It is hard for me to believe that Styx has been around for four decades. They have had countless hits over the years, many of which are well represented in their new two CD compilation Regeneration. What makes this new compilation special? This CD was recorded with their current touring lineup, and offers one new song “Difference in the World”, as well as two newly re-recorded Damn Yankees songs “High Enough” and “Coming of Age”.
I am sure it will anger some folks that the songs in the 2 CD set were re-recorded without Dennis DeYoung, but Styx has carried on without him since 1999. Sometimes, you have to let the music do the talking, and the music speaks loud and clear. Tommy Shaw still sounds amazing in 2011, and Lawrence Gowan is excellent as well. I am a little disappointed that “Babe” and “Mr. Roboto” aren’t in this collection, but the new song, “Difference in The World”, as well as the re-recorded Damn Yankees songs make up for the tracks that are missing.
Overall, I think Regeneration is a very good career retrospective, and is one for all current Styx fans to check out.
Regeneration will be available on October 4th. You can pre-order it here.
For more information on Styx, please visit www.styxworld.com.
Rating: Out of 10
1) The Grand Illusion
2) Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
4) Sing For The Day,
5) Crystal Ball
6) Come Sail Away
7) Difference In The World
1) Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
2) Miss America
4) Queen Of Spades
5) Boat on The River
6) Too Much Time On My Hands
8) Coming Of Age
9) High Enough
James “JY” Young – Guitars & Vocals
Tommy Shaw – Guitars, Vocals, Mandolin
Lawrence Gowan – Vocals & Keyboards
Todd Sucherman – Drums & Percussion
Ricky Phillips – Bass Guitar
Chuck Panozzo – Bass Guitar
To be honest I put off reviewing Overloaded for as long as I could because the sample clips I had previously heard did not impress me at all. When it came down to crunch time and I forced myself to sit down and give Overloaded a listen I realized what an idiot I was. I’m not sure what I was listening to before but “Regeneration” is loaded with in your face rock from start to finish.
When the first track “What’s In There” kicked off it took me a while to put my finger on who vocalist Chris Gillen reminded me of, so I sit back listened and enjoyed. The song has a great riff from guitarist Erik Kluiber and a ranting chorus from Gillen.
The second track “Obviously Envious” starts off and it hits me Gillen is the lovechild of Kory Clarke and Ron Keel. Which could also explain the heavy Warrior Soul influence or it could be something as simple as both bands are from Detroit. While Overloaded’s songs are not as politically charged Warrior Soul influence is dripping all over this album. If you don’t believe me just give “President’s Day” or “Ride That Feeling” a spin and it will hit you square in the face like a 2×4.
But just when you think you have Gillen figured out he throws everyone for a loop on “Don’t Leave Me This Way” channeling a little Jesse James Dupree. Other songs that impressed me were “Feeling Overloaded”, “Flashy Girl”, and “Try This One On For Size”.
Buyer beware that the band that recorded this album is not the same band you will see live now as Gillen and Kluiber replaced the rhythm section and added a second guitarist in Jan. 08. But “Regeneration” is a strong album with great playing from Kluiber and was an especially pleasant surprise to me when I was expecting the worst. Who said second impressions aren’t important?
Rating: Out of 10
1. What’s In There
2. Obviously Envious
3. Feeling Overloaded
4. Presidents Day
5. Ride That Feeling
6. Why Don’t You Love Me Anymore
7. Don’t Leave This Way
8. Flashy Girl
9. Try This On For Size
Chris Gillen – Vocals
Eric Kluiber – Guitars
John Sullens – Rhythm Guitar
Michael Massie – Bass
Lorenzo Gonzalez – Drums