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4 stars Styx without Tommy Shaw? Is that possible? You bet! And, Styx came back after a seven year hiatus with a vengeance. While a few of the cuts are mired in the era they were produced (early 90s), most of the stuff on the album is as much classic Styx as the stuff produced in the 70s. You simply cannot miss out on "Show Me the Way," Glen Burtnick's "Love is the Ritual," or the fun version of "Not Dead Yet." Everything a Styx comeback album should have been...bullseye! Unfortunately, it was a short-lived victory, as the band fell into problems immediatly thereafter and didn't get to record another studio album for nine years.
Report this review (#17414)
Posted Friday, December 26, 2003 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Tommy Shaw whom his contribution to the band since "Crystal Ball" album was phenomenal in terms of songwriting and taking vocal job, left the band to form Damn Yankees with another rocker Ted Nugent. What's left is a relatively weak album in terms of composition and overall performance. However, this album made a world wide hit "Show Me The Way" where it's definitely a song orientated composition with powerful lyrics. The song title made me confused the first time with Peter Frampton's "Show Me The Way" which was also a radio hit in the seventies. It was almost sure that if the band did not have the hit like "Show Me The Way" they might go down the drain as the music was way below Styx standard, I guess. Gone were the days when they had excellent tracks like "Suite Madame Blue" or "Born With An Adventure" or "This Old Man" or "Christopher Mr Christopher" or even great rocker like "Love In The Midnight".

Still, the strength of Styx lies in its vocal harmony between Dennis De Young and James Young and occasionally with the Pannozo brothers. This album made itself distinctive from other Styx albums especially in the use of brass section. I only recommend this album for completionist only - those who love the band and wanting to have all albums of Styx.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#75827)
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album has no prog on it, (except for maybe 'It's all in a days work'). But even on 'progarchives' it's one of the best rated Styx albums. You know what I mean? It's the one Styx album you SHOULD hate, but actually like.

It's not prog, but it's just nice to listen to and melodic. Glen Burtnik rocks and Dennis DeYoung's ballads are uplifting and pretty. Not perfect but I think it's worth about 3.5 0 4 stars, but don't expect any prog.

PS There is a live version out there of 'All in a day's work' that goes for 8 minutes where Dennis DeYoung does a killer Accordion solo. Now I wish he'd to more of that! Dennis is an accordion whizz isn't he? I'd like to see him play it more often.

Report this review (#78809)
Posted Saturday, May 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is the only album from Styx I've ever had until the next 10 years when I bought their "best of" after knowing that they are actually a 'progressive' band. Well, I didn't knot it. I only new this album, and always thought that Styx was a pop/rock band. For someone who is fans of Genesis (in all line up), I have to say that I like this album very much, though. It's catchy, but it has a real quality, as every mature progressive band always has. I think that how a progressive band should move forward their music to, to an optimum combination of great skill and still great and wonderful songs which not so hard for any person to listen to. I think that what make the difference between mature progressive band, and the immature one. The immature one tend to make the music so complicated, so long, that they even forget that the song should be easy to listen, too.

And Styx with The Edge of the Century definitely come to that level where they can still put their idealism, their skill, and produce songs that even a 5 year old kid will shake their head., or move their feet.

Still I won't call it a progressive album. But it is a very high quality rock album - and what a progressive album if it's not about quality and rock, anyway?. I don't see any reason to anyone who loves rock and good music not to like, buy, and collect this album.

rgds, Bayu

Report this review (#80140)
Posted Friday, June 2, 2006 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
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)

Report this review (#950474)
Posted Saturday, April 27, 2013 | Review Permalink

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