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STYX / BRAVE NEW WORLD
LABEL: CMC INTERNATIONAL 06076-86275-2
OVERALL: 72%
Produced by: Tommy Shaw, Dennis De Young & James Young
  1. I Will Be Your Witness
  2. Brave New World
  3. While There's Still Time
  4. Number One
  5. Best New Face
  6. What Have They Done To You
  7. Fallen Angel
  8. Everything Is Cool
  9. Great Expectations
  10. Heavy Water
  11. High Crimes & Misdemeanors
  12. Just Fell In
  13. Goodbye Roseland
  14. Brave New World (reprise)
It took a while for the CD to arrive and rather than rush a review online, I deliberately held back to try and form the best opinion I could.
Of course I do this with all the reviews, but in this case am a little more hesitant as I know you die hard Styx fans will let me know if I get it wrong!
Well let me know your thoughts, but in the end my initial response to the album remains.
I am basically unconvinced by the album.
As usual it is split into 2 different styles, with Tommy Shaw and Dennis De Young each making their own mark. I think the album lacks a little direction and the flow of the album could use a lot of improvement. It is also a fairly dark album.
But it all isn't bad news - there are still some highly enjoyable moments, some great music and very strong vocals...but it could have been even better. Especially when you consider the talent spread between the guys.
I Will Be Your Witness opens the album. A little too laid back to open an album for my liking. This could have easily been lifted from Tommy Shaw's last solo album and along with his 'half' of the album, was probably was written then. A good track musically, but short on inspiration.
Brave New World has a laid back intro again. Moody and mysterious, it does build to a nice peak, but again it sounds like Tommy's last album. The chorus does feature some good harmony vocals. An acoustic driven rocker.
In fact the lead vocals from Tommy Shaw on the first two tracks and the rest of the album even, are very strong indeed.
While There's Still Time sees the band adopt their usual - and I must say somewhat annoying tactic - of completely changing style with the change of vocalists from Tommy to Dennis De Young.
That aside, this is a great ballad, with Dennis in good form. Although the style of the song is in keeping with Dennis' recent love of musicals, it isn't a traditional ballad by any means. Tommy Shaw provides some really cool backing vocals in places - something I wish the band would do more of. Little chance of that now.
Number One is another Tommy Shaw number and again fits into his recent solo style. It is a little more in your face and while mid paced at best, is a modern rocker, with the albums' first real sign of guitars. Pity they are distorted so much.
Best New Face is a pretty happy mid paced pop song. First sign of a reasonably happy song.
What Have They Done To You is a psychedelic modern rocker with twin vocals from James Young and Tommy Shaw. This is likely to be a good live track, but I think it loses something in the studio. Not a bad track.
On Fallen Angel the band switches back to show tunes mode, with another vocal from Dennis De Young. It's a more uptempo tune with a great vocal and nice melody, but I really don't like the chorus much.
Everything Is Cool is so far the best track of the album. Finally a track with balls!
Great hard edged guitars, a much better pace and some groovy Tommy Shaw vocals. This track will shred live and should remain a favourite of fans. Check out the intense instrumental break.
Another stylistic 180 is done for Great Expectations, yes, back again to De Young. This tune is a little bluesy / jazzy number. It's OK.
Heavy Water is another killer tune. I wish there were more like this and Everything Is Cool. This is one of the heaviest Styx tunes I have ever heard and rocks big time. Again the vocals are shared between James and Tommy.
High Crimes & Misdemeanors is another semi-abstract number, again jazzy to a point, but more rocking. De Young is in fine voice, but it has no connection to the Shaw tracks on the record.
Just Fell In is good vibe uptempo pop rocker with a 60's pop vibe. Lyrically very funny, the song comes complete with horns and brass, but fails to leave a mark on me.
Goodbye Roseland is a big De Young ballad.
Brave New World (reprise) is a cleaver mix up of several of the album tracks in a re-mixed soft of fasion. Interesting song and quite cool.
And that is it folks.
This will no doubt keep a great number of Styx fans happy - it is hard to say it's not up to their usual standard, as they change at will. But seriously I can't find more than 4 or 5 tunes i find really memorable here. Yes, I have listened to it 15 or 20 times, but it just doesn't move me.
I for one am disappointed with it. No great vibe sorry. OK start mailing me now!!
PRODUCTION: 88%SONGS: 73%VIBE: 66%ATTITUDE: 70%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Seasoned fans of the band and of Tommy Shaw and co.


04/09/04: bob g - bob@gerszewski.net
Rating: 60
a very disconnected album.

11/08/02: Rob Mallory - ytserob2112@msn.com
Rating: 0
After their immensly popular reunion tour there was nowhere Styx could go but back into the studio to record a new collection of studio tracks. "Brave New World", released in 1999, showed how the Damn Yankees project helped mature Tommy Shaw's writing ability. It also showed the that Dennis DeYoung could no longer be of service to the rock community.

The album kicks off with two of the best songs this project has to offer, "I Will Be Your Witness", and the title track "Brave New World". These two songs set you up for a really
smoking disc. Track 3 however, the DeYoung penned "While There's Still
Time" hits you like a ton of bricks. While it is the best DeYoung song on the
album, it's still dissapointing, making those who complained that "Mr. Roboto"
was too poppy swallow those words.

Other highlights of the album are "Heavy Water" (with James Young on
lead vocals) and of course "Everything Is Cool" which is the best song on the
set, a song about the internet. Sadly, there are a lot of letdowns on the album.
Everything penned by Dennis DeYoung should be skipped. I'm not saying to
not give them a try, "Fallen Angel" could even be something you could grow
used to. But if your anything like me, skipping would not be a bad idea.

"Brave New World" saw the end of DeYoung's career with Styx. If the music contained on the new disc was more like the earlier efforts of the band, this would be a bad thing, but since his material was what it is his departure leaves a raw taste in few fans' mouths.

15/04/02: Robert - romani20@hotmail.com
Rating: 5
In all actuallityu it really sucks overall. Ok that's being harsh I suppose. How can I give a good review to a projcet that was conceived half heartedly.

I went to see the new band ath the Tower Theater in Philadelphia. I sat right up front. What a thrill, something I had waited a long time for. Boy ! what a disapointment. Especially after sitting in the 4th row at the 1997 tour. I left that show with the same great vibe I had in 1981 and 1983.

Rather than go through the songs cut by cut ( actually some of it is quite good and quite ambitious) I will only say this. This is not a Styx Record by any means. This is a a collection of pieces in a solo effort.
Damned the big over inflated egos and the he said she said bull shit. If this can not be a complete effort by the original Styx gang we all no and love than by all means put this out under a different name. Don't sell Styx under this title. It's not the same product i loved

Dennis is correct. in 1996 and 1997 I saw Styx play to sold out venues. In 199 there was plenty of room in the Tower Theater. They should be embarassed, I was. Sorry Gowan go back to Canada.

22/07/01: Aaron Henning - Firstlove Tammy@Aol.Com
Rating: 90
Great album it was very the hard rocking Heavy water and with the soft melody of Goodbye Roseland and then back again with Everything is Cool. Good CD but Styx doesn't sound together like Grand Illusion. It has kept me on the edge of my seat.

03/12/00: Brad - bdame@snet.net
Rating: 80
This album to me just continues the interesting story of one of the most epic rock and roll bands of all time. I listen to every Styx album with interest, as each one brings a little something different to the table. That being said, this one falls a little flat in places. Before I ever read anyone's comments on this page but after I had bought the album and listened to it a few times, I noticed how obvious it was that Dennis and Tommy never actually got together for the recording of this album. Dennis and Tommy have always had somewhat different styles, but their music at least used to be somewhat cohesive. Dennis' show tune songs are fun to listen to but seem somewhat out of place on a Sytx album. As others have mentioned, some of Tommy's songs seem like a continuation of his great "7 Deadly Zens" solo album, although many are still pretty good to listen to. "Everything is Cool" is the obvious strongest track on the album, but there are plenty of other good ones. All in all, an interesting but strangely disconnected effort. With the problems that have since surfaced about the band and their relationship with Dennis DeYoung along with Dennis' health issues, the results of this album are more understandable. Despite Tommy being my favorite musician in the band, I'm not sure they should create any new work under the name of Styx without Dennis being involved.

01/10/00: Chris Kilroy - obc150@yahoo.com
Rating: 8
"Brave New World" is not the greatest Styx album, but it is a big step in the right direction. Yes I do believe "Brave New World" could have sounded a little more unified, more like a Styx record and less like a combined solo project(Dennis,Tommy). However the songs were good, my favorites being "Everything is Cool" which really rocks, and "Goodbye Roseland", a beatiful balled. Looking at Tommy's credits on the album I thought man this is going to be "Shaw heavy" and it is but again the songs are good so go, get it, you'll love it. the next studio album WILL kick!!! STYX is back and getting better. The band will never die because anybody under the name Styx just has too much talent!!!!!!!

24/09/00: Scott - scottw@mfx.net
Rating: 5
I've been a Styx fan since 1974. They've change there style of music numerous times. I'm very disappointed in this cd. It's like they forgot how to rock. I've recently watch a VH1 behind the music show on STYX and now understand why their sound has changed so much. It made Dennis DeYoung seem like quite a butt head. Maybe Styx is better off without Dennis DeYoung. How about another (better) new Styx cd.

03/06/00: Eric - eric@edstrom.com
Rating: 6
When I listen to this record I am reminded that Styx's greatest strength was the diversity of its members' styles. When that diversity was melded, it generated great albums like Grand Illusion and Paradise Theatre. When it isn't melded, Styx is no longer greater than the sum of its parts. This record is really two solo albums in one with JY as a guest musician.

As a Styx album I give this a 6. As two solo albums in one, I give it a 10. After all, there is nothing that Dennis or Tommy could do that I wouldn't like.

26/05/00: Danny - roboman@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
This album sucks, BIG TIME. These guys better call it quits. They've reached an all time low. They're running om empty. And I thought "Kilroy Was Here" was utter garbage. NO one likes this band anymore. This c.d. has gotten terrible reviews on RESPECTABLE websites. Hell, they're not even in magazines anymore. The pits!

22/03/00: Mark - ExSgt33@aol.com
Rating: 55
Very dissapointing! This seems more like a bad Tommy Shaw solo album than a Styx album. I really expecting something special from these guys after seeing how brilliant they were on the "Return to paradise" tour.
"Brave new world" is a huge let down. Lets hope they do something better next time, because I believe that Styx still has something to offer.

11/12/99: Tim Bucci - trbucci@uic.edu
Rating: 9
I absolutely loved the EQUINOX thru CORNERSTONE period. What followed in the early '80s (in my humble opinion) were thin, way over produced, two-dimesional, concept albums. EOTC was a step in the right direction, again, but still seemed to lack the charm of their 70's stuff, I thought.

Then came BRAVE NEW WORLD.
It made my summer.
Literally.

Granted, I'm not thrilled with every selection on this disc, but with this release Styx has marched right back into the spotlight for me.

To be critical: The "Broadway" stuff is a nice experiment, but I'm hoping it's future is limited with Dennis on the next Styx cd (if there IS one, to hear Dennis tell it). While it's true the band should indulge him a bit, they need to step on this tendency in the future, as it quickly becomes tiresome in this element. What I would LOVE to see from Dennis (aside from his usual wealth of talent) is more attention to the final product (but not too much, i.e. KWH). Too bad the guy has been ill these last couple of years, because this would have been a different record, me thinks. Not better, necessarily. Just more of a Styx feel then what's happening here. I mean, you can fault the guy for a lot of things, but not his singular vision when it comes to making a record. He just needs to be tempered by the rest of the band when it comes to mixing theater with rock and roll ...

Speaking of being tempered, Tommy could use some (musically and otherwise). JY has always been a great counter-balance for him in all their endeavors as a band. More collaborativeness between the two of them would be fruitful. Too, I was a bit put off by his need to give himself so much credit on this disc (Okay, man! We got it!). The disc is something to be proud of, sure, but me thinks he could afford to couch his ego a bit (is there a real reason he mentions all those details?!), too. Oh! And is it just me, or are others becoming more and more irritated with every Shaw/Blades collaboration. I mean, they're beginning to sound like they're attached at the hip, musically. Supremely talented, both of them (don't get me wrong), but they could use a break.

Basically, this cd needs a dash more JY involvement (especially with Dennis' stuff), and more harmony between everyone (and not just voices, guys!) to get a more cohesive feel to it all.

Now, the praise: From the guitar-funk opening to the medley finish, this is one of Tommy's finest efforts anywhere. There are very few lumps of coal in this stocking! Styx, as a whole, has continued to cast a spell and create a mood with this one (it's just a different product then what we're used to from these guys ... but, mind you, that doesn't make it bad). This is all about rock growing up, while not getting old. It's polished and sounds great. It's rich with detail, catchy, and not overly pop'd up (ok, High Crimes is a bit pop'd, but I think that's the point).

While it's no GRAND ILLUSION, it's definitely worth the buy. I give it a "nine out of ten."

01/09/99: Big Dog - bnwest@brokersys.com
Rating: 9
I have been listening to BNW everyday for three weeks now, which is a very good sign that I like it a lot. I did not like BNW the first few listens, because it was so different from my EXPECTATIONS.

BNW is certainly not Paradise Theater II, but why should it be. The band members have gone their separate ways for quite some time now. Like other Styx fans, I did not track Denis' or Tommy's solo careers that thoroughly. As shown in BNW, they both have obviously grown as songs writers over the past 15 years or so. For them to go into studio and recapture their old magic is a very tall order. You can see what Dennis thinks about this, if you the lyrics to Great Expectations.

Looking at the BNW jut for the songs themselves and without judging their new material against their old, I have to rate BNW 9 out of 10. Everyboday needs to get real here. BNW gets kicks major ass against the other 99 releases, which is what we should judge BNW against.

Another observation that I have read in other reviews is that BNW is half a Shaw solo album and half a DeYoung solo album. I have to agree with this assessment, but I will add that to the near same extent so did the classic Styx albums. Tommy and Dennis have always been dissimilar song writers. As with the classic Styx albums, I (and everybody else it seems) am having no difficulty picking each song's writer. Adding more vocal parts to the songs, a common lament, would have made them only slightly better and definitely would not have changed the songs that radically.

The best songs on BNW for me were Fallen Angel, Just Fell In, Heavy Water, and Everything Is Cool.

I enjoyed all of Dennis's songs. His lyrics are noticeably more mature and a bit political. Both Fallen Angel and High Crimes & Misdemeanors are both about the Clinton impeachment, which is a surprising topic for a Styx album. I also suspect that Hipocracy is political song covering his feelings toward politican in general. Maybe Dennis should take these three songs and write a Broadway musical/comedy about the Clinton impeachment? Works for me :)

I also liked Tommy's songs, but I have to say that they as a group are not that memorable. In the future, I don't think I will be playing the CD again just to hear one of his songs, besides Just Fell In which is a total scream.

Ladies, its time for your medication 0

23/08/99: Pat Beals - pbeals@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
I am a big Styx fan. Their current tour in support of BNW has focused on bringing the tunes to smaller venues in less than major markets. I saw two of the shows and thought that the touring band line-up is doing a fine job. BNW is a concept album that seems most influenced by Tommy Shaw. After many listens, I like Everything Is Cool, Heavy Water, and BNW reprise the best. The DeYoung songs are good, but do not grab you like his earlier material did. I read a criticism of the album that it starts out "darkly", but this goes in hand with the album concept and I find it as a whole to be an uplifting set of tunes. Great playing and singing by Shaw and James Young, the core members that are now on tour. If you liked Styx in the past and are a Shaw fan to boot, I think you will find this to be enjoyable listening.

21/08/99: Adriana - tylerl@mindspring.com
Rating: 10
While I realize this album is very different from most other
Styx albums, it was a first-listen-like for me! Some of the Tommy Shaw songs sound like they should be on 7DZ, but, that's what I like about them. I love the switch from Tommy's style to Dennis' style. That's what I've always liked about this group. And, they always sound as good or better live than on their albums. This album was a hit fore.

17/08/99: Matt Smith - Journeyis1@aol.com
Rating: 7
It is very obvious that this album was written from two different places. I understand that Dennis Deyoung is ill, and it is obvious that the whole album wasn't a collaberation. There are the DeYoung songs and the Shaw songs and they try to alternate them between the album. BY FAR, Everything is cool is the best song on the album and deserves to get a lot of AOR play. I really see Fallen Angel getting a lot of Adult Contemporary play if it is released. DeYoung desparately wants to write a Broadway musical and this sounds like a song that could be in it. No doubt, this is a Styx ALBUM. Styx is known for having Concept albums (IE Paridice Theator, Chrystal Ball, Kilroy Was Here) and this fits into their scheme perfectly.

17/08/99: TUGYAN AYAN - tugyan_ayan@hotmail.com
Rating: 10
If you are not an open-minded rocker,don't listen to this album.But if you want to hear real good and fresh music from a multi-talented band,don't miss this one.This cd is really different from the other Styx albums but STYX does this everytime.Diversity is one of their trademarks.They don't repeat themselves.Best tunes are Number one,Heavy Water,While There is Still Time,Every Thing is Cool,Brave New World and Fallen Angel.

13/08/99: Jody Batik - jodeus@aol.com
Rating: 6
Has Dennis DeYoung forgot how to sing rock music? Don't get me wrong, i love his '10 From Broadway' and 'Hunchback' albums, but Styx has always been about rock and roll.
From the first song on the album 'I will Be your Witness' i was disappointed. Not that i don't like the song, but the lead song should be an in-your-face opener. This song doesn't really go anywhere. Look at 'Rockin' the Paradise', 'Mr. Roboto', and even 'Love is the Ritual', they packed a punch even if many listeners didn't think they were the best of songs.
This album clearly is almost a Tommy Shaw solo album. Not that that is a bad thing, but it is when it is a Styx album. Being the first full album of new songs by the four main members of Styx, there should have been a more unified statement and sound.
Now i have to admit that i do like some of the songs. 'Goodbye To Roseland' is a pretty ballad, and songs like 'Heavy Water' do finally break the chains and let loose. But the inclusion of 'While There's Still Time' makes me think that if Styx does continue to record subsequent albums are we going to see the entire Hunchbacpl

12/08/99: James Ekart - damnyankee@navix.net
Rating: 8
I find that this is a unique album in the sense that the sum of its parts does not exceed the individual parts themselves (if that makes any sense). I think that the tracks on this album are exceptional, if taken individually. There is a bit of Shaw/Blades in there, as well as some Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw solo work, and yes, at times, there is some Styx present, as well.
As a compilation of each of the band member's accomplishments and talents, this is a terrific disc. As a traditional Styx-sounding effort, it falls a bit short. So this naturally begs the question of the listener: Is it the quality of the music you are looking at, or whether the music is fulfilling a predetermined expectation? If the latter applies to you, stay away from this disc. If not,
give it a listen, you won't be disappointed!

11/08/99: Chris Madsen - uppstage@aol.com
Rating: 8
Good Lord! My first response to this album , "Wow a dark Paradise Theatre." Needless to say, I love this album. It takes everything this band has done the past 25 years, including solo work, Damn Yankees and Broadway and rolls it all into one nice package. For those complaining that it has too many elements: Too bad, that's what makes this band better than most others. They are musically agreesive (even with ballds) and always lyrically sound. While I don't call this their best album, I do call it the best of their own inluences. Excellent!&@

11/08/99: Rocker Chic - RockerChic@webtv.net
Rating: 70
Somehow, I feel that I need to preface this review by saying that I have been a very big Styx fan for over 20 years. I know what the band is capable of when they put their heads together, which is why I am so disappointed by this effort. They simply *didn't* put their heads together! It sounds like they each were given a certain number of songs that they agreed to contribute and this is what we got.

------------------------

I Will Be Your Witness: A wonderful song (and one of my favorites on the album), but clearly an extra track that didn't make it onto Tommy's "7Deadly Zens" There's no "Styx-like vibe" going on here for me.

Brave New World: Really like the chorus, but I'm not too crazy about the verses. The lyrics are, of course, wonderful but the sound/style of the music just doesn't thrill me. Not my cup of tea, I guess. Again nothing Styx-like (for me) until the chorus.

While There's Still Time: Liked it on the A&M sampler, but thought (even then) that this was just another "Babe." The story is basically the same. I thought it fits much better to stay in the Hunchback demo and not be included as a Styx song. [For those who are unaware of this, several years ago, Dennis DeYoung wrote a musical based on the Victor Hugo novel "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." It had a brief trial run in Nashville, Tennesse and I heard from many people that it was amazing. Dennis recorded a demo of the musical where he did all the male voices and his sister-in-law, Dawn Fuesi did the female vocals. From what I keep hearing, he is continuing to work on this project and there is word that another production of it may be announced in the future.] This sounds a little different to me, too. A few friends and I realized that we hear more of Dennis' backing vocals in this version over the A&M version. I think that I like the A&M version better. I like hearing Tommy backing Dennis.

(This brings me to one of my biggest problems [although not too many of them] with BNW... I don't like to hear Dennis or Tommy doing backing vocals for themselves! This is the main reason certain songs do not sound like Styx to me. I don't even hear a lot of JY in the backing vocals either! To me, JY's high backing vocals are imperiative to the Styx sound. I want more JY!!!)

Number One: Eh... Not bad, but the only part of the song that I really like is the bridge.

Best New Face: Kinda cool, but again if I heard more of Dennis and JY in the chorus, I'd probably like it better. Another 7DZ or Hallucination (Shaw/Blades) track for me. Must have been the collaboration with Jack Blades. (BTW, although I enjoy Jack Blades, I'm not sure how I like outside writers being involved in a Styx album. This is the first album in their career that they've done that. It has always been either DeYoung, Shaw, or Young.)

What Have They Done to You: Right from the beginning, this thing gets my attention! I simply love to hear the JY/Tommy teaming of vocals!

Fallen Angel: From the opening notes, I was immediately reminded of Dennis' "10 on Broadway." Definitely a show tune for me. I'm not a big show tune person, but I kinda like it... Just not on a Styx album. Again, if I heard more of JY and Tommy in there (are there also female backing vocals here, too? Huh???), I might have liked its presence on a Styx album much better. This is definitely a "Dennis solo" song to me. Also, the lyrics are too close in story and premise to The Grand Illusion in my eyes.

Everything Is Cool: Ah, now this is Styx for me! I clearly hear Dennis and JY (although I still want to hear more of him!) in the chorus this time! Then there's that great bridge where I distinctly hear Dennis' vocals melding with Tommy's. A perfect single for the album and for Styx. This is the type of thing I was expecting... And yet *not* expecting. I know that's hard to explain, but it seems to make sense to me. I'm told that this is getting a lot of radio airplay, but, of course, not in NYC. (Radio really sucks here!)

Great Expectations: Hate it. I'm definitely not into the reggae thing. Blech! Also, the chorus is highly annoying to me. The lyrics are very good but I don't like the music. After a handful of listens, I was already skipping this song on the CD. Next!...

Heavy Water: Yeah, JY! I really liked this head-banging song right away! ;-) I'd love to hear this live! Not to mention the little Tommy-infused moments in the song. What a team! Definitely a favorite on the CD for me.

High Crimes & Misdemeanors (Hip Hop Cracy): Yuch! Pa-tooey! Ya know, I had the very same reaction when I first heard "Mr. Roboto"? It was a couple of decades before I could even bare to listen to that song solely for the lyrics and Dennis' voice, and be able to tune out the music! The wierd thing to me is that this, musically and stylistically, although not lyrically, sounds like it belongs on the Hunchback soundtrack -- same production, same arrangement, same sound, backing vocals, etc. In my mind, I could see many different characters dancing around the stage while singing to this... not Styx. Next!...

Just Fell In: Did anyone else think of John Lennon or Paul McCartney when they heard this song? Kinda cool and fun (great lyrics!) but not a Styx song for me. This is (to me... remember?) another cut from the Hallucination album. The goofy lyrics sound more like they came from Jack Blades' wacky mind, not JY. I do think of Jack as one of Tommy's musical soul mates, so maybe Jack's just rubbed off on Tommy. Musically, I don't see this becoming a favorite for me. Just as in the case of "My Ellusive Mind," off of Night Ranger's "Neverland" album, this song will end up only being a chuckle-source for me now and again.

Goodbye to Roseland: Another song that I can't hear JY and Tommy on! Now, this is getting really annoying for me!!! I love Dennis but this seems like just another solo effort to me. Not bad, but misplaced in my eyes.

Brave New World (Reprise): Ah, much better! I really like this version. This has that wonderful feeling that I get from Styx music! However, if I could hear each of their voices a little more distinctly throughout the song, I would have been estatic about it. Just a really cool ending for a good album. I really like how Styx has done this for a number of their albums. I think it really makes their music more of an experience, rather than just a collection of songs.

Overall, I think this was a good album, but certainly not the best work that they have ever done (IMO). A lot of other Styx fans wrote in other forums how they felt that there was something lost in the music and feeling because the band was shuffeling tapes back and forth (between Los Angeles and Chicago) instead of working in one studio together. I whole-heartedly agree with them!

If the band members got together more often during the writing and recording stages, I think their musical connection would have been much more prominent and I think that there would have been more for me to love on the album. They would have certainly been able to bounce more creative ideas off of each other. Again, to me, this album sounds like each vocalist was given a certain number of songs that they would be performing on the album, and then submitted their respective recordings into the pot. If there is to be another new album in the future, I would hope that they learn from BNW and make it more of a "group effort" next time around.

I pray that this album is a success for them, but to be honest, I don't think that they can survive for the long term like this. I read all of the reviews, but I insisted in reserving my opinion for when I finally heard it for myself (darned that CDWait?!). Now after hearing the music myself, I must admit that I *am* a little disappointed in BNW. I certainly didn't expect it to be another Grand Illustion or Pieces of Eight or even Paradise Theatre, but I expected to feel a certain connection with the music. That is what I consider Styx to me. I just see this as merely a collection of a few really good songs and some fillers.

And for those who think I am being too harsh, remember this is only *my opinion*. FYI, I *do* intend to see at least one show (if they ever get here to NYC!) this year to enthusiastically support them and cheer them on! I do want to be able tpu

10/08/99: Rainbowe - rainbowe@my-deja.com
Rating: 10
I loved the album the first time I heard it, and still love it. My first reaction, though, was that it was incredibly different. And while Tommy's songs definitely remind me of his 7Deadly Zens album, I like this Styx album, much, much better. Tommy is better with a band, in my opinion. While I like the album much better than Andrew did, I think his review was fair. And was a nice contrast to the negative reviews I read from Styx fans putting down Styx for doing the same things Styx have always done.

Two things I've been wanted more of from Styx since I became a fan in the early 80s was more songs co-written by JY and Tommy (they co-wrote "Shooz" on Crystal Ball, the 1976 album, and never did it again, just the two of them, till this album) and more two part Dennis/Tommy harmonies, because I loved the harmonies on "Haven't We Been Here Before" off Kilroy Was Here and wanted to hear more. Finally a new Styx album with Tommy, and I got both my wishes! I really enjoy hearing Dennis and Tommy harmonize together and I think they sound great! I think it's an album that some folks will love, and some folks won't. Do give it a few listens before making your finally judgent

10/08/99: Cory - debraal2@uwm.edu
Rating: 5
I am a musician as well as a dedicated Styx fan and I have to
say this album was very disappointing. To make this short, Dennis Deyoung seemed to express too much of his Theatrical/Broadway Musical side that he has been doing lately; while Tommy Shaw seemed to go off in a dark direction I am not used to. NO songs at all interested me on this album. Still, they are all excellent musicians.

10/08/99: Billy M - zekejunior@aol.com
Rating: 7
i have to say i like this album i think "i will be your witness" is a great song and should be played on some of these top 40 stations cuz it kinda fits in with all this backstreet/n sync crap they play now!!! i wish a video were done but with dennis's illness that seems to be out of the question all in all its a good album in my opinion
me

09/08/99: Andrew - fortuine@tim.hi-ho.ne.jp
Rating: 7
Though not a die-hard Styx fan, they've been one of my favorite groups for the past 15 years, and I too am disappointed with this album. On their past albums, Styx has always managed to walk a fine line between diversity and unity. This album loses all sense of theme and unity. It's basically two different worlds--Tommy Shaw and Dennis DeYoung--and the styles do not blend at all. In fact, on the few songs where they both sing, it sounds like they recorded their parts in different studios; there's no blending of voices. The songwriting has its moments, particularly "Everything is Cool." But mostly, there's nothing classic on it, certainly a far cry from their classic albums of the late 70's. Dennis DeYoung's contributions seem passionless and uninspired, and while Shaw and Young's songs have energy and drive, the songs themselves are nothing special. Overall, a disappointing album, and if I would venture a guess, Styx's lasre

09/08/99: Elliot Hass - eliyahu7@juno.com
Rating: 0
This CD may not be typical 70's style Styx, but it is Styx. It took me about 25 to 30 times
listening to it to reallly get to like it. But we Styx fans and others hearing it have to realize
that we thought Styx was gone, but now there back. I think it is good for the band to update
their sound especially if they are going to be around a little while more. Not one Styx album
was ever completely the same style. That is maturity. The best tracks to me are: Brave New World,
While There's Still Time, Number One, Best New Face, the JY/Tommy songs, and especially
Everything is Cool. Overall I am disappointed at Dennis DeYoung's contributions but I still like them.
This is the best CD since Paradise Theatre for sure.

Elliot Ha


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