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Styx - Edge Of The Century CD (album) cover




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2.71 | 77 ratings

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1 stars After checking out some of the positive reviews for this album I just had to find out for myself whether Edge Of The Century was really that good of a Styx record!

It must have been tough to find a replacement for Tommy Shaw, the guitarist/vocalist/songwriter that brought Styx the mainstream attention back in the late '70s. Still, it must have been even tougher for Glen Burtnik to become that replacement once everything was settled! Burtnik has been an active performer ever since the late '70s and had a minor solo career going on by the time he's got the offer to join Styx. His role was to bring the band a new career boost which would actually prove to be quite difficult in the early '90s once grunge began to dominate the mainstream radio stations and thus leaving behind the classic rock bands of the '70s and '80s.

Burtnik did his best in order to make Styx sound fresh and exciting but I'm ultimately far from impressed by his performance. Most of his material sounds like he's really trying too hard to sound commercially viable and edgy in his performances but it all just sounds so uninspired that I would much rather just listen to a whole record filled with DeYoung's ballads than anything written and performed by Burtnik. This is pretty much why I can't enjoy Love Is The Ritual, the album's title track and glam metal inspired World Tonite.

What makes this album slightly more bearable are the tracks written by Dennis DeYoung. All of his material here consists of melodic ballads which, I guess, are meant to counter Burtnik's heavy rock sound. Still it would have been interesting to hear more of DeYoung's art rock style, which is unfortunately completely non-existent on Edge Of The Century. Yes, songs like Show Me The Way, Love At First Sight, Carrie Ann and my personal favorite Back To Chicago are all quite enjoyable but this feels like the type of material that DeYoung could pretty much write in his sleep by this point.

James Young almost seems completely missing on this record, which I find to be quite pleasant. Homewrecker is, as far as I can tell, his only vocal performance on the album plus he shares a co-writing credit for Love At First Sight. The final result of such mixed songwriting makes Edge Of The Century sound extremely uneven with '80s rock sound of Burtnik's work sounding extremely dated by todays standards. DeYoung's work manages to fare slightly better even though I would much rather listen to any of the great ballads from the past than any of this album's biggest highlights. The final verdict cannot be anything more than a poor one. This is the only album that I'd discourage even the biggest Styx fans from buying. Remember, you have been warned!

**** star songs: Show Me The Way (4:35) Love At First Sight (4:35) Carrie Ann (4:26) Back To Chicago (4:18)

*** star songs: All In A Day's Work (4:11)

** star songs: Love Is The Ritual (3:48) Edge Of The Century (4:20) Not Dead Yet (3:32) World Tonite (3:38) Homewrecker (5:12)

Rune2000 | 1/5 |


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