Crash Of The Crown reviews

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Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:29 am

https://www.sonicperspectives.com/album ... the-crown/

Styx – Crash Of The Crown (Album Review)

By ALAN COX June 9, 2021

Any review of new music from Styx must first deal with the inevitable reality that Dennis DeYoung is gone. He’s left the building. And he’s not coming back.

Now, this is the music business we’re talking about, and for most musicians, the pandemic crushed what was already an ailing means of making a living with music. So to quote the band itself, “Never Say Never.” But unless the current members of Styx feel the extra money to do one last tour with Dennis is worth more than the obvious discomfort that has kept them apart for 20 years, chances are it’s not going to happen. And after two decades, people, it’s time to let it go…

For all practical purposes, Styx is now Tommy Shaw’s band. And that’s a blessing, because the wunderkid that first gave Styx its true identity when he first appeared on 1976’s “Crystal Ball” is still making his mark and steering the ship more in the vein of “The Grand Illusion” and less in the trappings of “Kilroy Was Here.” That’s not to say that Shaw is averse to concept albums. In fact, 2017’s “The Mission,” which came out of nowhere and was unexpectedly strong proved all the necessary evidence to justify Tommy’s role at the helm of Styx. And if you’ve seen them live, you would know without a doubt that they still have it. And they flaunt it every live show with authentic, stunning vocal harmonies, rock solid musicianship and enough swagger to keep them out of the nostalgia tour camp. Playing live is a massive strength for Styx—and thanks to the pandemic, it’s a muscle they were unable to flex for quite a while.

Such is the environment that their 17th studio record, “Crash of the Crown” soon getting released to the world, and it works for one absolutely essential reason: it sounds like Styx. While it can disputed that the ghost of Dennis still haunts the band, a massive amount of kudos must be given to James Young and Tommy Shaw for their ability to retain the essential elements that make up the band’s signature sound—fantastic three part harmonies, widdly, bombastic synths, blue-collar working man electric guitar solos and memorable melodic rock songs that flirt with prog elements just enough to have a little extra edge.

God bless Tommy Shaw. At age 67, he still sings and plays great. I mean great! And he’s still penning songs that are relevant additions to the Styx canon. For that to be true at this stage of their career is pretty remarkable. Also remarkable, is the performance of drummer Todd Sucherman, who has established himself as one of the premiere drummers playing live today. Sucherman infuses a massive amount of detail and energy into Styx live, and propels the live act like a rocket leaving the earth. “Crash of the Crown” affords him multiple opportunities to shine, whether it be a couple blatant drum breaks or more subtle intricacies that are best inspected with headphones. For my money, Tommy and Todd are the secret weapons keeping Styx going strong.

That’s not to diminish the massive impact of Laurence Gowan, whose voice may still make it hard for some to accept that Dennis is gone, but who absolutely nailed the keyboard tones and runs that make “Crash of the Crown” sound like it could have been the follow up to “Pieces of Eight.” James “JY” Young has historically brought the hard rock guitar edge to the band with a stand out track like “Miss America,” or “Snowblind.” His contribution is perhaps a little less obvious on “Crash of the Crown,” though his vocals are probably as essential to Styx’s harmonies and Michael Anthony were to Van Halen’s. There are a couple really strong moments of guitar work on this record, but it’s unclear whether the praise belongs more to JY or Tommy. The point is, they’re here. This record exudes massive musicianship. Chuck Panozzo and Ricky Phillips deliver solid, unspectacular performances on bass that serve the song more and their reputations less. To put it simple, “Crash of the Crown” is a superb Styx record that belongs on the shelf alongside their other records from “Equinox” forward.

The album opener, “The Fight of Our Lives,” is a short intro with a massive Queen influence, which speaks to both the style and quality of the vocal work on the record. It might not reach the heights of the band’s best entry tracks, but serves as almost a prelude to what’s to come and establishes the hopeful lyrical theme similar to “We Are the Champions.”

“Crash of the Crown” comes out on the tail end of America’s emergence from the pandemic, as well as political transition in power for a polarized population. The songs are a collection of light and shade, either painting a picture of struggle, isolation, repression, or celebrating life, hope and better days to come. Politics and religion are often polarizing content in music, and given the drastic impact of the pandemic on life, “Crash of the Crown” can be interpreted in a more universally relatable way.

Although it boasts 15 tracks, the album clocks in less than 44 minutes, due to a couple tracks being particularly short or transitional.

Highlights of the record include “A Monster,” which features all the aspects of a classic Styx track, including one of the better guitar solos on the record, massive harmonies and intrusive synth lines. Sucherman shines on the track and the song has just enough progressive elements to sweeten the deal.

“Reveries” is a standard Styx-sounding track with Gowan on lead vocals and a big, anthemic chorus that would likely play well in a live setting, and an epic sounding conclusion that reminds me of the Neal Morse Band style conclusions. “Hold Back the Darkness” is a magically melancholic track that nails the lonely vibe of songs like “Crystal Ball” and “Man in the Wilderness.” The guitar and vocal work are tasteful and well serving of the song.

“Save Us From Ourselves” opens with Winston’s Churchill’s rallying cry and features a really strong vocal from
Tommy Shaw, and another tasteful, slinky piece of guitar work. “Crash of the Crown” is the title track, but not necessarily the strongest point of the record. While featuring three different singers taking a verse for the first time on a Styx track, JY’s vocals on the low end are kind of rough, and Gowan’s chorus is a bit mousey sounding. The song perhaps suffers from feeling less “Styx-like” than most of the record, and seems like it could have been a Queen throw away to me. Somewhat surprising to be the title track.

“Our Wonderful Lives” is a feel-good, hope-comes-in-the-morning type of acoustic track that sounds like a perfect way to end a live show with everyone playing on bar stools. The bass line bobs up and down like something right out of “Foolin’ Yourself (Angry Young Man)” and a trumpeting fanfare line heralds in the hopeful vibe while staying on the light side of the record.

“Common Ground” has a classic Styx prog opening, and then breaks into an acoustic strum that’s also reminiscent of “Foolin’ Yourself.” The song pales in comparison to that classic track, but holds true to the classic Styx sound and once again, Todd Sucherman is excellent on the drums. The shimmering chorus vocals are solid through and through. At midpoint, the song moves into stronger territory with Gowan’s rallying cry and a sold build to a too-short guitar solo and abrupt ending.

“Sound the Alarm” is another acoustic based call for hope that floats on the strength of Tommy Shaw’s voice and builds nicely in the middle with a classic church organ section. “Long Live the King” is another high point musically that could have benefitted from being a bit longer. It’s catchy, moody and urgent sounding. “Coming Out the Other Side” is a relaxed jaunt that is more yacht rock than hard rock, with a tasteful slidy guitar solo and some pleasant piano work that communicates the hopeful theme of the record in a less classic Styx fashion that most of the record, save the title track.

“To Those” is reminiscent of the song “Superstars” from “The Grand Illusion” and is a showcase for the classic Styx vocals sound. Sucherman sounds like Keith Moon on this track, tumbling and battering the drum fills distinctively. The record wraps with “Stream,” which is a breezy walk on a Sunday afternoon that ends the record on a relaxed, upbeat feel in the classic vibe of “Sweet Mademoiselle.”

Do the songs on “Crash of the Crown” often sound or feel like older Styx songs? Absolutely, and that’s why it works. The band have honed in on the elements that made their best records so strong and in doing so, have made a surprisingly relevant record in the later stages of their career that all involved should be proud of. Props also for the interesting cover artwork, though I sort of question the pre-Tommy-Shaw-version of the logo in the upper left corner. Given its strength overall, I’m hopeful the 17th studio album of Styx won’t be their last.
Last edited by ChicagoSTYX on Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Thu Jun 10, 2021 1:38 am

http://neo-examiner.com/2021/06/08/albu ... june-18th/

Album Review -Styx Crash of the Crown -out June 18th

As I write this I have had a couple of weeks ( and several listens ) to preview the latest album by the legendary Styx . This is the 17th studio release by the group and in it one of the best .

The album opens with the track” The Fight of Our Lives ” and it tackles head on all the thoughts everyone has had in 2020 / 2021 . Basically about overcoming obstacles and never giving up . I try not to do a song for song detail review because if I do then It will spoil the magic but I will highlight some of my favorite parts .But I do really like the bridge in ” A Monster ” The drums and lead guitar work really shine on this track .Lawrence’s vocals take it up a notch in ” Reveries ” Touching and thought provoking, ” Hold Back The Darkness ” is a song that gets more serious as you listen more and more . It does remind me a little of Pink Floyd at times in certain spots . A rockin tune , ” Save Us From Ourselves ” reminds us that Styx is a rock band and with this they get back to their roots .The title song ” Crash of The Crown ” is perfectly named in these trying time . The duel lead guitars and vocals and is a little reminiscent of Queen but this is destined to be a classic .One of my favorite of my songs of theirs .

On a positive note is ” Our Wonderful Lives ” It just makes you smile and think of great times of the past and of the future . A really awesome song . I thought Styx went industrial via Terminator on ” Common Ground ” intro but that is Styx , they can put anything in a song and make it gel and blend together and sound natural .

There is 15 tracks on this album and it is a fluid transition from their previous effort “The Mission ” I rarely do this but I give it four stars out of four stars . If you are a rock fan and want some new music to listen to then this is the album for you .Its available in just 10 days so mark you calendar and reserve you copy. To learn more about the band and all things Styx check out the official page at https://styxworld.com/
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby Monker » Thu Jun 10, 2021 7:15 am

Those are some good informative reviews. Looking forward to the CD even more now.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby yogi » Fri Jun 11, 2021 12:48 am

Good reviews. Really looking forward to getting my two copies of Crash! I drive 2:30 daily with Crash/ DDY and some new Night Ranger coming out it gives some great NEW music to listen to. Only real negative for me that I’ve read( on these reviews) and heard for myself( first 2 singles released) is that Styx may be sounding like Queen. Since I was never a Queen fan this could be problematic. To me it was a cross between ELO & Queen( which is worse for my tastes). At any rate since I’ve heard 0 Tommy led songs on this album I’m holding out major hope for another great Styx release. I really liked Cyclorama and I loved The Mission.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:11 am

https://www.headbangerslifestyle.com/al ... rsal-music

08 June 2021 by Edwin van Hoof
I admit I am always high on adrenaline for a new release from any of my favourite bands/artists. Styx’ `Crash Of The Crown’ is no exception. The follow up to the highly acclaimed concept album `The Mission’, that instantaneously put Styx back on the top ranks of the classic rock lists, is certainly an album to look forward to. `The Mission’, released in 2017, fused the band’s pompous classic sound with a modern conquering approach, mounted to the foundation of its daring enterprise concept. Styx sounded rejuvenated and its regeneration of the key elements from their extensive back catalogue took shape in an energetic poise of grandeur and positive reverie. 'Crash Of The Crown' picks up exactly where `The Mission’ left off, and goes beyond.

,,The Fight Of Our Lives” instantly warps us into the hot seat for an energy packed, no holds barred, Styx rollercoaster ride. Multi layered vocals and its powerful choir-pumped choruses emboss the typical Styx signature in gold. Short-lived its positive vibed energy takes us into the opening riff of ,,A Monster”. Musically it is stowed with action and finesse with tons of bass and key interaction pulling it forward. The Beatles-esque mid-section is meandering in beauty and the vocal interaction of Young, Philips, Gowan and Shaw is simply astonishing. It is at that very moment the listener is sucked into `Crash Of The Crown’ tremendous punch and harmonies. It all fuses perfectly. ,,Reveries” has the subtle acoustic drive underneath a hovering keyboard swirl while the song revolves around Shaw’s pristine voice. Picking up pace on its chorus with an uplifting vibe marking the album. The guitar solo is adding posture to the bombastic outpour before plunging into the more melancholic ,,Hold Back The Darkness”. Though not proclaimed a concept album, the red line of rise and fall of mankind reflects in the song’s tenure on `CotC’. Lawrence Gowan takes the helm in this DeYoung reminiscent orchestral track. Throbbing bass and hovering riffs and solos propel it gracefully eluding drama. The song flows into the Churchill sound fragment of ,,Save us from Ourselves” which, for the first time on record, features lead vocals from James Young, Lawrence Gowan and Tommy Shaw. Rocking out tremendously the song fires on all classic rock engines and in merely 3 minutes makes you add the repeat button to find out what has just hit you.
This actually is one of the strongholds of `CotC’; its short pointy songs. Most clocks under the 4-minute mark but are as mature and driven as any of the epic tracks from the past. Keyboard swirls pick up the forceful thrive of its predecessor with James’ raspy raw vocals kicking up the dirt on the album’s title track. ,,Crash Of The Crown’’ also bridges towards ,,The Mission” with a jazzy section and dramatic orchestration reminiscent to ol’ days Queen records. Styx don’t appear shy to reveal their influences on the album, with their most dominant influence likely being their back catalogue. ,,Our Wonderful Lives” and the progressive infused ,,Sound The Alarm” with it’s the Who tinging mid-section are simply jaw dropping with uplifting greatness harkening back to hit sensitive songs such as ,,Sing For The Day”. Both heralding spirit and grace in triumphant evading orchestrated sections.

,,Common Ground” returns to the pompous format with ear mingling choirs and vocals before the band goes rocking out ,,Long Live The King” that is propelled by its polyrhythmic drum patterns displaying Suchermann’s tremendous skills. The silent engine combusts frequently on the Evankovich penned track, which adds a different approach to the classical benchmark. The song has a more transparent structure without lacking the band’s signature grace and style. Tommy radiates energy. The song opens towards the last chop of the album that packs some eye-popping tunes like the lush semi rocker ,,Coming Out The Other Side” and the full frontal barnstormer ,,To Those” that packs the Styx power and bombast. Anger laden vocals and over the top driven musicianship unleash a tsunami of emotions and power. Glorious chants over swirling keys, throbbing bass and intense riffs display the band’s pristine power. It takes you on edge. The album dies out with a high during the symphonic short interlude ,,Another Farewell” (quirky subtitled “The Calm before the Stream”) and ,,Stream” being the album’s closing track. Psychedelic bending strings and hypnotizing instrumentation blend with Shaw’s charismatic vocal delivery. Repetitively chanting “..Staring into Space” is again bridges to their magnum opus `The Mission’, making `Crash Of `the Crown’ go full circle on the band’s history, injecting their multi-platinum catalogue and modern day era with two landmark releases in little less than 4 years.

Styx’ `Crash Of The Crown’ displays a band that performs with joy while bearing the marksmanship of the past. Rejuvenated and with impeccable skills the album pulls forward and leaves you behind baffled after first spin. The flow of the album is exquisite with pointy songs putting a smile on your face, or making you grasp for air. Transcending in glorious moments the music sparks tremendous action and poise, well captured by Will Evankovich’s organic and open production. Evankovich, providing counter-balance to Shaw’s song writing since the Shaw/Blades album in 2007, also dominantly takes position on the record while not affecting the benchmark band sound. It all gels extremely well, making `Crash Of `the Crown’ a sonic chronograph heralding life. They certainly lived up to my expectations and yes… they went beyond expectations. Styx is back with another landmark release!
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Sun Jun 13, 2021 1:29 am

Styx: Crash Of The Crown | Album of the week
Although the corona crisis pressed the pause button in the music world, a number of things continued. Albums for example! In the 'Album of the week' section, the Soundz editors post a new favorite every week. This time: Crash Of The Crown by Styx.

Text: Jean-Paul Heck

With the return to a major label, Styx still proves to be a band that plays along. With the album The Mission, which was released four years ago, the band from Chicago returned to their former glory. That concept album also had a number of weak spots. However, they cannot be found on this Crash Of The Crown .

This record has become much more of a group project because it's not just Tommy Shaw who took matters into their own hands. While former frontman Dennis DeYoung also kicks off with a strong new album this month, Styx comes out with the best studio record since.. Yes, since when? That is an arbitrary matter. Many fans think that after Pieces Of Eight from 1978 the band has succumbed to commerce. Many also find albums such as Cornerstone ('79) and the record-selling Paradise Theater ('81) not to be sneezed at. Anyway, those are also records that appeared more than 40 years ago.

The child prodigy Shaw is in top form on this record. Since arriving on the 1976 album Crystal Ball , the blond Alabama all-rounder has never renounced. This 17 e studio album is yet again the sheer proof. Never before has a Styx record been so emphatically close to the masterpiece The Grand Illusion (1977). With vocalist/keyboardist Lawrence Gowan and of course old guitar warrior James JY Young by his side, Crash Of The Crown offers everything a dedicated Styx fan could wish for.

The Queenesque 'The Fight of Our Lives' opens the ball in an impressive way. And then it goes on. Violent Todd Sucherman not only proves to be a fantastic drummer but also proves to be able to do much more. Gowan is in top form on 'Reveries', while Shaw's voice on the track 'Save Us From Ourselves' sounds exactly the same as it did about 30 years ago. Another highlight is 'Long Live The King'.

Actually, every song reminds you of the band's old oeuvre. And is that good? Yes, because this is exactly what the fans want. It is also nice to see that the original bassist Chuck Panozzo plays along on two songs. Styx is still a formidable live act in America and also appears to reach a bizarre high level in the studio. Time for Styx live in the Netherlands!
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:31 pm

https://riffmagazine.com/album-reviews/ ... Wus9rSBdZE

Crash Of The Crown
STYX
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8/10

If you’re a STYX fan but haven’t thought about the ’70s rockers in a while, 17th album Crash Of The Crown will bring memories rushing back. Their classic rock sound remains intact, mixed with some light medieval twinkling and a message about overcoming the depressions of life in America. The album is inspirational and although written pre-pandemic, the lyrical themes fit perfectly into the world we live in. STYX must have been struck with a stroke of prescient ingenuity, as the album references sheltering with loved ones, protesting in the streets and finding hope in dark times. Maybe when you’ve been writing rock since 1975, you can see a few things coming.

The album starts out with “Fight For Our Lives,” an incredibly appropriate title for a song that could have been the anthem for 2020. “We will not give in, the game is our to win,” they sing. Written by guitarist-vocalist Tommy Shaw, the song speaks of the here and now, but the sound throws back to 1970s rock ballads. “A Monster” follows with a more serious tone and message about living in a world where what goes around comes around.

“Reveries” is a light song, beginning with an upbeat acoustic guitar, picking up in the middle with an impassioned guitar solo. “Here I’m running with the elephants, fighting all the elements, in this crowd,” they sing of giving up dreams and becoming dedicated to those around them. “Hold Back the Darkness” is a contemplative tune, beginning with the light patter of rain, ambient sounds and an acoustic guitar. The song follows a young person leaving home for the first time and looking for freedom. “I’m trying to break free from these chains, won’t you give me a break/ You just gotta give me a chance to make my own mistakes,” Shaw sings, challenging a younger perspective.

“Save Us From Ourselves” is perhaps STYX’s most impressive prediction of 2020, as the lyrics address protests and appropriation: “One nation, indivisible, heads in the sand ’cause we weren’t invisible/ Same prayers, we could all use a miracle now, to save us from ourselves.” It brings listeners back to the wild, powerful moments of nationwide clash and protest. “Crash of the Crown” is a pretty rockin’ and inspirational track, complete with a piano breakdown leading to the bridge. STYX suggest we fight through the darkness “’til the walls come tumbling down.”
The playful and breezy “Our Wonderful Lives” is a joyous celebration, yet it deals with fighting depression: “We won’t give in yet, we shall not forget, we still have our wonderful lives.” “Common Ground” makes a plea to remember our youthful inability to empathize with others’ opinions.

“Sound the Alarm” is the strongest ballad on Crash of the Crown, with advice to “Take shelter with the ones you love/ Maybe someday we can rise above and all be safe from harm.” STYX should have written all of last year’s PSAs. “Wear a Damn Mask” would have been the incredibly useful smash hit summer 2020 needed…
“Long Live the King” has a modern vibe, both in lyrics and sound. I can’t help but feel there’s an allusion to the former U.S. President, with an army of people feeding off his every word.

“Coming Out the Otherside” starts out with an Eastern sound, using a sitar, then quickly returning back to STYX’s signature American appeal. The mournful “To Those” still offers up upbeat percussion and airy guitar riffs. “To those of you survived, find beauty in your life/ Don’t be afraid of love/ Stand up and rise above,” the band sings, suggesting that if the young sent the old to war, there would be permanent peace. That band then throws in a slight suggestion to eat the rich, making for one of the most epic songs on the album.

“Another Farewell,” clocks in at just 25 seconds and gives the impression that a symphony broke into the studio and played for a brief moment, before being escorted out by security. “Stream” ends the album with a dreamy chorus and a feeling reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe (In the Air).” “Please don’t wake me from this sweet dream, floating on a stream/ Sunshine beaming down on my face, staring into space,” the band sings. The future seems bright, fight the power and your own depression, you can always call home for help, but the time is now to be free, STYX seem to suggest.
Crash Of The Crown is a supportive rock assembly and what people of a certain generation might be yearning for, sound-wise. It’s a throwback to ’70s rock but addresses modern complications. What more could want from STYX in 2021?
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Tue Jun 15, 2021 8:03 am

https://progreport.com/styx-crash-of-th ... nLtnvNoKQE

by Geoff Bailie

It’s a challenge that faces many bands in the genre: you have a significant, iconic back catalogue, audiences who will happily pay to attend your shows having accepted significant line up changes but… what about studio albums? This is a dilemma that Kansas, Yes and many others have faced over the last 20 years as the dynamic of the music business has morphed on account of technology and audience demands. 1984’s live album, Caught in the Act was the marker for the start of fluctuations in the life of Styx, with the 30+ years between then and 2017’s The Mission producing only 3 studio albums of original material. Perhaps that makes it surprising that such a short time later, we have Crash of the Crown, another new studio album about to be released. The Mission was easily the best album the band had produced since the 80s, so let’s see how the follow up measures up…

Well, I’ll cut to the chase: with Crash of the Crown, the band has captured the essence of their greatest musical moments and crafted a classic album that transcends these times. No, it’s not the Co-Vid album because, as the band have said, most of the writing and some of the recording was completed before lockdown. However, the key to great lyric writing is producing words with universal applicability – on that basis, I think many will find this to be an album that speaks to the times but won’t sound like a historic piece when revisited in the future.

For me, one of the strengths of The Mission was the band demonstrating that musical inventiveness and creativity doesn’t need to mean epic length tracks (the longest track here is 4:00 mins long). “The Fight Of Our Lives” kicks things off with a proggy intro of less than 30 seconds, before the magnificent signature vocals of the band kick in, declaring “We will not give in!”… and they’re off! Four part and five part harmonies are something this band takes in its stride and they standout throughout this album. Tommy Shaw’s vocals lead “A Monster”, a track where just when you think you know where it’s going, takes a left turn into a mid section powered by acoustic guitars and mandolins! Todd Sucherman gets a quick drum solo before a dive-bombing JY guitar solo takes us home. The musical inventiveness within this track that lasts for less then three and half minutes is mindblowing. Credit must go to both the band and “seventh man”, producer Will Evankovich, who himself contributes guitars, keyboards, percussion and vocals.

New boy (!) Lawrence Gowan leads “Reveries” and once again, the band’s playing, singing and full range of skills are all on display as the music segues to “Hold Back The Darkness”. With three powerful lead vocalists, the band can craft superb dynamics – an example being this song which begins with Gowan’s voice accompanied by acoustic guitar, before Tommy Shaw’s voice picks up verse 2 with a darker more melancholic edge. An unexpected guest spot from Winston Churchill launches “Save Us From Ourselves”, with Tommy Shaw sounding almost like Don Henley on this one.

The title track is the first time in their catalogue that a Styx track has featured three lead vocalists… JY’s moody baritone gives way to some furious Hammond organ, kicked into touch by a Shaw-led disco section (yes indeed!) , and a classical piano segment; Brian May style multitrack guitar follows, with a vocoder feature and Gowan conjuring memories of Mr Mercury in the final vocal piece. When you see it written down, you could conclude it’s an “everything including the kitchen sink” approach but in fact the shifts and changes in this track are perfectly executed… and they prove to be a great contrast to the more straightforward “Our Wonderful Lives” which follows. Styx with banjos works completely well in this stripped back sing/ clap along track which is as understated as the previous track was overblown – and a shout out to founder Chuck Panozzo’s bass on this one!

The second half, it feels, opens with the Moog intro to “Common Ground”, which is packed full of signature Styx elements, and is followed by “Sound The Alarm” which features some great Shaw/ Gowan duet moments. The short but inventive “Long Live The King” has entirely different sound, including a great 12-string electric guitar riff. The album itself does have an underlying concept of the light at the end of the tunnel, and the dark situations which we sometimes have to go through to reach it. So you have “Long Live The King” among the songs which touch on the more historic aspects, and the Indian-influenced “Coming Out The Otherside” being a very explicit statement of the concept.

Before the closing orchestrations of “Another Farewell”, we have a dazzling “Styx-In-A-Song” epic in “To Those”. Sucherman’s Moon-like drumming on the verse, with Gowan hitting the top of his range is a stand out album moment. The song builds to a majestic chorus and a “stand and be counted” rallying cry.

For a band approaching 50 years since formation, it’s clear that even a global lockdown, cannot hold this line up back. The fresh ideas, creative arrangements and incredible instrumentation are still coming thick and fast and I would go so far as to say this album stands as one of the very finest in their catalogue.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:00 pm

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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:10 pm

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Styx Crash of the Crown Album Review

Crash Of The Crown shows Styx in their element, an album easily produced in their heyday that would have topped the charts, because it holds on to a formula that works but without adhering to it. Bottom line, the depth of production on Crash of the Crown brings this 50 year-old band from the 1970s into the modern era. In fact, Styx manages to implement their career into Crash of the Crown with prog rock on full display, elements of rock opera, and a suggestive concept all held together with fresh licks and an updated sound.

The near proprietary keyboards complimented by the vocal ensemble of Shaw, Gowan and Young give Styx a distinct and recognizable sound they rarely stray from which can date the band but Crash of the Crown manages to retain this musical strength without coming across like the album was pulled from a well-worn record jacket with faded cover art.

Crash of the Crown begins with three traditional Styx tracks, if you will, starting with the short, upbeat pop song “The Fight of Our Lives” led by Gowan, Shaw takes vocals on “A Monster” which applies several time signature changes and some oddball arrangements but you get Styx keyboards on full display along with complimenting electric and acoustic guitars, then “Reveries” where classic rock, as defined by AOR radio, meets 2021.

Now the focus starts to change.

A slow, almost gritty ballad, even opera like, makes “Hold Back the Darkness” one of the best songs on the album and one of the band’s best songs. Gowan and Shaw trade-off masterfully in front of the mic as the stripped down approach with just a touch of keys and gives this one a 60s feel. Shaw gives a stand-out vocal performance on “Save Us From Ourselves” as the band definitely makes a statement here on the state of the union without taking sides, more like calling a truce, in this rock lament closed by a great guitar solo.

The title track features a Styx first with three lead singers as Young opens on vocals, Shaw follows before giving the mic baton off to Gowan. So much going on with the varying tones as “Crash of the Crown” incorporates some more rock opera (Mr. Roboto makes an appearance) then closes on a Queen note. Young, by the way, sounds awesome.

It doesn’t get much better with Shaw on vocals and acoustic guitar as he gives a bit of hope for the future in the excellent “Our Wonderful Lives” even if the chorus comes across a little too much soft rock. The familiar keyboards return for “Common Ground” and Sucherman gets a bigger drum role going in this characteristic Styx song. “Sound the Alarm” sounds initially like a farewell from the band – “Sound the alarm / Let the world around you know / The time has come for us to go Is it too late to make amends / Look at all that we’ve been through / And all the things we meant to do / But the time just flew by” – but eventually turns into another optimistic ballad, and dang does Shaw sound great on this.

“Long Live the King” is not your father’s Styx as this quick-paced alternative rock track has Sucherman laying down a great drum beat in another album stand-out. Hey, wait a 38 seconds, I want to hear more of “Lost at Sea.” I suppose you get more as this Beetles like track bleeds right into the piano guided “Coming out the Other Side” showcasing yet another side to Styx on this record.

An updated keyboard approach turns “To Those” into a great rock song that in some ways serves as a compliment to “Come Sail Away.” Finally, Crash of the Crown closes with one more brief filler in “Another Farewell” a track of orchestra music that fuses into the hypnotic “Stream” that’s short on lyrics and ends with a bluesy rock guitar solo.

You cannot describe the mark of a great album by whether it captures you right away or takes a few spins to leave an impression. However, Crash of the Crown manages to accomplish both which certainly puts this record in competition for one of the best Styx albums but also ends any doubt of Styx’s place in the annals of rock music history.

Grade: B+
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Sat Jun 19, 2021 4:16 pm

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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Sat Jun 19, 2021 11:22 pm

https://vintagerock.com/styx-crash-of-t ... se-review/

Following 2017’s The Mission, Styx have emerged four years later with a 15-song supersonic cyclone called Crash Of The Crown. Unlike its predecessor, here’s an album peppered with Styx magic throughout — from the subtle guitar work of James “JY” Young at the outro on “The Monster,” to cool analog-sounding keys sailing (though not “away”) with big sounding acoustics on songs like “Reveries” and “Our Wonderful Lives” — with small embellishments here and there to make this whole collection, the band’s 17th studio album, a real keeper.

Tommy Shaw is at the top of his game — vocally and lending his fingers to all manner of guitar, banjo and mandolin. The title track has JY leading the way with that ballsy, low-end growl he has employed on classics like “Miss America” and “Snowblind.” Of course, in a band with three lead vocalists, JY has Shaw and keyboardist Lawrence Gowan in his corner on the breaks. There’s even a quick pass at a “Mr. Roboto”-like effect.

Making use of a powerful five-part harmony mix, Styx hits hard and every turn with an incredible mix that assures the listener, “there’ll be no stopping us” on “The Fight Of Our Lives” with a reprise of sorts that utilizes the same call-to-the-human-race brouhaha on “To Those.” Gowan takes the vocal on “Common Ground” and lets his Mellotron, MiniMoog, and Hammond B3 put a deep stain of prog on the proceedings. Shaw’s “Sound The Alarm” starts as a ballad with an upfront acoustic, but then opens up for odd keyboard flourishes and a perfect layering of harmonies.

When you toss in original bassist Chuck Panozzo, longtime bassist Ricky Philips, super drummer Todd Sucherman and the album’s producer and guest instrumentalist Will Evankovich, it’s no wonder Crash Of The Crown represents a thrust of musicality we’ve not seen the likes of from Styx since their 70s heyday. One can only hope they stay on this course for the foreseeable future.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby Hustler » Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:08 am

https://drewsreviews.org/2021/06/18/alb ... the-crown/

Styx released their best album in nearly half a century today.

Well, at least that’s the scuttle-butt. We’ll get into that in a bit. Even if it’s just hype who really cares? Styx self-titled debut album hit record store shelves in 1972 and nearly 50 years later the prog rockers drop the near 45 minute, 15-song Crash of the Crown proving age really is just a number.

A bit of irony perhaps in that original lead singer Dennis DeYoung released, quite possibly his final studio album last week in 26 East, Vol. 2. Styx and DeYoung have been so far removed, the current line-up of the Chicago-based band have toured together longer than any other iteration of Styx and arguably now stand as a classic line-up in James “J.Y.” Young on guitar since 1970 and co-founder Chuck Panazzo, now part-time on bass guitar, longtime singer and guitarist Tommy Shaw, Todd Sucherman on drums since 1995, Lawrence Gowan on keyboards and DeYoung’s vocal replacement since 1999, and Ricky Phillips on bass since 2003.

Styx seemed destined for the “working band” title in recent decades until such time as they called it a career but released The Mission in 2017 the band’s first album of new material in nearly 15 years and now just four years later (nearly to the date) Crash of the Crown, an album recorded last year during the coronavirus pandemic. Styx teased they might wait until Feb. 22, 2022, the 50th anniversary of their record label signing, to release this 17th album, but with a tour on the books later this year with Collective Soul and, well, who wants to wait in today’s current environment (are we even going to be here in 2022? – I kid. Sort of.), thankfully better marketing heads prevailed.

And yes, the hype measures up to expectations and maybe even Sucherman’s claims of Crash of the Crown “stand(ing) as one of the greatest Styx records of all time.”

Crash Of The Crown shows Styx in their element, an album easily produced in their heyday that would have topped the charts, because it holds on to a formula that works but without adhering to it. Bottom line, the depth of production on Crash of the Crown brings this 50 year-old band from the 1970s into the modern era. In fact, Styx manages to implement their career into Crash of the Crown with prog rock on full display, elements of rock opera, and a suggestive concept all held together with fresh licks and an updated sound.

The near proprietary keyboards complimented by the vocal ensemble of Shaw, Gowan and Young give Styx a distinct and recognizable sound they rarely stray from which can date the band but Crash of the Crown manages to retain this musical strength without coming across like the album was pulled from a well-worn record jacket with faded cover art.

Crash of the Crown begins with three traditional Styx tracks, if you will, starting with the short, upbeat pop song “The Fight of Our Lives” led by Gowan, Shaw takes vocals on “A Monster” which applies several time signature changes and some oddball arrangements but you get Styx keyboards on full display along with complimenting electric and acoustic guitars, then “Reveries” where classic rock, as defined by AOR radio, meets 2021.

Now the focus starts to change.

A slow, almost gritty ballad, even opera like, makes “Hold Back the Darkness” one of the best songs on the album and one of the band’s best songs. Gowan and Shaw trade-off masterfully in front of the mic as the stripped down approach with just a touch of keys and gives this one a 60s feel. Shaw gives a stand-out vocal performance on “Save Us From Ourselves” as the band definitely makes a statement here on the state of the union without taking sides, more like calling a truce, in this rock lament closed by a great guitar solo.

The title track features a Styx first with three lead singers as Young opens on vocals, Shaw follows before giving the mic baton off to Gowan. So much going on with the varying tones as “Crash of the Crown” incorporates some more rock opera (Mr. Roboto makes an appearance) then closes on a Queen note. Young, by the way, sounds awesome.

It doesn’t get much better with Shaw on vocals and acoustic guitar as he gives a bit of hope for the future in the excellent “Our Wonderful Lives” even if the chorus comes across a little too much soft rock. The familiar keyboards return for “Common Ground” and Sucherman gets a bigger drum role going in this characteristic Styx song. “Sound the Alarm” sounds initially like a farewell from the band – “Sound the alarm / Let the world around you know / The time has come for us to go Is it too late to make amends / Look at all that we’ve been through / And all the things we meant to do / But the time just flew by” – but eventually turns into another optimistic ballad, and dang does Shaw sound great on this.

“Long Live the King” is not your father’s Styx as this quick-paced alternative rock track has Sucherman laying down a great drum beat in another album stand-out. Hey, wait a 38 seconds, I want to hear more of “Lost at Sea.” I suppose you get more as this Beetles like track bleeds right into the piano guided “Coming out the Other Side” showcasing yet another side to Styx on this record.

An updated keyboard approach turns “To Those” into a great rock song that in some ways serves as a compliment to “Come Sail Away.” Finally, Crash of the Crown closes with one more brief filler in “Another Farewell” a track of orchestra music that fuses into the hypnotic “Stream” that’s short on lyrics and ends with a bluesy rock guitar solo.

You cannot describe the mark of a great album by whether it captures you right away or takes a few spins to leave an impression. However, Crash of the Crown manages to accomplish both which certainly puts this record in competition for one of the best Styx albums but also ends any doubt of Styx’s place in the annals of rock music history.

Grade: B+
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Tue Jun 22, 2021 10:07 pm

https://100percentrock.com/2021/06/musi ... the-crown/

Label: Alpha Dog 2T/UMe

Release Date: June 18, 2021

Rating: 94%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

After REALLY digging into Styx’s last effort, The Mission, and loving song after song, I was hesitant to dive into another album with the fear that it wouldn’t meet the bar that was raised their last go ’round. Disc opener “The Fight Of Our Lives” is a shorter piece firmly planted in the bands prog roots and sound. The opening takes a left turn from the typical rock tracks the band is known for, but soon the harmonies, guitars, rhythm section, and keyboards swirl to deliver Styx magic. “A Monster” builds on the momentum of the opening track and keep the Styx sound alive while riding a different musical rail and letting the music and vocals speak for themselves. The layered vocals on this one take flight throughout, especially on the choruses and various transitions. “Save Us From Ourselves” has a more rooted feel thanks to the piano and spoken intro that soon morphs into a rocker thanks to the familiar vocals of Tommy Shaw and some great guitar parts that blend perfectly with harmonies and killer drumming from Todd Sucherman. “Sound The Alarm” comes off with a ballad-like texture that adds a different dimension to the collection. As the acoustic guitar and keyboards merge during the chorus, the rest of the band joins the fray and deliver a track that is built for the bands live show and should carry well in front of a crowd. “To Those” is a fun track that joins Lawrence Gowan’s keyboards with the bands layered vocals and harmonies perfectly in the mix. The lead vocal kicks in as the rhythm section seems to dial in and kick this song into overdrive and moves us closer to the discs end.

“Reveries” is a cool track that has a cool bass line from Ricky Phillips anchoring the bottom end and keeping the song from running away with itself. Be sure to check out the guitar solo tossed overtop the bridge and take in the stacked vocal that runs through the choruses. “Our Wonderful Lives” is one of two tracks to feature original bassist Chuck Panozzo. The opening of this track is the most “Styx-like” and takes you back to several of the bands classics and gives us a few moments to enjoy the different musical components of the band, as we get glimpses of each instrument as well as a wall of sound vocal that supports Shaw’s lead vocal. “Common Ground” keeps the disc tracked in the Styx vein with keyboards, vocals, and guitars. While not a rocker, the song gets you moving and losing yourself in the arrangement. On song after song, you cannot deny the guitar prowess of James “JY” Young as he adds to the various tracks while splitting the duties as well as lending his vocals in the mix. “Lost At Sea” is the other track to feature Panozzo on bass, but the opening piano and vocal duet from Gowan steals the show. “Coming Out The Other Side” fills out after an Eastern musical interlude morphs into a beautiful keyboard driven track that has Styx nuances woven into it, but stands alone as a solid song that deviates from the musical path normally taken. While different from their classic hits, there is something about this track that catapults itself sonically.

“Hold Back The Darkness” delivers the goods with an intro that unfolds slowly and gently before vocals and keyboards roll in. The songs sound and structure brings to mind Pink Floyd through the verse, but quickly shifts into Styx mode on the choruses. The back and forth sonically is a cool swirl and benefits from the guitar work of Young and Shaw. “Crash Of The Crown” is new territory for the band, with the three lead vocalists all taking their turn behind the microphone… I cannot wait to see and hear this live. From JY’s opening vocal to Tommy’s anthemic chorus to Lawrence’s contributions between some of the transitions, this song brings different grooves and vibes, even tossing is a bit that has a Queen-ish feel and sound to it. This song helps place another brick in the bands legacy. “Long Live The King” is a different track that benefits from the heavy hands of drummer Sucherman and bassist Phillips. The vocal runs across the mix, but the nuances from the rhythm section that dot the musical landscape stand out with each listen. “Another Farewell” is an interesting instrumental interlude that builds to the final track. Disc closer “Stream” takes a slight left turn musically during the intro, but the song helps tie together the diverse and familiar sounds and structures all over this collection. Who knew the band could deliver such a solid effort without firmly parking themselves in the arena rock genre? This band constantly unearths new facets and gives the fans something to digest without getting repetitive or overdone.

Tracklisting: The Fight Of Our Lives – A Monster – Reveries – Hold Back The Darkness – Save Us From Ourselves – Crash Of The Crown – Our Wonderful Lives – Common Ground – Sound The Alarm – Long Live The King – Lost At Sea – Coming Out The Other Side – To Those – Another Farewell – Stream
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:30 am

http://knac.com/article.asp?ArticleID=38396

STYX
Crash Of The Crown
Alpha Dog 2T/UMe 2021

After the split, there was the Dennis DeYoung STYX-era base, who followed him and his endeavors. Then there were those that were very accepting of the ‘reality’ that Dennis was gone and he’d NEVER be back. Over the years STYX has move full speed ahead with Canadian solo artist Lawrence Gowan in the DeYoung role. Gowan has been embraced by the base and rightly so, he’s a fantastic singer, songwriter, performer and his charisma and stage presence is second to none, even to band mate Tommy Shaw! DeYoung has about as much of a chance of returning to STYX as I have of getting pregnant…by my wife!

On their 16th outing, The Mission, STYX crafted a critically acclaimed, brilliant concept album about travel to Mars. Four years have passed since its release, yet it’s still fresh and still seems very much new. STYX wasted no time during the pandemic and got in full swing to complete their 17th studio album, Crash Of The Crown. The album is a 15 track opus, but don’t fear, it’s not a record that is heavy on filler. While the record clocks in at close to 45 minutes, some tunes are short and then there’s intro/interlude tracks that set up the next. Nothing new here as that is what we got on The Mission. As you might expect, you’ll be treated to a heavy helping of their trademark triple harmonies [quadruple actually, as bassist Ricky Phillips has a fantastic set of pipes himself], progressive grooves and signatures, crunchy riffage and their first class musicianship. If you’ve seen them live, you know this. If you haven’t be prepared to get destroyed when you do. STYX are much ‘heavier’ live than you might think and while they are a ‘legacy’ act, they thankfully mix in new tunes in their set. Also, Tommy Shaw did the ‘heavy lifting’ in the songwriting on this album as he did on The Mission. Kudos to James ‘JY’ Young for being a team player and not changing what worked last time around. Returning in a prominent role as he did on The Mission is Will Evankovich who co-wrote, performed and produced the album.

Back to Crash Of The Crown. The highlights of the record include “A Monster”, which has classic STYX vibe and might I add, one of the best solos on the album. Drummer Todd Sucherman’s abilities are showcased on the track. It’s progressive elements are ‘heaven’ for the prog-heads. “Crash Of The Crown” is a masterpiece. We hear Shaw’s QUEEN influences bleed through, as we do on “The Fight Of Our Lives”, the opening intro to the album. “Reveries” is another classic STYX-sounding track with a heavy helping of progressive elements, AOR and melodic hard rock. While not a concept album, there’s a recurring theme to Crash Of The Crown, stuff that the American people or the world for that matter can relate to; isolation, internal struggles, unrest and hope. It’s a ‘heavy’ record lyrically, that listeners of all ages will embrace coming out of the pandemic.

4.0 Out Of 5.0
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Wed Jun 23, 2021 1:36 am

https://gruesomemagazine.com/2021/06/20 ... styx-2021/

Crash Of The Crown marks the band’s first release in 4 years. Releases have been sporadic in these later decades of their career – the ’70s brought 9 albums, with most of their hits coming at that time – all classic rock staples today. Two releases in the ’80s, two in the 90’s – and the 2000s have brought us four albums – including the one we are currently talking about.

With that being said – let’s talk about Crash Of The Crown.

STYX seems to have inadvertently stumbled upon the perfect collection of music and lyrics for pulling out of a pandemic as I found this album to be full of hope and love and offering up a positive message that we all so much need right now. 15 tracks that at times I felt were telling one linear story, although in my research I could find no proof that the album was written as a concept album. At certain points throughout the album, we are treated to short musical interludes that seem to be wanting to transport us through the messages the band has put together for us.

Tracks like The Fight of Our Lives, Save Us From Ourselves, and Sound The Alarm hold such powerful meaning in this age of COVID – although all the songs were written before any knew what it was – their message of family and holding the true importance of living close to your heart rings through loud and clear.

This album is a celebration – not just of the music of STYX but of society’s ability to heal itself, even when a large contingent of said society only wants to bring harm. It’s a celebration of hope and a message of intelligence over intolerance and of love overcoming ignorance. It’s the perfect soundtrack to 2021.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:55 am

https://www.dailycal.org/2021/06/22/sty ... _TYZNW38ao

Styx’s ‘Crash of the Crown’ is glorious return for classic rock giants

BY POOJA BALE | SENIOR STAFFLAST UPDATED 10 HOURS AGO

Grade: 4.0/5.0

With 17 studio albums, nine live albums and 16 compilation albums, Styx has persistently shown that it can stand the test of time. Formed in 1972, Styx has already crafted an indestructible legacy for itself, exploring genres including progressive rock, art rock and everything avant-garde in between. Released June 18, Crash of the Crown, the band’s latest endeavor, is anything but a fall from grace — it only reinforces the band as the rock powerhouse that it is.

Crash of the Crown is modern and operatic, yet sounds as if it was made in 1978 during the band’s prime. The two-minute-long opener, “The Fight for Our Lives,” features the beautiful harmonies and bright guitar sounds Styx was known for mastering during the 70s and 80s. The song, along with the rest of the album, achieves the perfect balance between synths and guitars

What sets Styx apart from so many rock bands is its utilization of the entire band in its harmonies, and “Reveries” is one of many examples of this skill. The main harmony between three lead singers Tommy Shaw, Lawrence Gowan and James Young is phenomenal; their voices blend into one another seamlessly. Not only are the instrumentals arranged impeccably, but the chorus pumps in a beauty that just couldn’t be captured with just one voice.

Crash of the Crown fully encapsulates Styx’s endlessly optimistic energy. Lyrics of resiliency set to upbeat guitars makes up the group’s quintessential sound, and on the album, this formula is familiar without succumbing to monotony — impressive for a band with such a large discography under its belt.

“Hold Back the Darkness” includes an excellent and much anticipated guitar solo, building up slowly and triumphantly. Meanwhile, “Save Us from Ourselves” and the titular track boast arena rock anthem swagger; both are unforgettably catchy and include small quirks to shake things up a bit. “Save Us from Ourselves” is interjected with segments from Winston Churchill’s famous 1940 speech, fitting for a song about the salvation of mankind. But however bleak the message, there still floats an air of hope around the song, the hallmark of Styx’s music.

Despite Styx’s adherence to its classic sound, songs such as “Our Wonderful Lives” and “Sound the Alarm” find the band testing out slight changes to its instrumentals and energy. Taking on a more stripped, soft rock sound rather than the dramatic guitars and drum flourishes that are normally found on the group’s work, these songs provide a foil to some of the more instrumentally grand tracks on the album. “Stream” ends the 15-track album with another cascading tune, steadily working its way up to an excellent minute-long guitar solo to send listeners off. As the last track fades into silence, you can’t help but feel empty yet fulfilled — a sure sign to listen to the record all over again.

Styx has always had the theatrics, the storylines and the talent to propel it to worldwide success. Crash of the Crown is simply another example of the band doing what it knows best and excelling at it. The album doesn’t sound tired — it’s fresh and new, which has become an increasingly difficult goal for classic rock bands attempting to release new music nowadays. Styx has somehow made the hardship of transitioning into modernity look easy.

Every song on the album is electrifying and sure to captivate listeners upon the initial listen. The band members play off of one another effortlessly and have the same magic of the original lineup, a skill surely developed over their long and illustrious careers. Many classic rock bands have quit while they were still relevant, but Styx has put in effort to revamp its sound without losing the characteristics that have made fans love the band for so long.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Sun Jun 27, 2021 12:12 am

https://mattderraugh.com/music-reviews/ ... wn-review/

One of the most enduring and prolific bands to effectively straddle the line between prog and pop rock, Styx were a defining factor in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s rock world with records like The Grand Illusion (1977) Pieces of Eight (1978) and Paradise Theater (1981) and still maintain a solid listenership and concert draw to this day. Next year will mark their 50th year together as a band and the 50th anniversary of their eponymous debut album; for right now they’ve followed up 2017’s The Mission with Crash Of The Crown, their 17th studio release to date.

The best way to describe Crash from the outset is as a perfectly fresh throwback; appropriately dated in substance for a legacy act but not sounding stale in production at the same time. “The Fight Of Our Lives” begins with a very proggy, “Foreplay”-esque organ intro, unfolding into Styx for the body of the song and ending in loose “Bohemian Rhapsody” fashion. The melody and mysticism of “A Monster” and “Reveries” dig deeper into Styx’s prog side, while the relatively tamer “Hold Back The Darkness” slows down to let the band’s instrumental capacities shine through clearly. “Save Us From Ourselves” is a slick exercise in AOR in the vein of “Blue Collar Man (Late Nights)”, the following title track channels classic Styx with its seamless dynamic shifts. Conversely, “Our Wonderful Lives” captures the broader mid-to-late-‘70s prog/pop boom the band broke through in to the point that if it weren’t for the banjos in the background you might think you were listening to a mashup of Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit” and “Wind Of Change” off Frampton Comes Alive!. Perhaps in retrospect you could call it the A&M sound.

“Common Ground” throws it back even further to Styx’s salad days with drummer Todd Sucherman taking a fair chunk of the spotlight with his percussionistic prowess. The warm, welcoming “Sound The Alarm” is hardly the way it sounds, though it’s a great demonstration that Tommy Shaw still has it after 40+ years with the band; “Long Live The King” picks it up a bit more with a slightly different, updated twist on Styx’s usual sonic shtick. From there it sails over to the interlude “Lost At Sea”, then to “Coming Out The Other Side”; a perfect portrait of a group of comfortably old prog rockers if there ever was one. “To Those” resurrects some of those old anthemic “Come Sail Away” vibes with bits and pieces of The Who thrown in for maximum effect (Maybe it’s just Sucherman’s Keith Moon fills). The (for lack of a better word) horny interlude “Another Farewell” precedes the closer “Stream”, a short, chill number executed in a very Pink Floyd manner with the exception of the more Yes-like vocal harmonies. In short, it’s a prog rock record dummy, and don’t you forget it.

It’s a broken record point to make (no pun intended), but a good chunk of the time when a band has been around for as long as Styx has and still has some modicum of prominence, it’s usually due to nostalgia, musical merit or both. Styx gave the world a string of classics many moons ago that they can eat off of for many moons more; there’s no need or obligation for them to make any more hits for today unless they tried to and succeeded in doing so. Why are they still going in 2021? The love of the music is one very probable reason, money could very well be another, but it’s also because they can still play. You might be getting old, but if you’ve still got it and you still have a fanbase, why quit now? Keep playing until you can’t; that’s something Styx takes to heart as evidenced by their continuing longevity, and judging by the quality of this record that can’t is still a fair way off.

RATING: 4.5/5
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Tue Jun 29, 2021 12:38 pm

https://mattderraugh.com/music-reviews/ ... wn-review/

One of the most enduring and prolific bands to effectively straddle the line between prog and pop rock, Styx were a defining factor in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s rock world with records like The Grand Illusion (1977) Pieces of Eight (1978) and Paradise Theater (1981) and still maintain a solid listenership and concert draw to this day. Next year will mark their 50th year together as a band and the 50th anniversary of their eponymous debut album; for right now they’ve followed up 2017’s The Mission with Crash Of The Crown, their 17th studio release to date.

The best way to describe Crash from the outset is as a perfectly fresh throwback; appropriately dated in substance for a legacy act but not sounding stale in production at the same time. “The Fight Of Our Lives” begins with a very proggy, “Foreplay”-esque organ intro, unfolding into Styx for the body of the song and ending in loose “Bohemian Rhapsody” fashion. The melody and mysticism of “A Monster” and “Reveries” dig deeper into Styx’s prog side, while the relatively tamer “Hold Back The Darkness” slows down to let the band’s instrumental capacities shine through clearly. “Save Us From Ourselves” is a slick exercise in AOR in the vein of “Blue Collar Man (Late Nights)”, the following title track channels classic Styx with its seamless dynamic shifts. Conversely, “Our Wonderful Lives” captures the broader mid-to-late-‘70s prog/pop boom the band broke through in to the point that if it weren’t for the banjos in the background you might think you were listening to a mashup of Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit” and “Wind Of Change” off Frampton Comes Alive!. Perhaps in retrospect you could call it the A&M sound.

“Common Ground” throws it back even further to Styx’s salad days with drummer Todd Sucherman taking a fair chunk of the spotlight with his percussionistic prowess. The warm, welcoming “Sound The Alarm” is hardly the way it sounds, though it’s a great demonstration that Tommy Shaw still has it after 40+ years with the band; “Long Live The King” picks it up a bit more with a slightly different, updated twist on Styx’s usual sonic shtick. From there it sails over to the interlude “Lost At Sea”, then to “Coming Out The Other Side”; a perfect portrait of a group of comfortably old prog rockers if there ever was one. “To Those” resurrects some of those old anthemic “Come Sail Away” vibes with bits and pieces of The Who thrown in for maximum effect (Maybe it’s just Sucherman’s Keith Moon fills). The (for lack of a better word) horny interlude “Another Farewell” precedes the closer “Stream”, a short, chill number executed in a very Pink Floyd manner with the exception of the more Yes-like vocal harmonies. In short, it’s a prog rock record dummy, and don’t you forget it.

It’s a broken record point to make (no pun intended), but a good chunk of the time when a band has been around for as long as Styx has and still has some modicum of prominence, it’s usually due to nostalgia, musical merit or both. Styx gave the world a string of classics many moons ago that they can eat off of for many moons more; there’s no need or obligation for them to make any more hits for today unless they tried to and succeeded in doing so. Why are they still going in 2021? The love of the music is one very probable reason, money could very well be another, but it’s also because they can still play. You might be getting old, but if you’ve still got it and you still have a fanbase, why quit now? Keep playing until you can’t; that’s something Styx takes to heart as evidenced by their continuing longevity, and judging by the quality of this record that can’t is still a fair way off.

RATING: 4.5/5
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Thu Jul 01, 2021 5:38 am

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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby Monker » Thu Jul 01, 2021 9:58 am

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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Fri Jul 02, 2021 12:57 am

Interesting YouTube review from a hard rock perspective

https://youtu.be/RF7f3K__23w
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby yogi » Fri Jul 02, 2021 1:46 am

Compares this Styx album to Dream Theater's Octavarium album. What a compliment!! Octavarium is one of my top 10 albums of all time. Maybe thats why I love Crash Of The Crown so damn much. Then he says that Styx must of influenced Dream Theater. ( Maybe that's why I think Dream Theaters 'The Spirit Carries On' sounds so much like Styx's 'Unfinished Song', Dream Theater ripped it off & finished it, while completely changing the lyrics ( kidding), but the two songs feel the same to me. This ENTIRE review is GREAT! My two FAVORITE bands of ALL TIME. GREAT, SPOT ON review from BOTH of the guys reviewing Crash!!!
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Fri Jul 02, 2021 11:49 pm

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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Fri Jul 09, 2021 11:01 pm

https://musicgururadio.wordpress.com

A new one from one of the kings of Pop/Rock. Styx has been putting out great music since the 1970s & still doing so today. On my first listen to CRASH OF THE CROWN, I could tell of the greatness that Tommy Shaw, James “J.Y.” Young, Lawrence Gowan, Chuck Panozzo, Todd Sucherman, Ricky Phillips & Will Evankovich was there, but, I wasn’t sure that I was ready for another concept album. Dennis DeYoung made the first STYX concept album, then Styx got rid of him. Now Styx has made 2 in a row. Don’t get me wrong, they are both extremely good albums, but, why make concept albums? I realize that the album that brought them to Fame (The Grand Illusion) was a concept album of sorts, but it had enough of that great STYX sound to really put it over the top. I had to listen to this album (Crash Of The Crown) twice + to figure out where I was was with it. Luckily, between the songwriting of Tommy Shaw, Will Evankovich, Lawrence Gowen & Ricky Philips, they managed to put together another great album. Is it as great as the Grand Illusion? I don’t think so, but the members of STYX think that it’s their best ever. Their opinion may matter more than mine, so, I say that you give this a listen. Then, give it some more listens. It WILL grow on you. It keeps growing on me. I give this 4 Music Guru stars. I may give it more as I listen to it more. Let me know what you think.
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Fri Jul 09, 2021 11:15 pm

https://maxazine.com/2021/07/08/styx-cr ... the-crown/

We won’t give in’; with that sentence, Styx’s new album begins. Styx, the band that had a series of hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s, of which “Babe” was probably the best known. Fortunately, Styx was not only a band of ballads, but the band actually did a bit of everything. From ballad to uptempo rocker to prog to folk. The previous album “The Mission” was the first album in 12 years. Luckily, we only had to wait 4 years for it this time.

Styx has been around for quite some time. The first album was released in 1972. From the album “The Grand Illusion” from 1977, the popularity of the group increased enormously with the hits “Come Sail Away” and “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)”. This album is often seen by fans as their magnum opus. Between that album and “Killroy Was Here” Styx has had big hits.

Band members from the very beginning James Young (guitar/vocals) and Chuck Panozzo (bass) are still there. Tommy Shaw (guitar/vocals), who has been with the band since 1975, is also still active. The band also consists of Todd Sucherman (drums), Lawrence Gowan (keys/vocals) and Ricky Philips (bass).

Starting with the album opener “The Flight Of Our Lives” it is immediately clear. This new “Crash Of The Crown” is classic Styx. It takes you back to the time of their greatest successes. If you still have doubts during the intro, that doubt is completely gone when the well-known polyphony opens the vocals. Shaw still sounds like old times, just like the record itself.

Then there are songs like “Reveries”, which would probably just be a hit back in the day. Again classic Styx here. You will find keyboard licks and guitar solos throughout the album, such as the wonderful solo on “Hold Back The Darkness”, polyphony, fat riffs. On the title track, you can find some more prog elements. Everything you expect from this band can be found on this new gem. Even Winston Churchill makes a guest appearance on “Save Us From Ourselves”.

Where the previous album “The Mission” still had a few songs of which you thought: “Well, okay”, there is no filler on this album. A very strong concept album about the pandemic time and the hope for better times. At a moment when the end of that era seems to be slowly approaching, the release is also at the right time. For the Styx fans, this new ‘Crash Of The Crown’ is a must-hear! The classic rock fans can actually buy this blind. Styx, like many other classic bands (Blue Öyster Cult, Kansas, Cheap Trick) proves that writing off bands like this is far from necessary. (9/10) (Alpha Dog 2T/UMe)
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Tue Jul 13, 2021 5:48 am

https://mastersradio.com/styx-crash-of- ... n-masters/

Crash of the Crown by 70’s/80’s legends Styx, was released recently. You can check the single out and listen to it on the Masters Radio Rotation. Give it a listen, and while you’re at it, put that playlist on shuffle and enjoy.

This new single might catch you off guard on the first listen. When you imagine Styx, the first things that come to mind are the Grand Illusion, Lady, and Come Sail Away. If that’s what you’re looking for, you might’ve found a good mix of all of them. This song doesn’t stray away from what makes Styx great. The iconic keyboard solos and effects, loud drums and guitar, and most importantly, rock opera.

When I mentioned before the song catches you off guard, I mean when the vocals start. It reminds you how mature they are compared to their 70’s hits. You get used to it after a few seconds and you can really enjoy what they’ve put together. The song starts with a classic rock era sound, then slowly evolves into a crescendo of rock opera madness. Yet, it’s a madness I want to be a part of. In between this, we are given the nostalgic synthesizer that ties the whole single together into a great Styx song.

Some things that I found odd was how drastically different the introduction was compared to the last minute or so. I would consider it almost electronic bluegrass (or modern country), something you don’t expect Styx to be anything close to. The rest of the song however aligns very well with their past music, especially their albums in the 80’s. The rock opera ending is something close to a Grease song, but then is ended by roaring vocals.

I will say, this song is a lot more listenable then some of their overplayed hits. I give Styx’s new single, Crash of the Crown, a 8/10. The song falls slightly short in the beginning, but the epic ending makes up for it.

Make sure to check this new song, and dozens of others from similar artists on our Masters Radio Rotation.

Thanks for stopping by,

Gavin Masters
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Tue Jul 13, 2021 6:08 am

https://www.rocktimes.info/styx-crash-o ... cd-review/

Styx / Crash Of The Crown - CD review
...on CD, Rock11. July 2021ByAndrea Groh
Artist: Styx Label: Universal Music Music Style: AOR, Progressive Rock, Rock
Styx - Crash Of The Crown
Almost exactly four years after The Mission, Styx's new, seventeenth studio album is released. In contrast to its predecessor, which had a planned Mars mission as a concept, "Crash Of The Crown" is rather earthly and not so easily accessible in terms of content, but more enigmatic and subtle. "A new era of hope, survival, and prosperity comes calling" is in the booklet - in addition to the liner notes, which describe the intention and situation of the creation of this disc. If you are interested, take a look here. Perhaps it can be said in a nutshell that it is about humanity, about hope and crisis. Which fits the current situation (although the explanations mention dates of wars), whereby the songs were written before Corona, but the recording process took place during this time and somehow this is noticeable.
The music was largely written by Tommy Shaw together with producer Will Evankovic, who also participated as a musician and achieved a very good, powerful sound. Lawrence Gowan and Ricky Philpps were also involved in the songwriting.
The individual songs on "Crash Of The Crown" are not strongly separated from each other, there are hardly any gaps between the fifteen pieces (in 43 minutes, so everything quite short). The overall impression seems quite compact, perhaps even a little compressed, a little overloaded at first glance. But can there be too much good music? No. There are a lot of details to discover here, always excellent moments, some of which burn into the ear from the first hearing. As always, there are polyphonic vocals (in the title track even three different singers are represented in succession for the first time), fine melodies, bombastic elements, rocky and gentle, in addition to guitars and keyboards, mandolin, mellotron and other things. I would like to briefly mention a few passages / songs:
With "The Fight Of Our Lives" the disc begins hopefully, both through the broadcast of the music and through lines of text such as "We will not give in / the game is ours to win / and we came here to take our prize".
In "Hold Back The Darkness" it gets darker, melancholy, which at times reminds a little of Pink Floyd. In a successful way, Styx show a slightly different face here, in order to change something immediately afterwards. "Save Us From Ourselves" not only has a good, thoughtful title / text, here are quotes from Winston Churchill (maid fans should not be unknown one of them ...)
"Our Wonderful Lives", on the other hand, radiates a pleasant lightness, a feeling that our time lacks something at the moment. Similar, but in a different way, can be said about "Sound The Alarm". "Long Live The King", on the other hand, shines with an anthemic chorus. "To Those" is bombast at its best again.
If you already liked "The Mission", you will not be disappointed here, the line taken there will be continued and expanded with new things. Sometimes something old appears in a new guise. In this form, Styx still looks alive and able to create something worth listening to in 2021, almost fifty years after its foundation. In this way, they are welcome to continue for a few more years. "Crash Of The Crown" reflects our time in a way, is at the same time contemporary and timeless, spans a bridge back to the 70s, works through the successful combination of different elements from progressive rock to (hard) rock to AOR and more. Of course, rock music is not reinvented here, but cleverly rearranged. Thus, it is not a quick shot, not an old master's work, which is only a copy of past feats, but perhaps exactly the album that is necessary in 2021. One that can bring a little positive energy into our world through music, at least for those who can do something with it.
Line-up Styx:
Tommy Shaw (acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, banjo, vocals)
James 'JY' Young (electric guitar, vocals)
Chuck Panozzo (bass guitar)
Todd Sucherman (drums, percussion)
Lawrence Gowan (paino, B3 organ, synthesizers, mellotron, vocals)
Ricky Phillips (bass guitar)
Will Evankovic (acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, synthesizers, soundcapes, percussion, vocals)
Michael Bahen: (tablas - #12)
Sevie Patrick (piccolo trumpet - #7)
Tracklist "Crash Of The Crown":
The Fight Of Our Lives
A monster
Reveries
Hold Back The Darkness
Save us from us
Crash Of The Crown
Our Wonderful Lives
Common Ground
Sound the alarm
Long Live The King
Lost At Sea
Coming Out The Other Side
To those
Another farewell
Stream
Total playing time: 43:10, release year: 2021
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:59 pm

Another YouTube review.
https://youtu.be/MYo9UaBOiY8
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Re: Crash Of The Crown reviews

Postby ChicagoSTYX » Thu Jul 15, 2021 3:18 am

http://letsrock1.ca

When I was about 10 years old, I had one of those K-Tel compilation records. There are only two things I remember about that album: 1) ELO’s Don’t Bring Me Down and 2) Styx’s Renegade. The latter was played so many times that even my mom knew the words.
That was the beginning of a beautiful one-sided friendship. Over the next couple of years, I purchased every Styx album up to that point, and continued collecting every time a new release showed up in the record stores. (Remember those??)
The pandemic took some wind out of my sails in regards to new releases in the rock world, so imagine my surprise when I got home the other day to find a package waiting for me at the front door. My Let’s Rock partner in crime had ordered the new Styx album for me. I must admit, I had no idea that they were even recording, let alone releasing their latest, Crash of the Crown.
Some of my best buddies since I was 10 years old-Styx in 2021
I think it’s fair to assume that I’m a bit of a Styx fan. I usually have a ritual when I get a new Styx album: No disturbances, just me and my liner notes, as I listen to the record for the first time as loud as possible (without bothering the neighbours).
I followed my ritual with Geddy, my trusty new Jack Russell co-reviewer, crashed out next to me. (It’s safe to assume I’m a bit of a Rush fan, too)

Let’s do this. Let’s Rock does our reviews a little differently than other sites. We simply listen to the album and type our first reaction in real time. Call it a First Reaction.

1. The Fight Of Our Lives
Very cool, proggy intro. I love Lawrence Gowan (apparently, you can call him, Larry, too) and I’m very happy to have a fellow Canuck in this band. Wow, sounds like about 20 voices singing together in this one. Ever since the ending of Crystal Ball, Styx guitar solos always make me smile. “Nothing can stop us, No one can stop us now,” I love Tommy Shaw’s lyrics. It should be noted, that Shaw is in my top 3 or 4 rock musicians of all time. His songwriting/voice/guitar work is right at the top in my humble opinion. He’s plowin’ on this one. Great start.

2. A Monster

Still proggy, which is great. Damn, Tommy sounds good. Drummer Todd Sucherman is an absolute beast. Some very nice tempo changes in this one. This is very classic Styx sounding. It always amazes me how much is going on in a Styx song, without sending too crowded. Good Lord, Sucherman drum break. I need to practice. There’s JY with some vocals, and, as always, a crisp solo. He’s just so good. Love this track.

3. Reveries

Tommy on acoustic…always something to look forward to on a Styx album. (Crystal Ball, Fooling Yourself, Lights, Love in the Midnight, Yes, I Can, Radio Silence) Lawrence singing on this one. Oooh, that’s a crunchy guitar sound in the chorus. Tasty little guitar solo. Sounds like Tommy. It should be noted that Styx has an unbelievable rhythm section with Sucherman and Ricky Phillips/Chuck Panozzo. That was something I really noticed on the last tour in Laval. Sucherman and Phillips made this band sound HEAVY.

4. Hold Back The Darkness

Straight into this tune. Starts with Larry and then to Tommy. They complement each other so well. Holy crap, the choruses on this album are huge. Very nice production. Super cool guitar solo. This album is making me feel like a teenager.

5. Save Us From Ourselves

Piano intro. Dark, plodding. Amazing harmonies. “We could all use a miracle now.” Ain’t that the truth. Shit, this is a cool tune. They just have so many twists and turns in every song. JY solo again. He deserves more credit as a soloist. Every solo fits so perfectly in to the song. Oh, song is over. They’re quick on this album.

6. Crash Of The Crown

Awesome intro. One thing that really stands out on this album…Woohoo, JY singing. Always love his vocal parts. He ha so many lead vocal songs in the early days…now it’s such a treat when he sings. I digress…oh, now it’s Lawrence singing. Cool. Very funky…GO RICKY GO. I digress again…the thing that stands our on this record is Sucherman. He is all over the place. This is a drumming masterpiece. Nice little piano interlude. Was that Lawrence way up high there…Good Lord. This song would be a hit on any album Styx ever released. I’m having so much fun listening to this. Very cool Queen type vibe at the end. That song right there was worth the price of the cd. I need a break after that.

7. Our Wonderful Lives

Could this be a flashback to Fooling Yourself. That guitar sound is so Tommy Shaw. Trumpet solo. Has Styx ever used a trumpet? Damn, Tommy still has that range, He’s always been my favourite vocalist ever.

8. Common Ground

A lot of acoustic. Thank the rock Gods. Sucherman…teach me your ways. Holy shit. More drum solos, please. Wondering if the guys were all together when they recorded the vocals or if it was done with remotely. The harmonies are spot on. Larry is defying age and seems to be getting stronger vocally. Sexy little solo at the end.

9. Sound the Alarm

I could listen to this voice every day and never get tired of it. It’s just incredible. Everything fits perfectly. No showboating, just everyone for the song. Please play this album start to finish on your next tour.

10. Long Live The King

Cool keyboard sound. Nice vibe on this song. Harmony lead break. Makes me think of Mademoiselle from Crystal Ball. Great bass line. Short and sweet.

11. Lost At Sea

GOWAN. He’s pretty good on that piano thing. Wow, this is short. Done

12. Coming Out The Other Side

Lots of piano on this album. Gowan again. Tommy harmony. I’m pretty sure he could harmonize with a fart and make it sound like Styx. Sucherman again…such unique drumming. Nice slide guitar…Tommy? Beautiful piano outro.

13. To Those

Aggressive vocals from Larry. Such a nice guitar sound. Todd, stop it…you’re making all of us wannabe drummers look bad. And he makes it sound so effortless. I remember that from the Laval show. Bluesy solo. Sweet.

14. Another Farewell

Eerie keyboards. Weird. It’s finished. Maybe 20 seconds

15. Stream

Classic Styx harmonies. Weird song, but good. just arpeggiated guitar and voice. Slide solo again. Here we go. Long solo…No, Don’t fade out…Keep going.

THE END

OK. That was fun.

This is a fantastic album. Amazing musicianship. Great vocals. Sucherman. Excellent production from Will Evankovich. Lots of Tommy Shaw. But most importantly, just stellar songwriting.

You can’t ask for anything more from a Styx album? It was a surprise release for me, but damn, this is a great listen.

Even Geddy seemed to enjoy it…At least he didn’t run away, and that’s always a good sign.
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