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Styx - The Grand Illusion CD (album) cover




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3.72 | 258 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Welcome to the grand illusion!

Almost all previous Styx albums had shown some potential. But with the exception of their second album, the band had never really managed to create something that was without some serious flaws. Styx really took a giant step forward with The Grand Illusion. This album finally fulfilled all that unfulfilled potential of the previous albums and everything worked out for the best this time. If any comparisons between Styx and bands like Queen and Kansas were ever valid or relevant it was only with respect to this particular album. The final guitar solo towards the end of the title track is very much in Brian May's style. However, Styx released their debut album one year before Queen released their debut and two years before Kansas' debut, and Styx had developed their own style during these years, not anywhere near the originality and individuality of Queen or Kansas, but with The Grand Illusion they finally achieved the perfect mixture of their different sides; Hard Rock, Rock 'N' Roll, Pop and Prog. The pure Rock 'N' Roll aspect is weakened here, allowing more space for their progressive and harder rocking tendencies. Which is good!

While there are no weak songs as such, the least good songs are in the middle with Superstars, Come Sail Away and Miss America. But even these songs are better than most songs from previous albums and the fact that they appear in the middle, between a strong opening and a strong ending, makes them more acceptable. The best and most progressive songs are the title track as well as the Castle Walls and Man In The Wilderness. The closer, The Grand Finale, repeats some themes from earlier songs The Grand Illusion, Come Sail Away and Superstars in an intelligent way.

As always with Styx, I have a problem with the vocals which I seem not to be able to connect with somehow. An exception is Man In The Wilderness which I do connect with emotionally.

As many Prog fans and Styx fans alike will tell you, this is the band's finest hour and well worthy of inclusion in any Rock oriented record collection. This is no doubt worth three (and a half) solid stars. Recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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