ARTIST:

STYX

(UNITED STATES)
TITLE:

EQUINOX

(1975)
LABEL:

A&M

GENRE:

A.O.R.

/ MELODIC HARD ROCK
TAGS:
Easy-Listening, Symphonic, Technical
""Equinox" marks the entry of Styx in its golden age. A very beautiful album containing the unavoidable 'Suite Madame Blue', heralding a series of excellent records."
CORTO1809 (02.10.2014)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

For its fifth album, Styx seems to be at a turning point in its career. The four previous albums, although very honourable and containing their share of nice songs, remain marred by a certain naivety and some clumsiness. With the exception of "Styx II", the band can't decide if they should try to make a place for themselves as a hard rock band or by playing a more sophisticated rock. 

"Equinox", without being a radical break with the past, shows a maturity allowing Styx to produce a homogeneous album while continuing to draw from the different genres they like. We will find rock'n'roll ('Light Up', 'Born For Adventure'), hard/heavy ('Midnight Ride'), romantic ballad ('Mother Dear'), emphatic anthem ('Suite Madame Blue'), simili-classical ('Prelude 12') and borrowings from progressive and psychedelic ('Mother Dear', 'Born For Adventure') but the whole skillfully built so that we never have the impression of listening to different bands.

The domination of DeYoung on this album is certainly not foreign to this feeling of homogeneity. But the co-writing with Young and Curulewski on several tracks allows to keep this variety of influences from which is born the diversity of Styx's albums, at the same time its strength and its weakness.

The album starts with two melodic and lively rocks where aerial keyboards and big guitar riffs mix with happiness. 'Lorelei' ends with an interesting variation of full choruses whose similarity with what Queen does or will do is disturbing. No copy of one on the other however, rather two bands of the same generation that followed parallel paths. 'Born For Adventure' completes this trilogy, with a little Wishbone Ash side to it. 'Lonely Child' is the classic romantic ballad of the DeYoung style, sad but without mawkishness, and 'Midnight Ride' is the album's concession to energetic hard rock. Again, the parallel can be made with Queen who included in their first albums a heavier track signed by their drummer, Roger Taylor. 'Mother Dear' is a convoluted track that shows once again that Styx occasionally likes to break through some barriers. Finally, 'Prelude 12' is a classy twelve-string instrumental that serves, as its name suggests, as a prelude to the album's bravura piece, 'Suite Madame Blue', which mixes delicate arpeggios, a liberating power surge, a beautiful instrumental bridge and a canon-like chorus whose repeated "America" will send shivers down the spine of even those who were not born in the USA.

Is it because they changed record companies or simply because of a necessary maturation? In any case, "Equinox" finds the qualities that were predicted on "Styx II" and is only the precursor of the more ambitious and equally successful albums that will follow. 


More informations on http://www.styxworld.com/





TRACK LISTING:
01. Light Up 04:17
02. Lorelei 03:19
03. Mother Dear 05:25
04. Lonely Child 03:47
05. Midnight Ride 04:17
06. Born for Adventure 05:12
07. Prelude 12 01:21
08. Suite Madame Blue 06:30

LINEUP:
Chuck Panozzo: Basse / Choeurs
Dennis Deyoung: Claviers / Choeurs / Chant (1,2,3,4,6,8)
James Young: Choeurs / Chant (5)
John Curulewski: Choeurs / Synthétiseurs / Chant (3)
John Panozzo: Batterie / Choeurs
   
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