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Styx - Paradise Theatre CD (album) cover




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2.94 | 179 ratings

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3 stars Paradise Theater might initially seem like a huge improvement over Cornerstone but it ultimately sums up to a lackluster and rather shallow attempt at regaining back the band's art rock audience.

The record is built up as a concept album about a fictional story of Chicago's Paradise Theater from its opening to prime to closing and ultimately demolition. This really does sound like an interesting idea that I doubt that many artists would be able to do justice to. Unfortunately, Styx aren't an exception to the rule and completely butcher any chances of success with this half-hearted attempt at a concept record. It's pretty obvious that both Tommy Shaw and James Young were completely disinterested with the whole idea since none of their songs actually fit into the Paradise Theater storyline. Young's co-writing credit for Half-Penny, Two-Penny does have some important plot-points buried in the song's middle section but you'll really have to listen in carefully in order to actually hear any of the dialog under the sounds of ringing bells and stomping bass!

After completely trashing the concept and two of the three songwriters works, let's talk about why I actually enjoy this record and consider giving it an average rating; Half of this album was written by Dennis DeYoung who, once again, manages to show that he can be an excellent songwriter whenever he actually puts his mind to it. Songs like Rockin' The Paradise, The Best Of Times, Nothing Ever Goes As Planned and Lonely People depict him on top of his game and it's quite unfortunate that he wasn't able to write this entire album on his own.

Styx manages to, once again, deliver a mixed bag of an album with Paradise Theater. This time the highs don't manage to outmatch the lows which ultimately results in this average rating. DeYoung manages to deliver some of his best work while Shaw and Young assume that it's business as usual and continue to deliver some of their more forgettable material from the early '80s era.

***** star songs: A.D. 1928 (1:07) Rockin' The Paradise (3:34) The Best Of Times (4:21)

**** star songs: Too Much Time On My Hands (4:33) Nothing Ever Goes As Planned (4:47) Lonely People (5:25) Half-Penny, Two-Penny (5:58) A.D. 1958 (1:06)

*** star songs: She Cares (4:21) Snowblind (4:59) State Street Sadie (0:26)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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