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Styx - Cyclorama CD (album) cover




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3.20 | 70 ratings

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4 stars CYCLORAMA is in many ways a return to form, even without founder Dennis DeYoung. My favorite track here, for several reasons, is the beautifully dark "These Are The Times." Finally we have something that harkens back to the days of their moodier writing, something that made me appreciate Styx so much to begin with. James Young's vocals here are possibly some of his best ever, and the writing team of Young / Shaw is as exciting as ever before.

Lawrence Gowan takes over for DDY and although nowhere near Dennis's vocal ability, he still has a voice that fits this music perfectly and his keyboard playing is certainly up to par with everyone's sorely missed Dennis. His "Fields Of The Brave" is also one of this discs gems and a wonderful addition to the live set, fitting in perfectly with some of the band's classic material. Keyboards haven't been so wonderfully prevalent on a Styx disc since possibly the PARADISE THEATER album in 1980.

Glen Burtnik, the band's ex-guitarist / vocalist, returned bassist / vocalist, and now ex- member alltogether, also shines here. His voice is wonderful and I thought he'd be a welcome addition to the new Styx, and I was right. Too bad he had to get out wile he did, becuase I have high hopes for next year's follow-up to CYCLORAMA, and I'm not sure if Ricky Phillips can fill these shoes. Memorable tunes of Glen's include the Green Day-esque (what the hell you ask) "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye" and the amazing "Killing The Thing That You Love." The end of that song, where the dual guitar harmonies kick in, has classic Styx written all over it!!!

Tommy Shaw completely took over on the amazing CRYSTAL BALL album, and was the writer of many of the band's hits and best album tracks up to and including those on KILROY WAS HERE and BRAVE NEW WORLD.

I may be a bit biased on Styx material simply because I am such a fan of their music, but this disc deserves all 4 stars I have awarded it. For fans who loved the classic Styx era check this out and you will not be let down. Just forget about Dennis, put the headphones on and get lost in their lush harmonies and amazing songwriting ability!!

This would be a 5 star disc if not for the filler material of "Bourgeois Pig", and "Fooling Yourself." Tommy's apparent solo leftover "Together" isn't all that great and may sound more at home on either of his first two solo discs. James Young's "Captain America" also falls short but would have been a nice addition to his "City Slicker" solo debut in the 1980's. Buy this, download it, steal it...whatever! You gotta hear this before you write Styx off as a nostalgia band!!!!!

silversaw | 4/5 |


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