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***** Styx -- The Grand Illusion

A near perfect blending of completely watered down progressive rock and arena rock, 1977's The Grand Illusion is without a doubt Styx's best effort (although Crystal Ball comes pretty close) and is probably a good representation of where prog. was headed once the big names (Yes, Genesis, ELP) pretty well gave up the ship. It's interesting that this second wave of toned down prog. brought some of the biggest general exposure in bands like Styx, Kansas and Supertramp and that this is the type of music that would prevail in the US until it was ultimately supplanted by New Wave in the early eighties. Melodic and focused, this is polished music that is pleasant to the ears, with a bit of complexity that, while it doesn't challenge the listener, certainly is more interesting than run of the mill rock. A classic album that belongs in most collections.

Reviews by A. D. Jensen
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