Monday, June 30, 2008

STYX / CYCLORAMA

Digitized from the original CD, released in 2003 on Sanctuary Records.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 320 kbps
ALBUM INFO:
Produced By: Tommy Shaw, James Young & Gary Loizzo
Associate Producers: Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman & Glen Burtnik
Engineered By: Gary Loizzo
Assistant Engineers: Charlie Pakaari, Craig Williams, Mark Linnett, Plinky Giglio, Dave Yackoboskie, Jimmy Hoyson, Jim Mitchell, Bruce Monical
Recorded At: Pumpkin Studios, Chicago IL; The S.H.O.P., Los Angeles, CA; Dr CAW Recording, Northbrook, IL, Colorado Sound, Denver Co; Capitol Studios, Hollywood CA; The Cave, Los Angeles, CA; Seventeenth Avenue Productions, Manville N.J; The Pond, North Brunswick, N.J; & Your Place Or Mine, Glendale CA.
Album Cover: Storm Thorgerson & Dimo Safari with Dan Abbot
TRACK LISTING:
Do Things My Way
Waiting For Our Time
Fields Of The Brave
Bourgeois Pig
Kiss Your Ass Goodbye
These Are The Times
Yes I Can
More Love For The Money
Together
Fooling Yourself (Palm Of Your Hands)
Captain America
Killing The Thing That You Love
One With Everything
Genki Desu Ka
THE PLAYERS:
Chuck Panozzo – Bass, Background Vocals
Tommy Shaw – Guitars, Mandolin, Vocals
Glen Burtnik – Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Lawrence Gowan – Keyboards, Synthesizers, Vocals
James “JY” Young – Guitars, Vocals
Todd Sucherman – Drums, Percussion, Loops, Percussive Synth Bass, Vocals
WEBSITE(S):
http://www.styxworld.com/

REVIEWS:
Just a short one from yours truly....
This album rocks, period. If you don't have it you need to get it. My one suggestion would be on first listen to this awesome piece of work is to think of this as a new band's first effort and don't let your preconceptions and feelings about Styx (whatever they might be) get in the way of listening to this album. Keep it pure, first time though put on the headphones and crank it up a notch, or two. Second time thru read along with the lyrics as the tunes rock by. 3rd time I shouldn't have to tell you what to do but you'll probably be singing along or doing some serious air guitar (or drums). I got this CD when it came out and 2003 and it's still in the main rotation 5 years later. I hope the next one is somewhere close to this one in quality.
If you're thinking Styx is a bunch of old burnouts or not the same without Dennis DeYoung on board, throw those thoughts away and let yourself enjoy an excellent piece of Rock and Roll.
NICE job guys!
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This is Styx' comeback Album, February 24, 2003
By K. Palmer (Illinois) - Amazon Customer Review
I will admit that I wrote off Styx after Dennis DeYoung split from the band several years ago. I just couldn't believe that anybody could replace his vocals that made up the heart of the Styx sound. I've avoided the live albums that have been issued after Dennis' departure, but when I heard a song from the new CD Cyclorama on the radio I was intrigued. A web search revealed some additional songs, all of which were good which made me decide to take the plunge and make the purchase.
A pretty good decision, I have to say.
Styx has decided not to use DeYoung replacement Lawrence Gowan as a one-for-one replacement of DeYoung, but instead uses him effectively in background vocals and keyboards. He only sings lead on two of the tracks (much less than DeYoung would have contributed had he been here). Gowan's voice is so-so on these tracks and they are probably the weakest on the CD, but his other talents can be heard thoughout. I now conclude that Gowan is a competent addition to the band.
James Young has the highlight of the CD in my opinion with "These Are The Times", maybe his best song ever. It's long and bombastic is places, but the chorus has a great hook and I could listen to it several times in a row (I have, actually).
Tommy Shaw again does consistently good work both in songwriting and execution. Without the headaches of dealing with DeYoung (which have been chronicled often), he gets back to his rocking days when he was with Ted Nugent, which is obviously where his musical heart is. He has to be nearing 50, but he hasn't lost a step.
Glen Burtnik, who I thought was the star of the band's 1990's "Edge of the Century" when he replaced Shaw, brings a pop element into the mix with K.Y.A.G. A very talented musician who I'm glad the band kept in mind during its shakeup.
I see that with only a few exceptions, the song writing credits are given to the entire band, a strong show of teamwork that was missing on Styx's last studio effort 4 years ago when DeYoung did his thing and Shaw and Young did their thing and they hodge-podged it together with less than lukewarm results.
A fine return effort. I might even see a concert this summer!
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3.5 stars, December 31, 2005
By S. R. - Amazon Customer Review
After the dust has settled between Styx purists (get real) and those who just really like the band's music the general consensus, and I agree wholeheartedly, that this album is indeed a winner. Now it's no "Grand Illiusion" but who cares, that was 1977 and its.....much later. JY and Tommy's band of brothers have pooled their collective talents and cobbled an album that's solid front to back with the better material coming from Lawrence Gowan ("Fields of the Brave", "More Love for the Money")and veteran songsmith Glen Burtnik ("Kiss your ass..."). Mostly gone is the last remnants of the very little prog influence that the band had from their 70s heydays, and what's left is solid songwriting ideas delivered with much verve.(not much can be said about progressive music today except that after the boundaries were broken in the 60s and 70s everything else is copied, just like the rest of rock and roll, but that's another topic))Brian Wilson makes an appearance singing background vocals to "Fooling Yourself", or at least about 30 seconds of it, and several other guest crop up here and there. As far as the Styx body of work, "Cyclorama" delivers and has an upbeat feel with an extra emphasis on quality. That being said many will wretch at the notion of a dinosaur band still being relevant today, but this review doesn't take into account 19 and 20 year-old's immature tastes. It's a good release.
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Easily the best since Pieces of Eight, February 18, 2003
By Robert Koehl "Village Idiot" (Plano, Tx United States) - Amazon Customer Review
This new album is the best studio work Styx has released since 1978, not that old-school Styx fans will ever admit it, as this is also Styx's equivalent of Floyd's "Momentary Lapse of Reason." Some fans will never accept that people grow up and change. These fans will never accept that Dennis DeYoung's musical vision and direction changed, and were no longer compatible with the other guys in the band, regardless of how many times these fans listen to Brave New World, and should be thus reminded. They'll never accept that this is a great band, regardless of who is in the lineup. (Not that I have anything against Dennis, it was just that he no longer fit in with THIS band)
That having been said, Tommy, JY, Glen, Todd, and Lawrence have knocked one out of the park with this disc. Returning member Glen Burtnik (who replaced Tommy during the "Show me the Way" era of Styx) pretty much steals the show on this one. His happy, bouncy, goofball song about death, "Kiss Your A** Goodbye" is the highlight of the album. He also has a creepy number toward the end about Mark Chapman. DeYoung's successor Gowan contributed two Beatles'esque numbers. JY's "These are the Times" is another highlight. It's about the most intense number on the cd, with a break in the middle that gives me chills. When Gowan divebombs those 70s synth leads, and Tommy sings that "pouring light from the sky" line . . . wow. And speaking of Tommy, he's in absolute top form. The opening two tracks are absolute anthems. His duet with Glen on "Yes I Can" is beautiful. This man is absolutely amazing. The band also proves that they can out prog ELP on a track entitled "One With Everything." They also do a 40 acapella reprise of "Foolin Yourself."
The only weak spot is the closing track "Genki Desu Ka" which just kinda sits. Then there's some bonus stuff after that with Tenacious D, but who cares. If you're like me, you've already re-qued track 1 by the time you get that far, and have started listening to the whole thing all over again.
CONTACT:
READ THIS for more information on this album.

Tom

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This album was mostly a "meh", not remotely in the same league as their classics (better than Roboto, I'll give you that). Shaw pulls out one really good song, "Waiting For Our Time" and lots of silly sappy songs, Gowan has a decent song with horrible lyrics in "More Love For The Money" and a passable song with passable lyrics in "Fields of the Brave" and JY has the best song on the album, "Captain America". And "These Are The Times" is just plain embarrassing.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 3:57:00 PM EST  

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