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Styx - Return to Paradise CD (album) cover




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3.80 | 27 ratings

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3 stars I always hated this kind of reunion tours, in most cases you see a bunch of old or middle age musicians who are not capable of playing their music as in their best days. Also these reunions are a cheap way to sell a few more albums with the excuse of nostalgia, even when the quality of the album is less than mediocre producing more sorrow instead of satisfaction in the audience.

This is not the case of "Return to the Paradise", even when they had to replace John Panozzo who had recently died and his brother Chuck was not in his best form because of his health problems, they managed to do a great tour that made people remember the golden years and helped newbies to understand why the name STYX was a synonym of huge concerts and multi platinum albums.

It's true that STYX was never a solid progressive band, most of their music is pop with some proggy sounds, but they were a really a solid Rock band on studio and nobody ever left their concerts without being satisfied with the show, this album proves it once again.

The first step was to hire Todd Sucherman, a really competent drummer who IMHO is at least in the level of John Panozzo. Then they made some new and modern arrangements for old classics but not so different that long time fans couldn't recognize every single note without any problem.

Would be absurd to describe "Return to Paradise" track by track, because the songs are well known and reviewed hundreds of times since released in the original studio albums, so let's talk about the members.

Dennis De Young is better than ever, his career as Broadway actor improved his confidence and attitude as a frontman, the guy is the center of attention even over Tommy Shaw and his voice sounds better than ever, he's also a better keyboardist than before the band split.

Chuck Panozzo is not as strong because of the well-known reasons, but manages to do a correct job as bass player, even when his backing vocals have almost disappeared.

James "JY" Young is the same guy as 20 years before, time has not affected him, his backing vocals are as strong as ever the guitar solos are outstanding and if you have the DVD you'll notice the guy keeps running and being an important part of the show as he always did. When he takes the lead vocals in Miss America also does a great job.

Tommy Shaw is not the main frontman any more, as I said before Dennis has taken that place by own right but still he's one of the main forces in STYX, great guitar playing, excellent vocals and a great support in the show with his personality and charisma.

Todd Sucherman was my greatest surprise, the guy is really outstanding, absolutely precise and really strong drumming, a great replacement for a man who is part of the band history.

The note of nostalgia is added with "Dear John" a studio tribute to John Panozzo, a correct track but nothing spectacular.

Most progheads as myself may not like STYX music very much because they are not really a progressive band, but when someone shows this kind of respect for their fans, preparing this tour and album very carefully instead of trying to play old classics as 20 years before, they deserve a special recognition.

Even when STYX will never be one of my favorite bands I enjoyed "Return To Paradise" CD and DVD very much, I believe it's a very strong work, so I'll rate the album, with 3 stars that would be 3.5 if the page format would allow half stars.

Ivan_Melgar_M | 3/5 |


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