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Styx - Pieces Of Eight CD (album) cover




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3.59 | 241 ratings

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5 stars This is one of the best albums ever made. Period.

The only reason I could see for not giving it 4 stars is that this is only borderline prog. But I gave it 5 stars anyway: it's that good. Let's hit this one track by track.....

Great White Hope: I always thought that this opener was underrated, but in an album with both "Blue Collar Man" and "Renegade," that's understandable. It's a hard driving rock song with some nice guitar effects and an inspiring message. The obligatory keyboard parts unfortunately break up the mood that the rest of the band is caught up in.

I'm OK: A really nice piece with interesting keyboards that complement what the rest of the band is doing.. If only the chorus were a bit more imaginative, this would be brilliant. Again, this song features a great guitar part as well.

Sing for the Day: Maybe the best song Styx ever released (and that means better than "Come Sail Away.") I could listen to this one over and over again, thanks to the bright keyboard solos, the intelligent lyrics, and the catchy tune.

The Message: An interesting short synthesizer piece that serves mainly as an introduction to the next song. About as prog as the album gets.

The Lords of the Ring: Into every life, a little rain must fall. And into every album, a little crap must be included. While this is not a truly bad track, the word substandard was coined for this song. It's a trite anthem with not much happening musically.

Blue Collar Man (Long Nights): Damn, this track rocks. From the blistering organ opening to the final guitar solo, this song alone is worth the price of the album.

Queen of Spades: A good track with more excellent guitar work. This would be a memorable track on any other album, but with all of the classics on this album, it kind of gets lost in the shuffle.

Renegade: Beautifully calm vocals open up this most energetic track which features some great ensemble playing from the group. Yet another classic song on this most classic of albums.

Pieces of Eight: Strangely enough, the title track of the album is one of the more forgettable parts of it. This is a good example of a typical Styx ballad, a calm beginning working up to subtly emotional power, but nothing outstanding, like nearly all of the rest of the album. Like "Queen of Spades," this average effort suffers unfairly from being packaged with so many gems.

Aku Aku: An atmospheric outro. Take it or leave it.

OK, I would be hard pressed to claim that this album is prog. But it is still one of the best albums ever released and worth repeated listening by anyone who appreciates good music.

ghost_of_morphy | 5/5 |


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