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Styx
CYCLORAMA
(SANCTUARY)
Stars graphics

For the first time in their illustrious 30-year career, Styx have made an album without keyboardist Dennis DeYoung, but only the crankiest diehards are likely to complain about the result. Guitarists Tommy Shaw and James Young, the two remaining holdovers from the bandís classic line-up, have replaced DeYoung with Lawrence Gowan and called on former guitarist Glen Burtnik to play bass ó which means this edition has a whopping four lead singers. On the first single, "Waiting for Our Time," veteran pop-metal songwriting ace Shaw delivers a catchy positive-thinking anthem with soft psychedelic undertones. Young handles the gritty standouts "These Are the Times" and "Captain America," and Gowan proves a credible substitute for DeYoung on the cabaret-style Native American tribute "Fields of the Brave." Shaw sound-alike Burtnik shines on "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye," an irreverent power-popper that finds the group poking fun at their own mortality. As usual, the lush vocal harmonies that propel every chorus on the disc are their greatest asset. And just in case anyone thought Styx werenít in on their own joke, everyone from Billy Bob Thornton to arena-rock superfans Tenacious D shows up to sing back-up.

BY SEAN RICHARDSON


Issue Date: July 11 - July 17, 2003
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