During the '90s, such veteran arena rockers as Journey and Styx mounted comebacks, both of which featured all, or most of, their classic lineups. But in both cases, both reunions were fleeting, and instead of packing it up for good, both acts soldiered on with new frontmen -- in Journey's case, Steve Augeri got the nod to fill Steve Perry's shoes, while Styx replaced Dennis DeYoung with Lawrence Gowan. As most longtime Styx fans know, DeYoung brought balladry and also a flair for the dramatic to the band (Domo Arigato, "Mr. Roboto"?), while guitarist Tommy Shaw wanted the band to be a tried and true rock outfit. Now that Shaw has been appointed captain of the Styx ship, Cyclorama is expectedly more straight-ahead rock than anything he band has ever done, especially evident on such cuts as the album opener "Do Things My Way" and the goofy "Bourgeois Pig" (featuring special guest Billy Bob Thornton). But Styx misses the mark badly by trying to update their sound on "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye," which is an obvious attempt at honing in on Sum 41 and blink-182 territory. Additionally, while listening to such ambitious tracks as "These Are the Times," you can't help but think that the material would've been even better if DeYoung were still involved. As evidenced by Cyclorama, DeYoung is just too big a missing piece of the Styx puzzle.
- Release Date:
- Sanctuary Records
Performance CreditsStyx Primary Artist
Jude Cole Vocals
John Waite Vocals
Brian Wilson Background Vocals
Glen Burtnik Guitar,Electric Bass,Vocals,Upright Bass,Synthesizer Bass,Guitar (12 String Electric)
Tommy Shaw Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar,Guitar (Baritone)
James Young Electric Guitar,Vocals
Larry Gowan Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Vocals
Gary Loizzo Vocals
Chuck Panozzo Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
Todd Sucherman Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Loops,Synthesizer Bass
Billy Bob Thornton Vocals
Technical CreditsGlen Burtnik Composer,Vocal Arrangements
Tommy Shaw Composer,Producer
James Young Composer
Lee Baker Artwork
Bob Burger Composer
Larry Gowan Composer
Jimmy Hoyson Engineer
Gary Loizzo Producer,Engineer
Todd Sucherman Composer
Craig Williams Engineer
Mark Linnett Engineer
Storm Thorgerson Cover Design
Plinky Giglio Engineer
Dimo Safari Cover Design
Jim Mitchell Engineer
Darrell Lance Abbott Cover Design
Bruce Monical Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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With Dennis DeYoung shown his walking papers and the current Styx line-up humming along as a touring machine since 1999, it seems this casino/state fair circuit band has some rock and roll life left in it after all. Life-long detractors of the band are supplied with enough ammunition to sling with the occasional cringe-worthy, over the top choruses ("These Are The Times" wouldn't be out of place on a Rocky III soundtrack album). However, there's some true heart here that hasn't been conveyed since the days of Crystal Balls, Grand Illusions, and Pieces of Eight. There's less pomp and more snap. Acoustic (yes, acoustic) guitars strum, DeYoung's mosquito-esque keyboard solos are replaced with Larry Gowan's more tasteful hammond organ fills, and the rock and roll riffage screams of Cobo Hall, 1978. While Shaw flexed his pop muscle on his Cornerstone gem "Never Say Never", he may have recorded his best effort in "Together" here. How does one explain the cameos of an ad-libbing Tenacious D and a beer-quaffing Billy Bob Thornton? Easy. This is a band having fun again. You will, too.
First, I would like to start by correcting one of the earlier reviews titled "Styx gets back in the groove". Mr. Gowan does in fact share lead vocals on the album, specifically "fields of the brave" and "more love for the money". Second, Cyclorama is the must have CD for both old and new fans alike. While listening to the different tracks on Cyclorama you'll notice the subtle influences that emerge from each member in their songs which helped to create a unique and exhilarating experience for the listener. Cyclorama music is filled with passion and energy unknowingly rarely in today's era. After listening to this CD once, you¿ll be ¿searching, wondering, yearning, waiting for our time¿ to listen to the CD again.
The only thing that could have been better than this is if they had used Gowan on vocals. It's great to hear some of new blood add to the old style. We're due for a solo album Larry, but we'll be satisfied with this one for now...
I was so pleased to hear that Styx was touring and promoting a new CD. I caught their act and I was blown away by their performance. The CD allows the old influences to ring through, while proving there's still some fresh tricks in the bag. As always they prove to have some of the tightest harmony vocals known to man. Buy this CD and tell your friends.
I didn't think that syx can do it again, but they did. This is by far one of there most amazing albums. Zuckerman can really play drums
This is the best rock album I've heard in years. In addition to the three or four songs that will probably make the airwaves, there are several others that rock. I like the Billy Bob Thorton and Tenacious D collaborations too. Buy this!
There are a handful of tunes on this album that are extraordinary. However, a bulk of the material is not up to par with previous Styx releases (however, it is better than Brave New World). The production is awfully thin and many of the vocals are buried in the mix, as are some of the guitar solos. The opener "Do Things My Way" is a great way to start off the album, but again the vocals fall victim to the production mix. "Waiting For Our Time" is another stand-out track from TS much like something from his solo 7DZ. The two offerings from Gowan and Burtnik are forgetable. Ironically, Gowan's tunes mid-way through the songs sound very DeYoungish. Burtnik's stab at Blink-182 style music falls flat on "KYAGoodbye". This song will sound VERY dated in 10 years. The short opener from Billy Bob is throwaway, while it does rock. Styx should not have to result in using outside people on an album. We get back on track with JY's "These Are The Times" the closest thing to a Styx classic these guys will offer. "Yes I Can" is leftover Damn Yankees filler but Shaw does it again with another good track in "Together". "Captain America" from JY is a typical JY rocker but lacks a keyboard solo in the middle as most of his songs have (and this does not make the song any less entertaining, just shorter than expected). "Killing That Thing You Love" is down-tempo album filler song from Burtnik. The album closer is the track worth the price of admission "One With Everything". Sounds more like ELP than Styx but it leaves you feeling good. The final track includes an interesting drum loop from Sucherman's "More Than Styx" drum CD but I can live without the Tenacious D bull at the end. Simply NOT funny or entertaining. Thankfully it is at the end of the CD. If we had stronger production and better tracks from Burtnik and Gowan we'd have a masterpiece but Cyclorama falls a little short. I am looking forward to the next release as this was the first studio album from this line-up and they do seem to get better with age. Keeping my fingers crossed that the next is better, Cyclo is for the diehards only. As for me, it has been "shelved" and one of those releases that might get played once every couple of years.