Styx
Equinox


3.0
good

Review

by menawati CONTRIBUTOR (85 Reviews)
July 14th, 2013 | 17 replies | 1,334 views


Release Date: 1975 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Styx's first major label release is a largely uninspiring offering which nevertheless contains a few golden nuggets hidden among the dross.

The driving force behind Styx was always Dennis De Young. The velvet larynxed front-man performed duties as lead vocalist, keyboardist, accordion player, producer, and main songwriter for the oft maligned group during their long recording career. Whether you love or hate the growing preference he portrayed for syrupy sweet ballads and hammy cabaret tinged excesses throughout his tenure there is little doubt that he contributed to the band's signature sound more than anyone else. 'Equinox' was the band's fifth album and first release for major label A&M and while there are certainly strong signs of how the band would eventually develop into a flaccid commercial rock act there are nevertheless some prime cuts of riff laden overblown hard rock to get your teeth into.

Styx's music during their classic period from Equinox through to Pieces of Eight has often been described as pomp rock. The music had a grand bombastic feel with extended instrumental passages, overblown choruses and ostentatious guitar riffs littered with large doses of flowery synth. Tommy Shaw had not yet joined Styx so guitar duties were undertaken by James 'JY' Young and the soon to depart John Curulewski. Listening to some of the heavier and more powerful music on Equinox it is clear that when he was let off the leash James Young certainly showed that he had the chops in abundance. 'Born For Adventure' is a case in point with an irresistible main riff built upon an urgent bassline and some competent lead passages. James also gets to flex his fingers on 'Lonely Child' which features some enjoyable wah-wahed soloing that lifts the song out of mediocrity. But the album highlight is undoubtedly 'Prelude 12/Suite Madame Blue'. After the short acoustic guitar prelude a rolling arpeggio ushers in De Young's unmistakable vocal with its impeccable control and heavy vibrato. The balladic opening section gives way to some mournful Oberheim synth before JY's classic riff takes over to propel the song onward and upward into a morass of harmony vocals to its triumphant conclusion. Unfortunately most Styx albums have their share of forgettable ballads and embarrassing formulaic rockers and Equinox is no exception in this regard. Hit single 'Lorelei' is repellent in its sugar coated airiness, opener 'Light Up' is eminently forgettable and elsewhere the album is littered with uninspiring material such as 'Mother Dear' and the cringe-worthy 'Midnight Ride'.

Equinox is by no means a great album and pales when compared to The Grand Illusion or Pieces of Eight. The influence of Dennis De Young is rather too strong on here and while he undoubtedly had the capability to pen some memorably ambitious power ballads the overall quality on offer is rather disappointing. The injection of Tommy Shaw into the mix would help to offset De Young's ascendancy over the subsequent years and act as a foil for his music hall excesses but ultimately Styx were destined to become a limp-wristed AOR act, although it must be admitted that they were hugely successful in that regard.



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
menawati
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2013



15659 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Styx probably as popular as a fart in a spacesuit on de sput but never mind.

Born For Adventure - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iF3F33eheJA
Predule 12/Suite Madamae Blue - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SInH7BLVGRk
Lonely Child - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaEcsWYK7ZE

Digging: Amon Duul II - Wolf City

Titan
July 14th 2013



4799 Comments


they released a blu ray highlighting TGI and POE live......pretty good

Cygnatti
July 14th 2013



21282 Comments


gay band

Digging: The Avalanches - Since I Left You

IbenizGEO1
July 14th 2013



2258 Comments


^ agreed Crystal ball is cool tho

Cygnatti
July 14th 2013



21282 Comments


they have a few cool songs, to be sure, but overall a super gay band.

PsychicChris
July 14th 2013



200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually like this album. Cheesy as fuck but a lot of fun to listen to in the right mood.

Jethro42
July 14th 2013



12332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I bought this album when it was released, and it has a sentimental value for me. Good job on the review.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 14th 2013



7297 Comments


Good review. Sup.

Digging: So Slow - Dharavi

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2013



19665 Comments


Never got into this band.

MeatSalad
July 14th 2013



13958 Comments


Does this have that one song that goes AMERREEICA AMEEERICAA AMERERRRICA

Digging: Gotsu Totsu Kotsu - Legend of Shadow

demigod!
July 14th 2013



43618 Comments


Styx are a bit lame. cool art, though.

Digging: Dinosaur Jr. - You're Living All Over Me

Jethro42
July 14th 2013



12332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah MeatSalad,it's called Suite Madame Blue.

Jethro42
July 14th 2013



12332 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

But you already know it, dont you.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2013



19665 Comments


Great review, mena. pos'd.

sonictheplumber
July 14th 2013



4227 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

not a big fan, good review though

tommygun
July 14th 2013



23152 Comments


pos

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 15th 2013



4359 Comments


Welcome back. These guys catch a lot of shit, but I don't care, Styx is a fun band in my opinion. "Lady", "Grand Illusion", and "Renegade" are real catchy tunes.

good review, POS'd.



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