Styx - The Mission Review
Great album for new and old fans!
It was about a month ago a friend of mine suggested that we listen to this album while we make supper together as we are both Styx and Gowan fans ... I have been listening to it a ton ever since!
First off this is a concept album and it is about mans first mission to the planet mars which I thought is a very cool concept for a progressive rock band! It is an album that is best enjoyed when listened to from start to finish. As per how things were back in the day of vinyl (with it's 20 minutes or so per side limitation) this album comes in at about 40 minutes. I feel that every track on this album is pretty good as well.
Tracks that stand out for me are: 'Hundred Million Miles' and 'Gone Gone Gone' which are both classic Styx sounding rockers, 'Locomotive' which reminds me a bit of their classic song 'Boat on a River' and 'Red Storm' which has some great progressive moments in it!
The musicianship on this album is over the top as well. Tommy Shaw and James Young have to be two of the most under rated guitarists in the world of rock and roll. Growing up playing guitar, I never read much about them in guitar magazines as that was an era when 'shred' was the in thing, and these two tend to make themselves part of the band instead of putting the guitar in front of the music.
As you may know Denis De Young is no longer singing in the band and has not been with them since the album 'Kilroy was Here'. A Canadian singer named Lawrence Gowan has been singing with them and does not disappoint! I find his voice to be similar to Young's but a little more aggressive and edgier. The classic 70's Styx vocal harmonies are also here which for me is one thing that makes Styx Styx! Gowan is also a very competent keyboard player who nails it with a lot of 70's sounding synth patches and displays his talent for classical piano with 'The Greater Good'
This album came out in 2017, but I didn't discover it until recently. In an era music being streamed and sold online and lack of rock and roll radio stations this album could have whizzed by me! I must say I do miss the days of going down to the record store on Tuesdays and flipping through the new releases and coming home and taking the shrink wrap off, and reading the linear notes as I listened to the album. ... I seemed to value my music much more back then.
Anyway, this is a great album and is highly recommended by me for new and old fans. I can hardly wait for my vinyl copy which I ordered from their website to show up!
Here is a video link for the video 'Gone Gone Gone' which you probably won't be seeing on Much Music or MTV anytime soon! Enjoy!