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%

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