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Styx - Pieces Of Eight CD (album) cover

PIECES OF EIGHT

Styx

 

Prog Related

3.59 | 241 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Anthems of the world (tour)

"Sing for the day", the third track on this album, sums up perfectly what's on offer here. "Pieces of eight" is an album clearly designed with one thing in mind, crowd pleasing. Almost any of the tracks can be taken straight into a live environment, and will instantly get the crowd on its feet and singing along. There is an anthem feel to so many of the tracks, you could be mistaken for thinking you are listening to the opening day of an Olympic games.

The album opens with a simulated boxing event with announcements and crowd effects as we are introduced to the "Great white hope". There's an AC/DC feel to the vocals, the song being little more than melodic pop rock. "I'm OK" keeps the pop feel going as the anthemic influences increase, this is Styx in full "We are the champions" mode. There is a nod to something more substantial in a slower church organ section, but we're soon back on track and on our feet again for the big ending.

The distinctive vocals of Tommy Shaw appear for the first time on "Sing for the day" which, while slightly more structured, has an irritatingly infectious chorus. Things move in a slightly more prog direction with the story based "The message"/"Lord of the ring" which sounds like it probably inspired a host of Rhapsody's ballads. While the track is slower, with some good old phasing, it retains that "sign along with us" feel.

There's an ELP like organ intro for "Blue collar man", a pretty basic rock number, while "Queen of spades" deceptively starts out as a "Babe" like Dennis De Young ballad, before some impressive lead guitar carries it off into the melodic rock territory once more. "Renegade" is yet another driving guitar rock song.

The album closes with the title track and "Aku Aku". Once again, "Pieces of eight" opens as a "Babe" like ballad, before becoming yet another anthem song. It features a quasi-classical section leading into a majestic guitar break, prior to the repeating power chorus to end. "Aku Aku" resembles as slowed down version of the closing section of Eric Clapton's "Layla".

"Pieces of eight" is enjoyable in the way an Abba album might be enjoyable. There's little which is particularly challenging or original, but the melodies are strong, and the performances competent. One for the masses.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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