) are close enough to highlights on the album. Most readers here know the former (it's actually not too bad until DeYoung ruins it at the end by singing in a high register), and the latter is simply a power ballad like only the 80's could provide. I will admit to calling ''Don't Let It End'' a guilty pleasure. It certainly seems that KWH as a whole could be filed under ''guilty pleasure'', but unless the concept tickles a fancy, I doubt anyone interested in prog rock would find the relatively simplistic song structures and tacky synth sounds enjoyable.

Sinusoid | 1/5 |


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