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Styx - Crystal Ball (1990) Retail CD
Wow! This band really knows how to rock! 'Crystal Ball' from 1976, was Styx's second album on the A&M label(their sixth in all) and the first to feature singer/guitarist Tommy Shaw, who was to prove a more than able successor to John Curulewski, who sadly departed after the release of 'Equinox' in 1975. From now on, Shaw's contribution would be the 'balancing act', between the keyboard orientated 'classy' rock of Dennis DeYoung, and the somewhat rawer, heavier guitar-laden approach of James 'JY' Young, not only in terms of master musicianship, but in songwriting, lyrics and singing; Of coursemore…, whenever these guys joined forces on compositions or playing, they certainly knew how to compromise, and 'Crystal Ball' is no exception!The first track 'Put Me On', written by Dennis, Tommy and JY, is a great example of the understanding that the three principals have, in their musical approaches. The arty keyboard genius of Dennis, blends so well with the lead/acoustic guitars of JY and Tommy. The song really shouts at you to put the record on and play it loud~ what a fine message! You'd need to listen to this track to get the drift of what I've just said. Hearing is believing!The remainder of the album, like the first track, focuses very much on the style that this new line-up was offering. Tommy and Dennis' 'Mademoiselle' is sweet yet funky. Dennis' 'Jennifer' is a fine power ballad, though the song's subject is reluctant to give the singer/writer her love. Tommy's title track song is one of his best, and there is great curiosity and uncertainty about the future within the lyrics. Tommy and JY's 'Shooz' is good classic rock and tells a story. Dennis' 'This Old Man' is full of grace, and gives a powerful, yet brief story of his father's working days- the lyrics are carefully thought out and gentle, and Dennis sings the song (partly from his dad's perspective), very well indeed.The last track is Dennis and Tommy's 'Clair De Lune/Ballerina'- this is a 7:09 masterpiece that tells the story of a ballet dancer preferring to fulfil her ambition, than accept the love of the singer(Dennis)- the musical arrangement is breathtaking here(again, you must hear it to believe it!)Musically, the band are all on top form, and the Styx rhythm section of the Panozzo twins(Chuck & John on bass & drums)holds up the band's rear with panache, as ever. Infact, the whole mixture of guitars/keyboard/vocals/bass/drums, blend together well.So well done, Messrs DeYoung, Shaw, Young, Panozzo and Panozzo~ You've sure enough made another classic! Buyers, your CD collection needs it now!
|1||Put Me On|
|6||This Old Man|
|7||Clair De Lune/Ballerina|
- Styx - Crystal Ball (1990) Retail CD
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- 12/10/10 by ssvril
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