De Young, Dennis - 2007 One Hundred Years From Now

richardbrichardb Poole, Dorset

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ARTIST: De Young, Dennis
ALBUM: One Hundred Years From Now
LABEL: Universal Music (Canada)
YEAR: 2007

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Dennis DeYoung - vocals, keyboards * Kyle Woodring - bass, drums * Hank Horton, Matthew DeYoung - drums * Tom Dziallo, Ernie Denov, Stephane Dufour - electric guitars * Jimmy Leahey, Stephane Dufour, John Rice - acoustic guitars * Kevin Chalfant, Dennis DeYoung, Hank Horton - vackground vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 One Hundred Years From Now * 02 This Time Next Year * 03 Rain * 04 Save Me * 05 Breahe Again * 06 Crossing The Rubicon * 07 Respect Me * 08 I Believe In You * 09 Forgiveness * 10 I Don't Believe In Anything * 11 Turn Off CNN

Background

Dennis DeYoung appears to have enjoyed something of a renaissance of late, releasing a solid live recording a couple of years ago and now a new studio album of original compositions, his first in over 10 years.

The Songs

DeYoung has assembled an cast for the album which ranges from long term musical stalwarts (Tom Dziallo and Kyle Woodring) to family members (wife Suzanne and son Matthew) with impressive results.

Despite being a 60 year old he still possesses a superb set of pipes with a range and tone putting many singers half his age to shame. I am also pleased to report that 'One Hundred Years From Now' marks a return to former glories, with a hard rockin' approach and less theatrics than of yore.

Crucially the album opens on a high note with the topical anti war song 'One Hundred Years From Now' performed as a duet with the popular French Canadian artist Eric Lapointe. This is a powerful number the subdued opening evolving into plenty of crunching power chords and some excellent lead guitar.

The tempo is raised with the punchy melodic duo of 'This Time Next Year' and 'Rain'. 'Save Me' a sedate rocker slows matters down and 'Breathe Again' is the familiar, tempered ballad which tends to be DeYoung's forte, though it's less saccharine than some of his previous efforts.

'Crossing The Rubicon' is a more lengthy affair which exhibits a progressive flair hitherto unseen in many a moon.

'Respect Me' is slow burning and broody whereas 'I Believe In You' has a wonderful soaring chorus reminding me of Styx in all their pomp (and glory). I can forgive the sentimentality in the lyric department given that it's obviously dedicated to his wife Suzanne and I'm a happily (though not necessarily respectable) married man myself.

It's probably fair to say that with 'I Don't Believe In Anything' DeYoung echoes the sentiments of many 'grumpy old men' of a certain age (myself included) heaping vitriol on modern technology and politicians alike.

Proceedings close with the hard rockin' 'Turn Off CNN' which is similarly a diatribe against the seemingly endless stream of senseless media reporting. Personally I find this more palatable than listening to rock stars who preach about third world debt, then restructure their business affairs overseas in order to pay less tax.

In Summary

Arguably the principal creative driving behind Styx I find it pleasing to see De Young back in the limelight again, especially given his serious illness at the end of the nineties and well documented spat with former band colleagues.

At an age when most of his contemporaries are either dead or on the reunion circuit (isn't that like witnessing the living dead?) De Young has produced an album which has created a real buzz on the web and managed to appeal to the majority of long standing Styx fans.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said of his former cohorts in Styx Messrs Shaw and Young. They continue to flounder with a dire, uninspiring album of covers ('Big Bang Theory') and an interminable succession of 'classic rock' cabaret, tour dates where their exposure to live audiences has surely reached saturation point by now?

Maybe it's time for them to set aside their differences because on this current form surely Styx need DeYoung more than he needs them?


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