If you like musicals, vaudeville, ballads, classic rock and Dennis DeYoung’s voice you will probably love this album.
Written by: DEMONAOR
ARTIST: Dennis DeYoung
ALBUM: 26 East, Vol. 1
LABEL: Frontiers Records
SERIAL: FRCD 1026
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Dennis DeYoung – vocals, keyboards * Jim Peterik – guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals * August Zadra – electric guitars, vocals * Jimmy Leahey – acoustic and electric guitars * Craig Carter – bass, vocals * Mighty Mike Morales – drums * John Blasucci – keyboards * Mike Aquino – electric guitars * Kevin Chalfant – backing vocals * Matthew DeYoung – Drums (#9) * Ed Breckenfeld – drums (#7) * The Chicago Children’s Choir and conductor Josephine Lee
TRACK LISTING: 01 East Of Midnight * 02 With All Due Respect * 03 A Kingdom Ablaze * 04 You My Love * 05 Run For The Roses * 06 Damn That Dream * 07 Unbroken * 08 The Promise Of This Land * 09 To The Good Old Days * 10 A.D. 2020
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Former Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung will release his new album, ’26 East, Volume 1вЂІ via Frontiers Music today (May 22). Ten songs will comprise the album, DeYoung’s seventh solo studio effort and first in over a decade. The title ’26 East’ refers to 26 E. 101st Place, the Chicago address where DeYoung grew up and from where Styx was formed.
The record, where Jim Peterik is involved both in songwriting and playing, was originally planned as DeYoung’s final album, but the singer later decided to split it into two separate volumes.
The album starts very promising with ‘East of Midnight’, a song with most of the classic Styx trademarks. A pomp rock song that is better than anything Dennis has written since ‘Pieces of Eight’. Unfortunately, this is by far the best song on the album.
The second song ‘With All Due Respect’ starts with an attempt at a humorous speech about fake things. It’s pretty clever, but only the first time you hear it before it gets annoying. The music is pretty boring straight rock that doesn’t appeal to me.
However, the third track ‘A Kingdom Ablaze’ is a very good suggestive piece that is probably the albums second best song. It doesn’t sound much like Styx though, but I still like it a lot.
‘You My Love’ sound more like an ABBA song than anything else, and even though I like a lot of their music this is not my cup of tea. On ‘Run For The Roses’ you can clearly hear Dennis love for musicals, a love that I don’t share so I really don’t care that much for this song either.
‘Damn That Dream’ starts better and is actually a pretty good song that has some good Styx moments, but the refrain reminds me more of Journey around the ‘Escape’ era than Styx. Probably my third favorite track on the album. ‘Unbroken’ is kind of a power ballad and as I never cared much for ballads, I got very bored with it.
‘The Promise Of This Land’ starts out like a ballad but soon turns quite heavy for a bit before it settles into a mixed style of Styx and a musical. It’s actually quite good but for the first time you can hear a strain on Dennis vocals who otherwise would have been amazingly good on this album. ‘To The Good Old Days’ is once again a ballad, this time a duet with Julian Lennon. ‘A.D. 2020’ is a wink back to ‘Paradise Theatre’ which closes the album quite nicely.
If you like me were hoping for a progressive pomp rock return, you will be disappointed, but if you like musicals, ballads, classic rock and Dennis’ voice you will probably love it. I have always loved Dennis keyboard style and sounds. Not to talk about his vocals, but I was so much hoping for more. The latest Styx album ‘The Mission’ is a superior album that actually sounds like classic Styx. Now I understand why they don’t favour a reunion.
East Of Midnight