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.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato