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Cirque Du Soleil
(Cirque Du Soleil)
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Patricia Barber
(Blue Note)
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Cirque Du Soleil
(Cirque Du Soleil)
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Jim Pearce
“Why I Haven't Got You”
Prairie Dog Ballet
(Oak Avenue Publishing)
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Andy Timmons Band
“Gone (9/11/01)”
(Favored Nations)
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Ralph Towner
Time Line
(ECM Records)
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Anoushka Shankar

Amos Lee
"Arms Of A Woman"
Amos Lee
(Blue Note)

Julius Curcio
"American Pie"
Alligator Shoes
(Electric Roots)
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"Come Alive"
Changing Into Me
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Spotlights [Issue # 2 ]
Styx: Still Rockin Your World!

By Alexandra Nava

It's been over thirty years since TW4, the original incarnation of Styx was born with members Dennis De Young, Chuck and John Panozzo. Since then, until now, the band has released twenty-three albums. Among them, seven have gone gold, two platinum, one double platinum, and three triple platinum, which make them genuine living legends of the rock genre.

Today the band's line up is the strongest songwriting team ever with veteran Styx members Tommy Shaw and James "JY" Young on vocals and guitars; the reappearance of Glen Burtnick on bass; heavy weight Lawrence Gowan on Keyboards and vocals; and Todd Sucherman on drums who came on board to replace the late John Panozzo.

Original bassist Chuck Panozzo currently on leave due to his HIV+ condition, is always in the hearts of the rest of the band and he makes guest appearances occasionally. "I'm very proud of Chuck for taking the stand publicly with what was happening. He has a great attitude and it's not easy, you know," says Tommy.

In their latest CD, Cyclorama, the band evolves steadfast by its roots and personality but one can't help noticing the new foliage the last season has left them. Cyclorama is a time machine. The sound of the album took me far back to my high school days with songs like the opening track "Do Things My Way" and "Waiting For Our Time To Come," full of their trademark harmonies, just to bring me right back to the present. Yes, it is like a time machine.

The lyrics are quite an assertive social political synopsis of our times, articulating the band's reaction to the worldwide crisis we are enduring today, while offering a well-balanced sense of patriotism. In "Fields Of The Brave," the band looks intimately at America with an involved and conscious tone. In "These Are The Times," they touch on a variety of subjects like spiritualism and death from different angles but not necessarily dark, on the contrary, remarkably noble and mature.

But the topics are not all on a large scale; they zoom in at a personal level dealing with the stress that the modern fast paced life imposes on us and on our relationships from a positive perspective in Together. My favorite, I must admit is More love for the money, a wonderfully done vintage rock style piece that follows on the footsteps of The Beatles and Queen. It speaks of that quest to make oneself happy, which reminds me of the fact that the whole artwork of the album revolves around carrots. "To me the carrot in the sky is that thing you long for and work hard for. Something that is never fulfilled, what keeps you going", says Tommy when asked about it.

With enough tracks filled of that familiar Styx sound, this ever growing band treats us to little surprises venturing on the rapid waters of mainstream punk with Kiss your ass goodbye, featuring Tenacious D; Teams up with Billy Bob Thornton on the short rocker track Burgois pig; and leaves us with the up lifting Japanese worded closer Genki Desu Ka which includes guests appearances by Jude Cole and John Waite.

These guys may have been around forever but with this album one can easily see that they're just as hungry as when they started and the good thing is all those carrots they see in their future.

Sanctuary/CMC International

Still Rockin Your World! Styx Cyclorama

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