Styx World: Live 2001 (2001)


1.Rockin' The Paradise 2.High Enough 3.Lorelei 4.A Criminal Mind 5.Love Is The Ritual 6.Boat On The River 7.Half-Penny Two-Penny 8.Sing For The Day 9.Snowblind 10.Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough 11.Crystal Ball 12.Miss America 13.Come Sail Away

 

There's a scene in Rob Reiner's This Is Spinal Tap where the band members have just lost their key member. Before playing at an amusement park (in which they're billed beneath a puppet show), the band members are frantically figuring out what songs they can now play with the adjusted lineup. As painful as it sounds, this is a good comparison to what we have here. The band's third live release in three years and their second unnecessary one has our beloved Styx scraping way down in the barrel for songs that are new - or at least ones that weren't on the last live release.

We're doomed from the start. The band chooses a good opener in Rockin' The Paradise showing that they do indeed still rock, but with all do respect to Lawrence Gowan, he can't fill the void left by Dennis DeYoung. We then get three songs that aren't even true Styx songs. Tommy Shaw resurrect's his best from Damn Yankees, High Enough, Burtnik does a number that he wrote but never recorded, Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough that did go high up in the charts for Don Henley and what's her name, and Gowen treats us to A Criminal Mind that gives us a taste of his past (with all the unfair comparing to DeYoung, he is a great singer, songwriter and keyboardist). None of these titles really belong here on a Styx record, however, and one can only question the band's motivation.

The vast majority of everything else is tiresome repeats. Even Half-Penny, Two-Penny, a track not yet released live pales majorly in the face of it's studio counterpart. The only saving grace here is the other never-before-released Styx live song, Sing For The Day. This song shows us that Tommy hasn't lost anything talent wise since 1978 and Gowan at least can disprove those who say he can't play keyboards. For those who may be interested, that's James "J.Y." Young handling the vocals on Lorelei. Oh well. I guess we should be thankful there was no Blue Collar Man.



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