Track Listing
· Do Things My Way (3)
· Waiting for our Time
· Fields of the Brave
· Bourgeois Pig
· Kiss Your Ass Goodbye (1)
· 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 (2)
· Genki Desu Ka

(*) Best Tracks

Recent Discography
· Edge Of The Century
· Greatest Hits 1 & 2
· Return To Pardise
· Brave New World
· ArchAllies
· Styxworld

Buy it if you liked:
Tommy Shaw - 7 Deadly Zens
Styx - Styxworld
Shaw/Blades
Gowan - The Good Cathces Up

Line Up
· Tommy Shaw: Vocals, Guitar
· James Young: Guitar, Vocals
· Lawrence Gowan: Keyboards
· Todd Sucherman: Drums
· Glen Burtnik: Bass, Vocals

STYX
Cyclorama
CMC International
· Produced By: Styx
· Running Time: · Genre: Rock
· Release Date: February 18 · Released: US CA
· WebLink: Styx · LabelLink: CMC/Sanctuary
91%

Styx are finally back in the recording game after a few tours, a couple of live albums and those line-up changes! Stable for the last few years, this line up - James "JY" Young, Tommy Shaw, Todd Sucherman, Glen Burtnik and Lawrence Gowan - have gelled into a good unit with a commanding stage presence.
This album comes highly anticipated - those upset with Dennis DeYoung's departure wish it to fail, while others were ready and waiting for the band to start rocking again.
The lyrical content on Cyclorama doesn't shy away from the controversies of recent years, so I expect once they are analyzed, the debate will be on again in earnest.
I don't want to editorialize on the debate here, as this is a CD review. But for the record, the talents of Gowan and Burtnik were always going to be of benefit to Styx, especially as both have recorded several solo albums each and have years of experience that a band like Styx could definitely utilize.
The only thing the band could possibly do on this record was to come out rocking and record a selection of the best songs they could write and hope to prove the critics wrong.
Well, we are half way there; this album does rock and the songs are mostly high class. The rest is up to the fans.
Track By Track:
The guys open with a rocker, the lyrically tongue in cheek Do Things My Way. A fair opener, the track represents modern day Styx, not far from some of the sounds from Brave New World.
The verse from Waiting for Our Time is classic Tommy Shaw - solo and Shaw/Blades. The chorus is classic pompous Styx. Big harmonies and electric guitars taking over from the acoustics.
Fields of the Brave sees Lawrence Gowan make his Styx vocal debut. This is classic Gowan and classic Styx. The songs features some strong instrumentation and a monster chorus in the finest 70's tradition of the band.
Bourgeois Pig is a 1 minute musical interlude, where I guess the band get to vent a little frustration. It actually works pretty well, leading straight into the utterly fabulous hard rocker Kiss Your Ass Goodbye. This sees Glen Burtnick return to the microphone for the first time since he replaced Shaw on 1990's Edge Of The Century, singing one of the heaviest tunes I have heard him or Styx record in a long time A great beat, an excellent bridge and a catchy chorus make this track an instant classic and one of the album's best tracks. Will be a winner live, without a doubt and features guests Tenacious D on harmonies.
These are the Times is a 6 minute plus rocker, sung by James Young. This is another clasy track, starting softly and building into an epic. Not as heavy as the previous track, this is still very uptempo and features a great harmony vocal chorus and is another taste of classic Styx with a new twist.
Yes I Can was originally written/recorded on Damn Yankees 3. The Jack Blades/Tommy Shaw composition is classic Shaw/Blades stuff - a stripped back acoustic number with perfect harmonies throughout. It's the album's first slower track and comes at a perfect time within the album's structure.
More Love For The Money featured Gowan again and is another cleaver lyric, and fits the sound of the record perfectly. The song is a 80's style pomp rocker with another big harmony filled chorus.
Together is another slow to mid-tempo Tommy Shaw track, with a chorus that picks up the tempo, surrounded by more of those massive harmonies. A slow start builds to a more epic finish.
Fooling Yourself (Palm of Your Hands) is another 1 minute accapela number, featyuring guest Brian Wilson. Another dig at the past, the track again runs into the big uptempo rocker Captain America, featuring James Young on lead. Another good hard rocker that will work live.
Killing The Thing That You Love is the slow, epic ballad of the album. Glen B takes lead vocal again, on this track he re-wrote from an earlier unreleased solo tune. The band seem to be taking another dig at the departed DeYoung, but the track is more than that. It's classic epic pop/rock in the finest tradition of the name Styx. Burtnik solo fans will also love this track.
One With Everything is yet another uptempo rocker sung by Tommy Shaw, this one a straight up crowd pleasing stadium rocker with a feel good chorus. Another album highlight that features some great organ work from Gowan.
Genki Desu Ka closes the album in a melancholy way. The band harmonize on this moody and musically interesting, stripped back pop track.

The Bottom Line
Styx have done everything right on Cyclorama. They have put it on the line. There's a little of the band's classic sound, a little new stuff and a little from all the guys' own solo endeavors.
I don't think this album should be compared with the band's most famed output from the 70's and 80's. Those album's, with the band's classic line up are well respected.
This is a different band than they once were. Since the early 90's, the line up has changed for each record. I think this line up really works and together the band have recorded a stellar album that for me is easily the best since the band's heyday.
It's certainly better than Brave New World and even Edge Of The Century. Some fans won't be convinced, but if you can ignore the controversy over the line-up debate you will find that this is simply a great classic-rock record with all the pomp and ceremony a Styx album should have.

Additional Ratings
Songwriting
91%
Attitude
90%
Production
92%

AOR Heaven NEH Records Z-Roxx Loud 1 Hot Tracks Target Wishing Well Loud Metal Perris


28/02/06: John English - johne@fresnomet.org
Rating: 98
Certainly the best Styx offering since Paradise Theater...and I think if people could get past the fact that DeYoung isn't here, it might be considered the best.

Only skippable track on this album for me is Captain America. Well, that and Genki Desu Ka. The rest is gold.

03/08/05: Jim Mullen - jimmy19029@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Best Styx album in years!! Far surpasses Brave New World! The best overall since Paradise Theater!

10/01/05: Mr X - anonymously
Rating: 0
After i tortured myself by listening to this...all i could think of was...somewhere....DDY is LAUGHING......why is he laughing???? because JY and Tommy ACTUALLY succeeded in topping Mr Roboto.....in the WORST SONG category!!!!!

08/05/04: scott vincent shelton - ghawd_inc@yahoo.com
Rating: 0
Styx was having a meet and greet at Tower Recods in Denver, I went down to meet...Tommy Shaw and James Young. While waiting in line for a hour the new CD played through-out the store. CRAP! It is so bad that I could hardly wait to leave the store. By the way , they gave out tickets to the concert to everyone who came into the store. SAD. I went to the concert at Fiddlers Green in a suburb of Denver. REO Speedwagon was great. Styx sucked period!!!!!

04/03/04: Craig Pullen - cpullen@wadetrim.com
Rating: 65
If not for Tommy Shaw this CD would be useless. I am a big Shaw fan, so I keep the CD around for tunes like Together, which is outstanding. This is not even on the same planet with Grand Illusion or Pieces of Eight. Anyone who says that this is a classic Styx album is whacked. If you took all the good Shaw stuff from BNW and this album you might have a pretty good set. If you like Tommy Shaw get 7 Deadly Zens, it is better than Cyclorama.

18/11/03: Chicago Guy - chitownone @
Rating: 80
I have to say it's good effort ! The production of the CD makes hard for me to listen to. There's some good songs here , Accept for " Kiss your a** goodbye" Should have never made the cut. I think they should of used songs they wrote fresh . Not songs they had left over. Over all good effort .......

28/08/03: dan colwell - dckc2793@aol.com
Rating: 10
this is real bad, I cant believe how bad it is, the only reason it doesn't get a 0 is because of Tommy Shaw. go out and buy 7 deadly zens It's much better(I think his songs for this record are the b songs he didn't put on the zen cd)They should do what reo speedwagon does. Just tour and stop trying to make music

23/04/03: Daymond - quigoncain@hotmail.com
Rating: 60
I bought this based on all the great reviews...Guess, I'm just not hearing what everyone else is. "Paradise Theater" this is not. I still love "Renegade" and "Come Sail Away" and dare I say "Mr. Roboto" from the good ol' days, but there is nothing but middle-of-the-road stuff here for me. I was never a huge Styx fan so I'm still hoping for a Damn Yankees reunion or Just Shaw Blades...Sold "Cyclorama" on Ebay.

06/04/03: DjA - stiknside@hotmail.com
Rating: 82
A really good effort by the guys, just a few too many rehashes and a few too many of type of songs I do not like from their past with DeYoung. But definetly a must have for Styx fans!
Dave

27/03/03: quentinblondino - quentinblondino@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
Many good words have already been expressed for this excellent album, and i don't want to repeat all of them... I only want to say this: i'm an old-time Styx fan (my favourite album remains Grand Illusion) and i really adore Cyclorama because:
1.the songs and the sound are GREAT!
2.the line-up is indeed a WINNER one!
Yes, it has changed, but Burtnik and Gowan i think they are the perfect musicians we could hear in this new project.
In particular: i want to express my personal gratitude to Larry in evocating some of the old 70's Styx keyboard sound, expecially in the song 'One With Everything'...what a great emotion! What a great Keyboard Sound!!!!!!
3.i didn't want to hear another album like Brave New World. This one is the right answer to a -not so excellent- album like that.
4.This album includes all excellent songs and also some HITS.
My 100% favourite song is 'These are the Times': the intro reminds me a little of 'Snowblind' (Miror, Miror...),the voice of James is still so powerful and fascinating, and the Chorus of all the guys in the Medley makes this song becoming A GREAT CLASSIC!
So, great work, guys!!!
And, please, come to play a concert in Italy!
qb.

25/03/03: Freddy De Keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 65
God, how did I looking forward to hear and buy this. Styx is and was one of my all time faves and with albums like 'Equinox', 'The Grand Illusion' and 'Pieces Of Eight' they released some of the best music ever !!! But one listen to this new CD and I have to admit ' this is not Styx !!!! Gone is the pomp sound, the rhytm changes, the strong harmonies, the magnificent keys etc. They miss Dennis Deyoung !!! I don't understand the high ratings. To all the people giving this 90% or more, have you ever listened to Styx at their best ? Can this really compete with their classics ? The answer is NO NO NO !!! Not by miles !!! This is so disappointing, it's even worse than 'Edge Of The World' ! Sorry, I think Styx is only a great memory for me and I listen once again to 'Equinox' and I forget this disaster. Not good at all, and it hurts me to say this. God, it hurts me. Dennis Deyoung, come back and give us the classic Styx sound !!!

17/03/03: Jon - jonjuanthedude@yahoo.com
Rating: 84
I'm not a hugh Styx fan, but I do like them, which might be why I feel no remorse for the loss of Dennis DeYoung. His wierd keyboards were always the biggest reason for me loving this band. This album has some keys, but they don't detract, only adding to the songs. There are a few that I don't like that much, but for the most part, the songs are good. I didn't find Kissing your ass goodbye as heavy as I was lead to believe, but it's still a cool song. One with everything and Captain America are probably my two favs. Good album from a good band.

17/03/03: Nev Brown - Noabrown@aol.com
Rating: 95
Just brought CYCLORAMA yesterday, not easy to get hold of in the UK, but wow, its not been out of my CD player since.... The harmonies date back to sub Crystal Ball Styx yet the music is definately Paradise/Cornerstone era Styx.
The DDY debate will go on and on, but it should not deter from the fact that this is a truly great album, by a band of musicians who obviously enjoy trhemselves. Unfortuneatyely, DDY would not fit in anymore. Styx now ROCK, and are the true kings of AOR. Gone are the days of Theatrical pondering. Can't wait for the UK/European tour in the Fall, and look forward to hearing Theses Are The Times, Fields Of The Brave and Yes I Can performed live. LONG LIVE STYX.

16/03/03: Joshua P. Christie - JPChristie_77@hotmail.com
Rating: 70
Styx offers its' first studio effort in nearly 4 years with
'Cyclorama' and the first album since the band's debut in 1972
without co-founder and former frontman Dennis DeYoung. The fact
there is actually only 1 original member of the group still in
tact would normally be cause for concern but rest assured,
whether here or live, there are no signs of a cover band anywhere
in sight. This modern day version of Styx has been together
since 1999 and anyone who has seen them live can attest to their
brilliance on stage. 'Cyclorama' becomes the first test as to
what they are capable of in a collaborative studio effort and,
more importantly, how they fare without the man who founded the
group in the first place. The result? A mixed bag. Is Dennis
DeYoung missed? Yes and no.

The loss of DeYoung from a production standpoint becomes
glaringly apparent on the poor opening track 'Do Things My Way'.
Sounding like a leftover from Styx's last album 'Brave New World'
(i.e. a Damn Yankees B-Side), the production job, or lack
thereof, results in the music playing loud, distorted, and doing
one hell of an unflattering number on Tommy Shaw's voice.

Tommy redeems himself however with the radio friendly 'Waiting
For Our Time'. Touching a bit on post 9/11 with its' lyrical
content, this song marks the first signs of trademark Styx with
the soaring harmonies and trademark vocal arrangements laced all
throughout the song.

'Fields Of The Brave' marks the debut of new keyboardist Lawrence
Gowan, who replaces the irreplaceable Dennis DeYoung. The fact
is, Gowan's contributions to this album are among its highlights.
Is he a good vocalist? To be sure. Better than Dennis? Not by
a longshot. He is an equally skilled keyboardist however and a
far better showman live than Dennis ever was. This is the kind
of song you would used to hear on a Styx record to offset the
hard rocking nature of Tommy and JY- potential to be a classic
live.

'Bourgeois Pig' is one of 3 tracks that I am guessing are only
here for the label to market the new album as being 14 tracks
rather than just 11. A less than one minute jam featuring actor
Billy Bob Thornton on vocals with the only highlight being
original bass player Chuck Panozzo making a cameo. One need not
think twice to figure out who provided the inspiration for this-
totally unnecessary.

'Kiss Your Ass Goodbye' is the first offering by current bass
player Glen Burtnick and is easily one of the album's worst
tracks. An obvious attempt to diversify their sound and appeal
to a modern, younger audience, this song sounds absolutely
nothing like Styx and is more akin to Green Day, Blink 182, or
Sum 41 in sound.

The epic 'These Are The Times' sees guitarist James "JY" Young
put forth arguably his best effort as a member of Styx. Not
only is this song far and away the best on the record, it is
one of the very best this great band has ever done period.
Vintage stuff with every Styx trademark very present and all
accounted for.

'Yes I Can' is another Tommy fronted track which gets the nod
for surpassing 'Kiss Your Ass Goodbye' as being 'Cyclorama's'
worst offering. Dennis DeYoung was the ballad specialist in the
group and again becomes sorely missed here. While showcasing
some very nice stripped back acoustics, this song is sappy all
the way around with a looping body and chorus that just goes
absolutely nowhere. Hard to believe Jack Blades was partially
responsible for this as well.

'More Love For The Money' has Lawrence Gowan putting a much
needed 70's flavor into the album with this Beatles/Queen/Styx
hybrid that is even better than 'Fields Of The Brave' and is
easily an album highlight.

Tommy Shaw again goes mid-tempo route with 'Together', a song
that is neither good nor bad but skippable all the same. After
all those years of complaining about Dennis wanting to make the
band too ballad heavy, why in the world is he not hammering out
some more rock and roll along the lines of 'On My Way', 'Blue
Collar Man', and 'Renegade'?

'Fooling Yourself (Palm Of Your Hand)' is another one minute
diddy which is more or less a rearranged vocal rendition of the
Styx classic featuring former Beach Boy Brian Wilson
harmonizing. No point.

The longstanding tradition of James Young showing up somewhere
on a Styx record with his obligatory "1 rocker per album"
continues on 'Cyclorama' with 'Captain America'; a catchy, well
written number that gets better with each listen but is once
again marred by shoddy production values that pushes everyone's
vocals into oblivion and even finds a way to not have JY's
guitar riffs maximized and at the forefront of this song which
is exactly what it was tailor made for- would sound better live.

Glen Burtnick returns and offers up the second best track on the
album with the haunting and melancholy ballad 'Killing The Thing
That You Love'. His Tom Petty style vocal performance combined
with Gowan's beautiful piano arrangements make this a perennial
Styx classic.

The deepest album cut on 'Cyclorama' is the progressive 'One
With Everything'. Tommy Shaw comes through one final time with
some good old-style Styx along with some help from Lawrence
Gowan showcasing some stellar keyboard artistry here. Much like
the rest of 'Cyclorama' though, the production again hinders
the potential of making another good song a great one.

And finally, 'Genki Des Ka' ends the album with about as much
bang as 'Do things My Way' began it- that is to say not much.
Another two minutes of what plays out more like an unfinished
demo and yet another excuse to feature a myriad of special guest
appearances which at the end of the day amounts to nothing.

So what are we left with? Well as far as the DDY factor, it
goes a little something like this: Gowan is a hell of a talent
and a fine addition to the Styx roster. He truly supplies all
that is needed as a voice, a musician, a songwriter, and a
presence on stage to fill the void left behind by Mr. DeYoung.
The two points where Dennis is sorely missed is when it comes
to producing these records and giving them that patented Styx
sound which is just not fully here on 'Cyclorama'. You can
listen to any Styx record of the past (save 'Brave New World')
and know exactly what I mean. The other point is when it comes
to the band attempting to go the ballad route here and there
which unnecessarily exposes the loss of their former bandmate that much more ('Killing The Thing That You Love' being the
obvious exception to the rule here).

All of that said, minus the three non-tracks, I liked 7 out of
the 11 remaining songs. I look at 'Cyclorama' as being a
feeling out process for a group that, for all intents and
purposes, are beginning a new phase in their existence. Still,
14 would be tracks clocking in at under an hour is unacceptable.
The non-Styx like production values need to be addressed on
future recordings as they are hampering some of the otherwise
well written music from realizing their full potential and making
the album sound like one complete album rather than just
fragments of multiple ones. 'Cyclorama' is not a heavy record
and between Tommy and JY not having the restrictions placed upon
them the way they did when Dennis was in the group, I would
expect far more rock than what is actually present here. With all of the talent assembled and all of the potential to be had,
I hope in the future they attempt to take that diversity and
centralize it more into being just Styx rather than divvy up all
the responsibilities individually resulting in another
collection of various solo outings which is, for the most part,
what 'Cyclorama' sounds like. Kudos do go out to drummer Todd
Sucherman for being able to adapt to whichever singers style he
is playing for and never sounding out of place even once
throughout the entire album (not to mention some of the
complicated work he puts on display during songs such as 'One
With Everything'). All things considered, a very good first
step in the right direction for Styx in 2003.

P.S.- I welcome anyone's comments.

14/03/03: Chuck - onmyway612@webtv.net
Rating: 98
98 rating from a huge DDY fan!!!!!!!!!

14/03/03: RetroRocker - nospam@everyonshashotmail.com
Rating: 89
First let me say. Anyone who rates this album a below a 5 can't be a true fan of any rock. I mean come on grow up giving a CD that low a rating ? and who is acting childish now? oh well i'm sorry I just had to mention that. Now onto the CD it's not there best work by far, but with the new lineup this is a good CD no it's not classic Styx but it's still good.

13/03/03: John - Mowpardude@yahoo.com
Rating: 85
I've absorbed this album daily for the last several weeks. I must admit I had high expectations. Probably too high! I can say I'm enjoying it more than Brave New World, and I'm also getting into Gowan and his tunes. Gowan is perfect for Styx. Overall it's a great fit.
Tommy Shaw really holds the album together. His tunes are definitely the glue that propels this album. Best tracks in my humble opinion are 1) Together (nice solo Tommy!) 2) Waiting for our time 3) One with Everything 4) Do things my way..and in no particular order as my favorite keeps changing from day to day. Not a "great" album, but a solid "good" album that I would recommend buying.

11/03/03: Dan MacDonald - dan_mac62@hotmail.com
Rating: 70
I have been a Styx fan since the release of Equinox in 1975,& after reading the reviews on Cyclorama I was convinced enough to go out & buy it,it does have some good moments but in no way is it a classic album.The production is excellent,& there is certainly no doubt the band is top-heavy with talent,Tommy's singing & guitar playing is top notch as is JY's,& I think it's cool that a fellow Canuck,Gowan ,who is also multi-talented got DDY's job ,& as a unit the band is tight.That being said it is a good album(I have listened to it 4 times now but it is not Styx)
I also realise that DDY is not coming back,& is more into broadway type stuff,but he was the heart & soul of the band & it's simply not the same without him.This is just my opinion but I think the band should have changed the name because you cannot
compare this album to classic Styx,on the other hand I'm glad the guys are still doing what they do best,certainly mixed feelings about this one,although it is superior to Boston's latest effort which only gave us 4 or 5 decent tracks.If you're
a DDY purist this is not for you on the other hand it is solid
chunk of melodic rock.
Dan MacDonald

07/03/03: Steven Ross - md.wilkinson@xtra.co.nz
Rating: 95
I don't even want to compare this to anything Styx did in the 70s. On its own this a fantastic cd.

Only one criticism - I feel that Gowan should have contributed vocally for one more song.

Otherwise the cd is perfect.

Can't wait for the next Styx cd!

05/03/03: Mark - exsgt33
Rating: 84
Damn solid album! I'm not disappointed at all. Styx needed to put out a good album after the extremely disappointing "Brave new world".

04/03/03: Mike - darwins_son@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Great songs overall, Styx revives a great '70s sound not heard from Styx since Pieces of Eight; varying styles all of which are great; most of all good to hear that the current lineup of the band can translate all the fun they seem to be having live to an album of well-done songs. I give it a 95 because of course DDY isn't on it, but you can't have everything.

02/03/03: dave - dandjslats@aol.com
Rating: 95
In one word,AWSOME!!!!!!!This is the best album since Grand or PO8. I am & always will be a big DDY fan but I have to say that they did drift away musicly. Glen & Gowen sound great & I cant wait to hear this music live. Tommy has proven once again that he is one of the best songwriters around. He sould have the most time on this cd. I hope the radio & the media give this cd a chance. Call your radio stations & tell them to play this cd & shout STYX is back & they rock!!!!!!!

02/03/03: Darren Preece - dpreece1@btopenworld.com
Rating: 97
Now i can give this a proper review having heard it from my cd instead of a crappy stream.....

I absolutely love this cd and its a 100 times better than Brave New World and is on a par with the stuff released in their heyday.....track my track

1) Do Things My Way.....A great up tempo rocker with a killer hook and chorus, very much Damn Yankeesesque 8/10

2) Waiting For Our Time.....An unusual song as it doesnt have a guitar solo but a good song nevertheless with a big addictive chorus 7/10

3) Fields Of The Brave......Dennis who ?....we dont need no DeYoung when Larry can produce material like this a great song and another memorable chorus 8/10

4)Bourgeious Pigs....not reviewing this as its not a song

5) Kiss Your Ass Goodbye.....Styx give us their We must attract some younger listeners song and its an ass kicking rocker with a heavy sound and it hits you right in the face 7/10

6) These Are The Times....its 1975 all over again as Styx return to their roots with this awesome song 8/10

7) Yes I Can.... A nice acoustic song originally planned for the Shaw/Blades CD not as mushy as you thing with a nice piece of mandolin work from Tommy 7/10

8) More Love For The Money....This is the song thats growing onme more and more with every listen....some fab lyrics from Gowan 8/10

9) Together....This is a great mid tempo rocker with some enchanting lyrics from Tommy and its perfect cruising music 9/10

10) Fooling Yourself(Palm Of Your Hands) not reviewing this either.....nice harmonies tho.

11) Captain America....The CD's weakest moment.....apart from Half Penny Two Penny i have never been a fan of JY's up tempo rockers 5/10

12) Killing The Thing That You Love....In my opinion the best Styx song since Paradise Theater...beautifully sung by Glen. the line reaching for venus demilo but you know she is never gonna hold you tight is memorable...a classic of the future 10/10

13)One With Everything Yes meets ELP meets Styx meets Kansas..overblown majestic pomp at its absolute best 10/10

14) Genki Desu Ka the Cd's Aku-Aku but better a feelgood pop orientated track ending with a fabulous and emotional tribute to those who attended the scene of 9/11 and lost their lives helping others 7/10

What a great Cd this is and is a must for anyone who loves the Pieces Of Eight/Grand Illusion era. Do yourself a huge favour and buy this.

01/03/03: Andres - rafaelandres_cpa@yahoo.com
Rating: 70
Lots of classic styx, but it just dont feel natural. They work to much in the songs and sometime along they way they lost the feeling.
Kiss your ass goodbye sounds a lot better on the small raw demo included in Genki Desu Ka.

Hey Tommy forget about this band and call Jack Blades and do Shaw Blades 2.

28/02/03: Cindi - cindi@catwparty.com
Rating: 100
I LOVE IT!

27/02/03: Tim Bucci - LadleyPG@aol.com
Rating: 94
I've held off writing about Cyclorama here because I wanted to give it a very close, attentive listen ....

(Oh, and speaking of taking one's time to absorb and critique: Hey, Daniel, a February 7th review? Hmmmmmm. That means you're connected - like Andrew - and received an advance, or you made your evaluation after a quality (NOT!) MP3 listen just to rush out here and trash this release? Interesting, and very "shoot from the hip" of you, too. Also, as far as interpreting lyrics you say are directed at Broadway Joe, it may have helped if you'd actually READ some band interviews regarding these songs before proclaiming there are "childishly unoriginal revengeful lyrics against DDY" on this release. Based on what the artists who WROTE these lyrics had to say, your translation makes for some great fiction. Killing The Thing That You Love - if this is one of the songs you're referring to - was written by Burtnik in 1994, five years prior to Styx splitting with DDY. And if the song title is a dig at DDY, too - and not at Lennon's assassin - then Styx is saying they're dying while trying to promote a brand new release? Wow. You're deep, man.)

Now that THAT'S out of my system, my take on this CD is that it's fantastic! It has those great Styx harmonies and - sorry! - that twelve-string kicks major ass! It's fresh, it rocks, and it's fun (and funny, "Tommy, it's the D!"). I hear something new every time I listen to it. This CD is completely addictive. It hasn't left my CD player since I got it. The guys are having a blast here, and I'm having a blast cranking it. Bravo! Talk about creative energy. Cyclorama is a Styx fan's "must own." To hell with dangling a carrot, I want more! My next music gift to myself will be to hear "These Are The Times" in concert this year. Great, great tune, JY! ProgRock on!

25/02/03: Ralph Williams - ralphgmw@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
I think this is the best Styx album for ages. One of the things I have always liked about Styx is that they incorporate different singers and styles on one album and therefore it is usually the case that there will be some things I don't like. This album has a far more integrated band sound than most and most of the songs are very strong. Killing The Thing That You Love, One With Everything, Fields of the Brave and These Are The Times are absolute classics.

25/02/03: PsychoSy - psychosy@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
Hooboy! At last, Styx's first studio release since the departure of DDY. Lots of controversy to be found, to be sure. So, what's the the result?

THE ABSOLUTE BEST STYX CD SINCE PARADISE THEATRE!!

People can jump on the DDY debate all they want but I firmly believe that music is about...uh, MUSIC!! When it becomes more about PEOPLE than music, then what we have is textbook idolatry...and I save my personal idolatry for Sunday when I visit that nice building with a crucifix on it. Quite frankly, that's where idolatry belongs! Besides that, my belief is that the majority of the "Styx isn't Styx without DDY" crowd suffer from FEAR - They are literally SCARED TO DEATH over the idea of possibly LIKING Larry Gowan!!

"OMG!! I like Larry Gowan!! I'm going to HELL, now!!" *rolls eyes*

Hey, don't get me wrong - I loved DDY's contribution to Styx overall but I'm not about to let ANYONE stop me from missing out on what could be some great freakin' music.

Alrighty, time for some track by track PsychoSy-Analysis here...

Do Things My Way - Forget "Witness"! This whips it like a red headed step child.

Waiting For Our Time - Typical groovy tune from Tommy. A consumate pro. Excellent harmonies.

Fields Of The Brave - I made a lot of friends LIVID at me when upon hearing Larry's rendition of "Come Sail Away" off Styxworld Live, I said, "Wow, Freddie Mercury does a Styx tune...and takes to Dennis to school to boot!!" Fast forward to this track and it seems my initial impression is spot on. Larry Gowan fills that "missing Freddie" void in me. Excellent work, buddy-roo! Don't worry about filling someone else's shoes - just be yourself as you're in a league of your own.

Bourgeois Pig - "OMG!! Styx showing a sense of humor...without DDY!! That's not RIGHT!!" *gasp*

Kiss Your Ass Goodbye - Good grief, if this isn't a song to turn Styx on to a younger folks, then I don't what is. Before Styx entered that mushy ballad wasteland, they ROCKED arenas. This song is easily a grab-you-by-the-face-and-don't-let-go "Peices Of Eight"-esque monster. Bring on the mosh pit!!

These Are The Times - The BEST tune on the entire CD!! WOW, this one blew me away. This totally captures that classic Styx sound of the 70s that I've missed so much. Dennis DeYoung would even like this tune!! If not, Dennis is tone deaf!

Yes I Can - I'm just a sucker for good accoustice tunes. What can I say, really? Tommy's prowess strikes again.

More Love For The Money - Beatles-esque. Very well done tune. Larry's lyical qualities are as deep as his keyboard playing.

Together - More of that 7DZ twangy guitar work from Tommy. Decent and respectable.

Palm Of Your Hand - I always like reprises for some reason and of all the Reprisal versions of Styx tunes, this one is right up there. Not as good as the Reprize versions of "Superstars" or "Don't Let It End", but still damn good in it's own right. However, I can see why some people would go nuts - it a classic Styx song beaten yet once again.

Captain America - Alright, who allowed JY to free-base coffee beans and Mini-Thins before recording this bad boy?!? Man, this is a head swirler!! Much more intense that "Heavy Water" by a LONG shot and would make a great song to play live. In fact, if they did add this song live and I witnessed someone NOT swirling their head to it, I'd be half tempted to check the poor sap for a pulse!!

Killing The Thing That You Love - Proof positive that Glen Burtnik's adoption into the Styx familty wasn't a fluke. Decent tune.

One With Everything - What in the world...?!? Sounds like Larry tore a few pages from Yes!! Brilliant prog rock style tune. Moves all over the place.

Genki Desu Ka - Another weird closer that Styx is famous for. I give it a thumbs in the middle.

If Styx keeps cranking out studio efforts like this one, then it's clear that they really don't NEED Dennis. They sure proved to me that they can carry on without him and more than hold their own. A must-have CD for any Styx Fan as it's better than anything they've done in the 80s and 90s (then again, they didn't do much in the 90s).

25/02/03: Chris - obc150@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
Yes,I have already posted a review but it was premature. After several more listens I seriously love every song on this album. But PLEASE people I beg you, the songs that seem to be written about the situation between the band and Dennis are not. Glen has said on his website that "Killing... was written in 1994 and is not about Dennis, "B. Pig is about the L.A. scene and how these young kids are turning into know-it-all music stars, Tommy said this on a recent chat.

25/02/03: Raymond - rmlimage@adelphia.net
Rating: 90
I have listen to the album over 20 times since in came out. Its get better and better. I just want to say I am sick of hearing people say if DDY was on in th album it would be a better album. Fans have you listen to DDY lately, he sound like he belongs with Andrew Lloyd Webber than with a rock band. He has written anything close to Styx music since Paradise. I mean I enjoy Kilroy, Edge and Brave but come on it doesn't belong with a rocking Styx. DDY doesn't know how to rock anymore. Maybe Burtnik and Gowan deserve more songs on Styx album and Sucherman needs to be showcase more but this is only the first album together as a group, give them a break. If anyone remembers it really took til Pieces of Eight before the band really gel. There were some moment with Tommy on Crystal Ball(the title song for one) and in Grand Illusion but the band sound like a machine all cylinders rolling on Pieces. So from one Styx fan to another quit living in the past, the current DDY does not sound like the DDY of old and he will never be that way again, there are no more Babe or Best of Times, only Broadway tunes in his mind. If you like that stuff then this site and the rest of us rocking Styx fan don't want you here. Most Styx fans a classic rockers, we like rock music, Journey, Kansas, Foreigner etc… There is no room for sap.
Let me say on more thing the Gowan song Fields of the Brave could be construde as a Broadway tune but to me its not. Its more along the lines of classic Queen and even current Savatage music.
So enjoy the 21st century Styx for what they are and this album for what it is, a rocking good Styx album. Give the band a chance with the new guys and in a year or 2 when they come out with their 2nd or 3rd album, they will be as good as the 70s-80s Styx we all love

25/02/03: James - ek88@alltel.net
Rating: 98
I'd have to say that I agree with all of the positive reviews of Cyclorama I've read thus far. This is definitely the Styx album I've been waiting to hear since Paradise Theater. It has a little bit of everything in terms of style (as is typical for Styx) and the arrangement of tracks is outstanding. The band has a true knack for switching gears at the right time. I hear a bit of classic Styx in there and some modern influences as well.

I am also a little puzzled by Daniel's review, in which he gives Cylorama a rating of 3. He refers to Best New Face (written by Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades) as a "killer track", yet states that Damn Yankees 3 deserves to stay in the can. He criticizes Shaw's songwriting but later says "give me a TS tune anytime." I think he's doing what a lot of Styx fans are doing: searching for reasons not to like this album because we feel like we're betraying DDY. Believe me, I understand, but the bottom line is that Cyclorama is a great album!

25/02/03: Jeremy - jerholiday@aol.com
Rating: 80
"Cyclorama" is simultaneously a thoroughly enjoyable album and something of a disappointment to me.

Tommy and especially JY really stepped up to the plate. "These Are The Times" and "Captain America" are among the best things JY has ever done, and can stand proudly with classic Styx. Tommy is all over the album, turning in great songs like "One With Everything," "Together," and "Waiting For Our Time." The production is great too -- it's ripping and rocking, but still slick. They updated the sound just enough -- the opening riff on "One With Everything" is very modern, yet the keyboards and melody are totally classic. Superb. These are songs I can listen to over and over.

But let's face the truth. Gowan and Burtnik's contributions aren't particularly good. Surprisingly, since he has the bigger shoes to fill, Gowan comes off better than Burtnik. Musically, "Fields of the Brave" and "More Love For The Money" work, although I'm not a fan of the lyrics to either (especially the cheesy opening to "Money" about cats) and the vocals sound too much like a parrot trying to immitate DDY. These are decent songs but Gowan has nothing on the truly original talent of Dennis.

Now as for Glen Burtnik, these are the true disappointments. "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye" has no place on a Styx album. As others have commented, it sounds like Blink 182. Unlike "One With Everything," this is a BAD example of modernizing Styx, since it dispenses with ALL the elements of the Styx sound. Very very lame, and the lyrics suck too. "Killing The Thing That You Love" is simply ridiculous. Comparing the man who founded Styx to Lennon's assassin is blasphemy. Plus the vocal and melody are seriously lacking. Weak, guys. Also, "Fooling Yourself" and "Bourgeous Pig" are both completely unnecesary and add nothing, except a trace of bitterness.

Basically, for me it comes down to this. Tommy and JY have come up with two-thirds of a great album, and had the final third been filled with some superb DDY tracks, then this would be one of Styx's best albums. However, the Gowan and especially Burtnik tracks are weak and, in Burtnik's case, juvenile and add nothing to the album.

Tommy & JY -- you guys are awesome (Todd too). Settle your differences with Dennis and record the great classic Styx album that you clearly have in you.

23/02/03: Rich - drhall01@hotmail.com
Rating: 94
I know there will be great debate and divide with this album.The DDY fans will not give this a fair shake but I really think they need to.I enjoyed Styx in their hey day with classic opus' such as "The Grand Illusion","Pieces Of Eight" and "Cornerstone" and this new release is the best music they've put out since those masterpieces.I think the addition of Gowan And Burtnik was essential to this being a great effort, not to mention the usual talent of Shaw and Young.Cyclorama is classic rock at it's finest and I'm sorry for the DDY fans that refuse to supprt this...............you're missing out.

22/02/03: Jeff - jeff@ramhosting.com
Rating: 95
I have been a Styx fan since 1975 and all I can say is this is a great record! Im on about my 10th complete pass and it just keeps getting better.

Initially the Lawrence G songs seemed a bit strange, but both "Fields of the Brave" and "More love for the money" have really grown on me. He has a very unique voice that take a bit of getting used to (compared to DDY's silky smooth delivery), but I'll take these songs over yet another DDY love ballad.

No, this is not a classic Styx record but thats ok. After 20 years they needed to update their sound and I think they did a wonderful job of bringing the Styx sound into the 21st century. The DDY debate will cause some Styx fans to hate this album and thats unfortnate. Its too good not to give it a fair chance.

22/02/03: Liam - Texx151@aol.com
Rating: 70
Let me start by saying I'm a HUGE DDY fan. ANYONE on the Styxboard can tell ya. This was a weird Styx review for me to write BECAUSE of no DDY, and I didn't know if I would embrace it.
But I did to an extent..Few of the things on here really don't sit well with me so here we go...

1.Do Things My Way: This is a MUCH better album opener than "Witness" was. Very cool song and I love the groove to it.

2.Waiting For Our Time: Had quite a while to listen to this,and I gotta say it grows on ya.Kinda like a RASH.lol.Again,Cool song.

3.Fields Of The Brave: I expected Lawrence's singing debut on a new album to be one of those "Dennis ain't here anymore but I'm gonna prove I can kick A$$" songs. This, BY FAR, ISN'T that. I really can't get into this song. Nice work on the harmonies though.

4.Bourgeois Pig: One word..ANNOYING

5.Kiss Your Ass Goodbye: Styx-182. I don't like Blink-182,WHY would I like a Styx version. Could have been a LOT better.

6.These Are the Times:The chorus hooked me on about the 2nd listen.Don't really like JY's singing in the beginning,but the tune is great. Can't wait to hear it live.

7.Yes I Can: Nice harmonies by Glen and Tommy. Nice song, nice mood. I likes.

8.More Love For The Money: A friend from the Styxboard and I talked about this song sounding rather showtune-ish. We were right. Good song, not one of my favorites,but better than Fields Of The Brave.

9.Together:It's been said that the Wah-wah pedal reminds people(including me) of "Witness".Couldn't agree more. But it's a completely different song and I likes this one too.Love The Chorus.One problem with it though...COFFEE. It must be a staple on EVERY Tommy included album now.lol

10.Fooling Yourself: Did this HAVE to be on here??? Haven't we heard this enough on live albums,Grand Illusion, greatest hits, and radio in the past 25 years?? I don't like the new touch either.

11.Captain America: GREAT riff.Great drumwork. Cool Vocals. Nice N' Heavy.

12.Killing The Thing That You Love: Lots of controversy, in case you DIDN'T know.lol. I don't care if it WAS written long before the whole Dennis fiasco,it's still a BIG jab, they knew it, it's kinda tacky.IMO. Only thing is, Musicly, it's a fantastic song.lol

13.One With Everything: My Favorite track on the album. It's heavy,kinda mysterious,just love the whole song. It's got EVERYTHING.Keyboard solo after the chorus makes me think I'm playing Street Fighter 2.Not a bad thing...just found it funny.hehe. EXCELENT WORK on this one.

14.Genki Desu Ka: Weird. Cool. NICE Vocals. WEIRD. Really kind of a "feel good" song. It works. That's all I can really say about that one.Coulda looped it one more time instead of that little Tenacious D thing at the end, although funny,it's not a comedy album.

And there ya have it...a 70 rating was because of the "not needed" songs. This album, other than that, has classic Styx touches with a new energy missing from Brave New World. Will never beat Grand Illusion,Pieces Of Eight, or Paradise Theatre for me though :-)

21/02/03: Steve - brookrok@lanset.com
Rating: 86
I've listened to the cd 4x now.There are some very cool songs like (Waiting for our time,Kissyour ass goodbye,Together,These are the times,One w/everything) But there are some throwaways here also like(Fields of the brave,Captain America,Yes i can,Palm of your hands,B PIG Billy bob Thorten??. Gowens songs are the weakest! He's not DDY IN the songwriting dept. Tommy controls the band now He's ALL over the songs! Glen Burtnik deserves more space! He's an excellant songwriter. This is still an enjoyable cd to listen to.Plenty of styles BUT how many of these new songs will they play live?? STYX STILL ROCKS!!!

21/02/03: Rob Mallory - ytserob2112@msn.com
Rating: 98
With "Cyclorama", Styx did something no fan ever thought they would do. They recorded without frontman and founder Dennis DeYoung. Without the man who started it all, you could almost assume the disc would be a second rate hack job. Thankfully, the assumption is incorrect.

Picking up Glen Burtnik, who fans may remember from the underated "Edge of the Century" album, and Lawrence Gowan, who took over for DeYoung, Tommy Shaw, James 'JY' Young, and Todd Sucherman, who replaced John Pannazo after his devestating death during the reunion tour, dish out an amazing 14 track disc.

The album sounds as if it could have been an A&M release from the band. The classic Styx sound is here, including the vocal harmonies that 'Brave New World' seemed to have lacked. The JY tune 'These Are the Times', perhaps the best tune on the album, is the perfect example of that beloved Styx sound.

The brief 'Bourgeois Pig' features lyrics that sound as if they are based on the way Dennis DeYoung became, forgetting what the music was all about. 'Kiss Your Ass Goodbye' has an amazingly punk sound to it, while still sounding like a Damn Yankees tune at times. The single, 'Waiting For Our Time', and 'Yes I Can' are both perfect ballads from Tommy. 'One With Everything' takes on the almost proggish sound. The only let down on the disc is the cheesey remake of the classic Tommy Shaw song 'Fooling Yourself', although it is a nice trip down memory lane.

So, if you are someone who has decided to leave Styx behind, and only listen to the material with Dennis DeYoung featured, you should drop your hasty decision and give "Cyclorama" a chance. This disc definately gives you more rock for the money.

19/02/03: Lynda - lyndanoel@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
Wow. Styx is back in a VERY big way! This new CD has something for everyone and is their most progressive, agressive effort in over two decades. I've been waiting very impatiently to find out what this new line-up could create, and what I got was oh so worth the wait. From the rich harmonies of "Yes I Can" to the progressive synth of "One With Everything", and contributions from a diverse group of lead singers, this is what Styx fans hope for and expect. VERY well done!

19/02/03: Chris - obc150@yahoo.ocm
Rating: 90
This album really rocks! Harmonies are perfect, keyboards are great, quality of the music itself is crystal clear. My only complaint would be that I wanted to hear even more synthesizers. JY really stands out on this album, "These Are The Times" is excellent. This album has something for everybody.

19/02/03: Raymond - rmlimage@adelphia.net
Rating: 91
Cyclorama is the Styx we know from Grand Illusion, Pieces of Eight, Crystal Ball, Equinox, parts of Paradise. Not the sap in Cornerstone, Killroy, Edge or Brave. I like DDY but you can only take so much sugar (maybe he should tour with Steve Perry since both of them only know how to write ballads for Broadway and Hollywood). We finally have a Styx that rocks. As for the comment that JY doesn't have a voice anymore. His voice is always like that, listen to snowblind, miss america, suite madam blue, half penny, heavy metal poisoning. One of the best song on the new album is "These are the Times" sung by JY. Like all Styx albums, good and bad, some songs take more than a few listen to like and others are just too much. Overall it great to see them back with an cd the ROCKS!!!!

18/02/03: Steve was here - usnidc@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
A great album that includes all the STYX trademarks. If only the music establishment will let it see the light of day....

18/02/03: Liz - grompit3@hotmail.com
Rating: 60
They could have blended in more Glen. The comments made about Mr.DeYoung's wife were uncalled for. I didn't take sides in the great DDY debate because it has no bearing. JY can no longer sing well and Gowan has a weak voice at best. While I do enjoy Mr.DeYoung's ballads, you are correct. They don't belong here. And while this album is better than BNW, it is still a pale comparison to classis Styx.

16/02/03: Darren Preece - dpreece1@btopenworld.com
Rating: 0
Liz in your review u said theres too much Tommy and just enough Gowan and JY so who did u wanna hear more of ?....Todd ?.....or do u think it lacks the usual 4 Deyoung ballads ?

15/02/03: Darren Preece - dpreece1@btopenworld.com
Rating: 99
Was going to wait for the cd but couldnt help listening to the release on the Aol stream and even tho the sound quality through my speakers is poor all i can say is from what i have heard....
THE BEST STYX ALBUM SINCE PIECES OF EIGHT.
Mr DeYoung....This is what Brave New World should of sounded like instead of all your 2nd rate offerings(apart from Roseland) Welcome back Styx the rock band and goodbye to the broadway claptrap DeYoung has done since he last knew how to write decent rock songs in the late 70s early 80s.....this cd is a must for all fans of Styx who love Pieces Of Eight, Grand Illusion etc but for anyone who prefers songs about Robots or Dennis DeYoungs wife( some may say there the same thing) stay away.

14/02/03: Liz - grompit3@hotmail.com
Rating: 60
The great DDY debate aside, this album is just so so. Too much Tommy and mercifully just enough of JY and Gowan.
The tracks here remind me of a once great band trying to relive their glory days with mediocre material. Way overdone on the guitar work. Seriously, not worth it.

12/02/03: Jim - goldman@hilconet.com
Rating: 99
I forgot 1 thing on my last review. I truly thought 'Equinox' was one of the finest rock and roll albums ever. I like Cyclorama better!! Only because there are more great songs on it. An album could only hold so much music. Anyway, there is only one constant lineup wise on both of these classic albums.It's JY!!! Heres to one of the most underrated people in rock and roll history ' Great Job again JY!!!!!! Great Job Styx!!

12/02/03: Tim - tryan60540@peoplepc.com
Rating: 75
I have kind of a mixed reaction to this CD. On the one hand it's got a handful of very good songs (Do Things my Way, Together, One with Everything) -- some of the best since Pieces of Eight and The Grand Illusion albums. On the other it's got several songs that could be great but are unfortunately ruined, IMO, by horrible lead vocals -- especially the songs by Lawrence Gowan and James Young Fields of the Brave, More Love for the Money, This is the Time). I just cringe every time Gowan opens his mouth, and James Young's voice is shot after all these years. A couple of the songs are just plain stupid and should have never made it on this CD (Bourgeois Pig, Genki Desu Ka). When you get right down to it, only 5 of the 14 songs on this CD make the grade.

Lastly, I agree with some of the others who said that this is NOT a Styx CD. This new lineup/band is talented, but it just ain't Styx. Styx (or any band) is the artists that originally created and performed the music. You can't just replace members ad nauseum and call it the same band. These guys should have renamed themselves and started anew.

12/02/03: Ritch - ritch2@juno.com
Rating: 92
In general this album is a complete package that has something for everybody. After a few listens, I would say it is their best album since Paradise Theatre. There are very few "weak spots" on this disc. The music sounds like it was put together by a band in the same room at the same time. What a concept!

Todd kicks @$$. The drumming and percussion on here is outstanding. He knows when to take it easy and then BAM! he knows when to lay it on. Fantastic!

The keyboards really stand out too in many songs. It's just great once again to hear some keyboards and guitars, guitars and keyboards.... blended well IN THE SAME SONG! Again, what a concept! Lawrence's contributions are really noticeable both musically and vocally. In my opinion he had some big shoes to fill and he pulls it off quite well. It's definitely a different sound, but I like it.

Glen/Chuck?... there are some cool bass sounds going on. Reminiscent of the PO8 work. Cool stuff!

Tommy and JY each have some real high points on this disc. Lyrically they have really put some good stuff together this time. Vocally the harmonies haven't sounded this good SO OFTEN for quite some time. We've had some hints here and there, but this disc is packed with them. Wall to wall sound that is awesome!

On to the tunes....

01 - Do Things My Way
Probably one of my least favorites on the album. Not that it's a bad song. It actually is a pretty solid rock tune, but it just reminds me too much of the Damn Yankees. I just hear in my head Ted, Jack, Tommy and Michael when I listen. Maybe that will fade with a few more listens but right now it's stuck in my head. Not really what I was looking for on this CD.

02 - Waiting For Our Time
I like this one alot. Tommy's acoustic, harmonies, lyrics.... good stuff!

03 - Fields Of The Brave
My favorite Lawrence song (of the two he leads). This one's really growing on me. The harmonies here are really fantastic. It's got some unusual tempo changes that really highlight some of Todd's skills. Keyboards really are great here. Reminds me of Elton John/Beatles/Queen. Quite an interesting mix that will really grow on me as I listen more.

04 - Bourgeois Pig
My opinion... it doesn't really do much for the album, but it's short so you don't have to think about it too long. ;-)

05 - Kiss Your Ass Goodbye
Glen's 1st of 2 leads. Here again it's a good tune - snappy kind of fun, but it seems sort of out of place on a STYX album. It sounds like an early 80's punk rock song. Lyrically it's kind of interesting. Even some cool harmonies and a hint of keyboards as well.

06 - These Are The Times
1st of JY's two songs. I like this one the best. I like what JY has going on with the lyrics in both of his songs but particularly this one. Tommy's acoustic is great here. Cool bass.... sounds like Pieces of Eight stuff. Harmonies are sweet. Keyboards really add a nice layer. TODD ROCKS! Classic STYX guitar stuff. All around one of my favorites on the album.

07 - Yes I Can
Tommy has lead vocal on this one with his acoustic guitar. Vocally very cool. Lots of stuff going on here that is going to take a few times to figure out. Sounds like maybe Glen and Tommy. Really good stuff. "I could live forever in your garden, oh yes" A really great tune here that is another one of my favorites. As a great person once said.... "Simple but elegant."

08 - More Love For The Money
Lawrence's 2nd song. Really a strong hint of Beatles on this one with hint of Queen. Lawrence does sound a bit like Freddy Mercury at various times. He's got some good lyrics here as well. He's got an interesting view on things. I think I'm liking him more and more.

09 - Together
Another Tommy song. Starts off sounding like it's off his solo album (not that that's a bad thing because I really liked 7DZ) but after it gets going it sounds more like a STYX song. Harmonies again, good guitar work, groovy beat that makes you wanna move. Not the best of the album but near the top. Tommy's done well for himself this time around.

10 - Palm Of Your Hand
What can I say about this? One of my favorite STYX songs of all time with Brian Wilson (one of my other all-time favorites) singing harmony with the band. One word - AWESOME! At 39 seconds it's too short, but man - what a wall of harmonies! Glen did a great job on this arrangement. It's another one of those "short segment" inter-mixed with the full tracks, but this one I don't mind at all. Just wish it was longer.

11 - Captain America
JY ROCKS! This is pure down and dirty heavy guitar, pounding drums that sounds like classic STYX once again! Good stuff.

12 - Killing The Thing That You Love
Glen's 2nd song that really stirred up the turmoil with his lyrics. Listening to the song I really didn't find myself thinking about DDY that much. Musically it's an interesting song. The Piano and other keyboards here are really good. Glen does a nice job vocally on this song. There's a cool guitar/drum riff in the middle that sounds like it came off Pieces of 8. Pretty good tune.

13 - One With Everything
"Now that's what I'm talking about!" THE BEST SONG ON THE ALBUM - PERIOD! This is the best STYX song this side of The Grand Illusion/Pieces of Eight! Musically it has so much going on.... keyboards (solo!), drumming that just rocks, vocal harmonies with uplifting lyrics that just soar! WOW! Really a showcase for Lawrence on the keyboard. Tommy REALLY nailed it this time! Heck, STYX nailed it this time! If there was a question about where STYX is musically. This song answers it! I'm hooked.

14 - Genki Desu Ka
An unusual song. Vocally interesting. Groovin' beat. Not much going on lyrically. Kind of a groovy feel good song. Kind of like a "AKU-AKU" for the new millennium. "Everything's alright.... I feel good."

..... and you will too after hearing the entire album. Too bad they couldn't have had this kind of effort the last time out. Oh well, that's water under the bridge. They've moved on and in an incredible direction I might add. Each of these songs has something going for it.

11/02/03: Chris - rule5pick@attbi.com
Rating: 90
For the love of all that is holy, could we please STOP the DDY debate! Yes, DDY was and IS great. I too wish he were still with my favorite band, but he's not.

I enjoyed EOTC without Tommy and think, "Love is the Ritual" is one of the great Styx songs!I looked at it this way -- with Damn Yankees and Styx touring in the early 90's, I had the best of both worlds! All the time wishing Tommy were back with Styx. Now we are without DDY. I've caught DDY twice since the "break up" and love him and his music tremendously. But "Cyclorama" is a GREAT Styx album! It is the best of what Styx is NOW. Respect the past, enjoy PO8, GI and PT, but don't hold those albums up to the present. You'd all be bitching that it was a rip off it it did have DDY and sounded like Paradise Theatre.

While I think Gowan pales in the place of DDY, and he's not the presence DDY was on previous efforts -- his songs are good. Burtnick's songs are strong and extremely enjoyable. Tommy and JY appear rejunivated on this effort... and you have to know that it's who's in the band now that effects that.

Styx fans (and especially DDY) should embrace this effort and hope for more releases in the near future. We have a band that has survived a fickle industry, in fighting, and changing music attitudes. In other words, we still have our band.

Cyclorama is a class effort from a band that has no reason being viable or even popular in today's music scene. Cyclorama is a big giant middle finger in the face of critics, other "dinosaur" acts, and even Styx fans who can't let go of the past.

Here's hoping for a new DY3(or 4), a new DDY solo effort, and another Styx studio album that comes close to the effort and results of Cyclorama!

11/02/03: Michael Wright - icenuts@prodigy.net
Rating: 90
Classic Styx is back indeed. I am a die hard Dennis De Young fan. Always have been and always will be, but this CD is too good to just pan it based on what has happened. I didn't think Tommy and JY could capture the Styx sound the way Dennis used to, but they did! I don't like any of Gowan's tunes, which is disappointing for obvious reasons. He's replacing my hero and he needs to shine(IMHO). Sounds way to much like a bad John Lennon impersonater! Glens track's a great! I've always said his true talent (besides guitar and singing, which he does very well) is songwriting and this CD benefits from that! That is not to say that this CD is without it's flaws. The apparent "disrespect" to Dennis De Young is uneccesary and uncool. Intentional or not, it should have just been allowed to die. This the Styx of a new era and they should have based on thier own merits. But even Styx couldn't help taking one more jab. That will tarnish this great CD and that's to bad. Also the lack of continuity in the singing department, there are now four talented musicians capable of handling the singing department but, other then Tommy, they're limited to 2 or 3 songs tops. It's an understanding disappointment. With Dennis gone, Tommy is now the "voice" of Styx. That is to say, he is now the most recognized voice on radio Styx fans can associate with the band. So it does make sense that he takes the rains. But I still think it could have and should haven been more balanced. Overall this is Classic Styx. The sound, the attitude are back. While Dennis does not physically play on this record. The sound he was a major player in creating STILL resonates throughout this record. His influence is and will be felt by this brave new Styx as his and their music carry on into the 21st century. That is a good thing! Long Live Paradise!

11/02/03: Jimmy - Jhodgon@kfj.ffo.com
Rating: 1
God, this is awful. A horrific album from what used to be a great band. The main problem with this album is that the remaining 2 original members of STYX are so hung up over trying to slam founding member, ex-lead singer, and writer/singer of most the band's hits, Dennis DeYoung. Many of the songs here are direct slams at Dennis DeYoung and it reeks of immaturity. "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye" is a great example as is "Killing the Thing You Love". I question how Glen Burtnik has any authority to write those types of songs given that he was not with the band for its glory years, and his contributions to Edge of the Century caused more harm for the band than good. It really is pathetic that these guys cannot shed themselves of the Dennis DeYoung shadow, and after listening to the album you realize that they can't shed themselves of his influence given that they can't make a good record without him.

Absolutely worthless.

10/02/03: Jeff - jdyoung1@sympatico.ca
Rating: 95
This is a terrific album; Styx's best since Pieces of Eight in my opinion. I've been listening to it non-stop since Styx made the whole album available via an audio stream on AOL. A great mix of the classic Styx sound combined with elements contributed by the newer members. This is also a return to harder rocking sound of Styx in the late 70s before they went pop. Listen to this album. You won't be disappointed.

10/02/03: Jim - goldman@hilconet.com
Rating: 99
First off, I am not going to get into a big long review, disecting each, and every song.The person who reviewed Cyclorama for this fine web site was wrong in that Gowan is the one singing lead on 'Fields of the Brave' He shines, as does the entire band on this EPIC effort. This is by far Styx's best effort ever!! I respect the heck out of DDY, John P., and John C., and I thought Equinox, Grand Illusion,Pieces of Eight, and Paradise Theatre were totally outstanding, but they are not as good as Cyclorama. 9 of the 14 songs are rock and roll classics, and the others are very good. Styx just made their White Album. Congrats, Guys!! If you only purchase 1 CD this year this is the one. Its not just a Styx classic, its a rock and roll masterpiece!!!!

10/02/03: HOWARD - mellingp@email.com
Rating: 95
I donīt know who the hell "Daniel" is or to which Styx album he was listening to when he wrote the rambling and critical review of Cyclorama..but it sure as hell was not the album i have heard over the internet! This must be one of the best Styx albums ever made..everything good about the band is contained on this album.In fact,although i liked DDY,i think that this album benefits from his abscence,purely because his forte is ballads and gushing lyrics.Cyclorama has a good number of classic rockers and excellent pop-rock songs..typical classic Styx in fact.
I canīt wait for the albums release on the 18th February.
My message to cynics and DDY diehards is to give this album a good listening to and accept that it is bloody good.DDY belongs to the past..stop pining and moaning,and get listening..to the right album preferably Daniel because you must have clicked on the wrong link to your MP3.

10/02/03: Robin Hayes - rhayes@mitchellgrocery.com
Rating: 95
I love it! I think Tommy sounds awesome! This is STYX!

10/02/03: maya - maya2112@coqui.net
Rating: 91
excelent album and great sound is classic styx.

Puerto Rico.

10/02/03: Marshall Roberson - marshallroberson@earthlink.net
Rating: 90
Having been a Styx fan since the Equinox days, I figured my thoughts on a new Styx C.D would be altered by the recent events in the band and their prior history. I played the streaming version of Cyclorama to my 4th grade students and asked them for their thoughts: They love Bourgeois Pig the best of all. Kiss your ass goodbye I can't play for them; They thought waiting for our time was the Backstreet Boys (they absolutely loved this song and ask to hear it all the time). When I played the first tune off the C.D (do things my way). There were many pencils tapping and kids humming the chorus.
Bottom line: the students loved the album and wanted to know where they could buy the album. It's unfortunate that most of the young people will not get to hear a great C.D like this because most of the music companies are more worried about finding the next Eminem or Britney Spears than playing some great music from veteran rockers!

09/02/03: Ray - rmlimage@adelphia.net
Rating: 85
Great effort by the Styx guys, I have only heard what they have release on their website. and its sounds great. I'm sorry to say DDY (ever since Kilroy) made the band sound like it should open for celine dion. YUCK!!! Styx is a rock group. This may not be as good as pieces, grand, and most of cornerstone and paradise but so far this stuff rocks..
All the guys want to rock, down the line from tommy, JY,glen and Lawrence. I don't want to flame anyone, but when anyone start ripping the album and say it has no memorable songs, it songs like they have given the album a chance and all they hear is Styx of the past. This is the 21st century. Groups like Styx, Journey, Kansas, will never get much airplay, especially here in the US. Fans like myself have to just enjoy that these guys still are putting out new materials that still rocks but it moves with the times. We will never get a new "renegade" or "blue collar man" on the airways so we have to put our faith in musicanship and loyality to the band will always create music the real Styx fans will enjoy and maybe there will be a chance it will catch on and pop up on the radio. Look at Bon Jovi. So things change but give the "new" Styx a chance.

09/02/03: Steve - kitaro64@hotmail.com
Rating: 3
Bravo Daniel....I agree 100% with you....!!!

09/02/03: Marni - marleecee@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
Having been a big Styx fan in the days of Dennis DeYoung (and a huge Dennis fan), I would like to say that Cyclorama is everything a Styx CD should be. While I enjoyed Styx with Dennis, this Styx is so much more vibrant, and this CD shows it. I like every track on it except for the last one, but then, you can't have everything. And this CD ROCKS!
I recommend that everyone give Cyclorama a listen, and I guarantee you will come away having had a good time!

08/02/03: Elaine - Raidtank@aol.com
Rating: 94
I LOVE IT!! Classic Styx is Back Again!!

08/02/03: Kele - dvds4good@yahoo.com
Rating: 88
I've only heard the cd over the webcast a few times. One thing that stands out is Tommy Shaw all over the cd! He sings lead or co lead on 85% of the tracks. What happen to Gowen? One the other hand there are plenty of cool tunes to rock out to.
My 3 favorites so far Kiss your ass goodbye,Waiting for our time,More love for the money.Hopefully Tommy won't take over the live show too! Styx was built on 3 great distinctive vocalist now they have 4 So use them all!!!

07/02/03: Daniel - daniellacalle@canal21.com
Rating: 3
First and foremost, this album is not Styx. But don't get me wrong, neither was Brave New World. The latter was a patchy, uninspired, dated and disjointed effort (the band's situation at the time can be blamed only partially)... but at least BNW had some killer tunes in the title track, Best New Face, WTIST and Goodbye To Roseland.

Cyclorama is, unfortunately, exactly what one would suspect: A collection of Damn Yankees and JY/TS solo leftovers. This would not be wrong if the usual suspects' solo material of recent years was up to the classic Styx standards...but it wasn't (if there ever was an album that deserved staying in the can it is Damn Yankees 3).

In this album we get sonic bombast reminiscent of the worst traits of 80s rock, reheated tunes from previous solo efforts, ludicrous attempts at teen hard rock, guitar-noisebleed by numbers, and childishly unoriginal revengeful lyrics against DDY (who'se equally to blame for the harm these things are doing to Styx reputation and the laughable ego-trip we, the fans, are witnessing, but at least has maintained a more diplomatic approach). But what we do not get is any of the classic Styx combination of progressive/broadway/hard rock/keyboard-vocal layers in absolutely immaculate and beautifully crafted tunes.

We do not get a single really memorable tune (in fact it all sounds scarily like Kansas-SpiritofThings-era and Journey-Arrival).

JY is not the best songwriter in the world. He has a gift with a riff, as Miss America or Half Penny Two Penny proved, but not much else. His solo album was a disgrace. Over here he is (wrongly) allowed too much contribution...and the album suffers because of it.

Tommy Shaw is an excellent songwriter... but he writes songs easily and quickly, falling too much on quality-control problems. Worse of all, it seems like he listens to too much 80s overpolished radio rock. He tries too hard (why?) to repeat questionnable feats as Girls With guns.

As for Glenn and Lawrence contributions... Yes, they are great musicians. Yes, they might fill the gap of founding members live... but my friends, they're no DDY or TS... by miles. Give me any TS tune anytime. Their contributions range from forgettable-Bryan-Adams to Roger Hodgson-lite (can there be anything worse?).

I'll add one thing: Brian Wilson (whose contribution is irrelevant in this album) could have told TS what a wrong decision it was to allow Bruce Johnston, Ricky Fataar and Blondie Chaplin any songwriting credits in 70s Beach Boys albums. Same here. Ask Styx fans how many Burtnick songs from Edge Of The Century they play over & over. Exactly. And there is a reason why.

In summary, with Cyclorama Styx have managed to get their revenge on Dennis DeYoung by making their own Kilroy Was Here. It's as much a Styx album as Summer In Paradise was a Beach Boys one, or Calling All Stations a Genesis CD.

In a few years, we will see as many selections from Cyclorama in their live set as Kilroy ones. Less, in fact.

So, dear TS, DDY & JY: question yourselves about the harm you have done and are doing to the Styx legacy and a) let it rest or b) solve it. But we, the fans, demand this diarrhea of substandard output to cease... or desist.

All the best


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