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Articles Home » 2003 Articles » Styx - 2003 Cyclorama
Styx - 2003 Cyclorama

ALBUM: Cyclorama
LABEL: Sanctuary Group
YEAR: 2003


LINEUP: Tommy Shaw - vocals, guitars * ames Young - guitars, vocals * Larry Gowan - vocals, keyboards * Glen Burtnik - guitars, vocals * Chuck Panozzo - bass * Todd Sucherman - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Do Things My Way * 02 Waiting For Our Time * 03 Fields Of The Brave * 04 Bourgeois Pig * 05 Kiss Your Ass Goodbye * 06 These Are The Times * 07 Yes I Can * 08 More Love For The Money * 09 Together * 10 Fooling Yourself (Palm Of Your Hand) * 11 Captain America * 12 Killing The Thing That You Love * 13 One With Everything * 14 Genki Desu Ka


Well I'll admit it, I'm a die-hard Styx fan (or was), but I'm also a fan with a problem. How can I continue being a fan when they haven't released anything half decent since 1978's 'Pieces Of Eight'? All of their albums since then have been 'hit and miss', and yes, I have them all and I critique them regularly. The drama unfolding with the Dennis De Young split, plus the various comings and going of band members didn't help.. and all of this riding on the back of a hugely disappointing last studio album 'Brave New World'. The signs did not look good. Added to this, their glory days era contemporaries who released product in 2002 all suffered abysmal failures at the box office. Toto, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and Boston in particular, all bombing out big-time. So along comes Styx in 2003. Whats the verdict?

Admittedly, not a great deal different to these ears, plus, something just doesn't sit quite right. For me, Styx in 2003 represents nothing more than a money making venture. The musical creativity that these guys once had has either disappeared out the door with Mr De Young (it was his band right?), or they're writing music that just ain't pressing the right buttons. Sure, they might play big events like the Superbowl, but their dabble into modern rock is as pointless as a guppy with fangs. Why bother when people can hear superior offerings from the latest bands on the market? It's clear the band are also trying to hold true to the trademark elements which endured them to many fans in the past. Those keyboard riffs so much a part of Dennis De Young's ivory arsenal so faithfully restored by Canadian import Larry Gowan, but imitation is no match for the original. Some of the tunes also hark back to that classic 1977-1979 period, with many hints of yesteryear floating across the soundscape. They even update the chestnut 'Foolin' Yourself'. But still when you hear it, you're inclined to slap on 'The Grand Illusion' or 'Pieces Of Eight' instead. Again, another bad sign.

The Songs
There are fourteen tracks onboard - a great deal of listening to be had. Admittedly some tracks are awesome, while some.. well, I'm sure I'll talk about them another day. Opener 'Do Things My Way' is hardly an inspiring start, a part rock/part pop effort which stutters unconvincingly. 'Waiting For Our Time' is decidedly missing that 'stickability factor'.The vocal harmonies on the chorus could've been better, and the song quite frankly goes nowhere (where's the solo Tommy?). Surely 'Fields Of The Brave' has nicked the guts right out of the The Beatles somewhere along the way? 'Kiss Your Ass Goodbye' is their blatant flip at modern pop, and obviously with Glen Burtnik in the lineup this song comes to life, though it probably would've sounded better on one of his solo albums. 'These Are The Times' starts out rather poorly, but thankfully has life breathed into it by the time we get to the chorus and solo sections. The acoustic ballad 'Yes I Can' is quaint and pleasant enough I suppose, while the other ballad 'Killing The Thing That You Love', though heavy on dramatics similarly does little to impress. However, the track 'One With Everything' is a highlight! Impressive melodies and the keyboard solos from Larry really do stand out, as does the tight drumming from Todd Sucherman. Man, why couldn't the whole album be as entertaining as this one track? Oh well..

In Summary
I have followed the Styx caravan since 1976, so it's not as if I'm new to these guys. 'Cylcorama' despite its good intentions has about as much chance of fulfilling my daily musical recommended dosage as would George W Bush standing on a soapbox outside my front-door preaching politics! The dangly carrot on the album cover perhaps is too much a giveaway. Unfortunately, I'm not buying carrots this week. Fate will determine how well this album fares in the public eye, but I suspect the public aren't buying carrots either.

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#1 | Jez on June 16 2008 02:50:00
A huge improvement on 'Brave New World' and definately their best releases since the mighty 'Paradise Theater'. End of Story. Buy Buy Buy
#2 | trillion1999 on October 31 2011 17:14:03
I hate the cover but someday I will give everything by Gowan-Styx a chance for sure.
#3 | roadrunner158 on August 29 2012 15:34:42
I actually think this is a great album. However, it would have been better to drop some of the weaker songs. Favourites: 'These Are The Times', 'Together', 'One With Everything' and 'Killing The Thing That You Love'. From what I read on various forums, the latter was pretty controversial, some people taking it as a cheap shot at DDY. I think some people take this whole issue way too seriously...
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