Wednesday , June 19 2024
Dennis DeYoung, a founding member of the group Styx, returns with a masterful solo album.

Music Review: Dennis DeYoung – One Hundred Years From Now

Dennis DeYoung was one of the founders and the keyboardist of the rock group Styx. They have sold over 35 million albums and at one point released four consecutive triple platinum albums in a row. DeYoung wrote seven of their eight top ten singles including “Lady,” “Come Sail Away,” “Best Of Times,” “Mr. Roboto,” “Show Me The Way,” “Don’t Let It End,” and “Babe.” Since leaving Styx in 1999 he has toured as Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar, released an album of Broadway tunes and even wrote a musical based on The Hunchback Of Notre Dame. He has also toured as a solo artist.

In 2007 he released his seventh solo album in Canada. One Hundred Years From Now was a commercial success and the title song became a hit single. Now it will be released in The United States on April 9.

Dennis DeYoung has produced a classic Styx album without the other members of the group. The harmonies, the catchy rock/pop melodies created by the interplay of synthesizer and guitar are all in place. His voice is still one of the purest sounding in rock music. It all adds up to the highest quality solo album of his career and is equal to the best of anything in the group’s catalogue.

The Canadian version is very similar to what will be released in The United States. “Respect Me” has been removed and two very strong songs added. “There Was A Time” has a classic over the top Styx sound as it pays homage to The Grand Illusion. “Private Jones” is a biting indictment of modern warfare clothed as a rock anthem. The only other change was the title song was originally sung as a duet with Canadian music star Eric LaPointe.

There are a number of other tasty treats to be found on this album. “This Time Next Year” is a nice up-tempo pop number which plays the synthesizer against the guitar. “Crossing The Rubicon” is a progressive rock sounding ballad. “I Believe In You” has high soaring harmonies on the chorus. “Rain” is pretentious, over blown, and just great.

Styx was a staple on my turn table in the late 70s and early 80s as I was emerging from my hard rock and psychedelic days. It may not have been essential listening but it was pleasant and sometimes that is more than enough. Dennis DeYoung was an important part of that experience. Now in his early sixties, with One Hundred Years From Now, he has proven that he is still capable of producing a creative, well produced, and highly entertaining album.

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