Friday, July 9, 2010

Too Much Time on Our Hands: A Styx Tribute Album (2003)

(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )

Too Much Time on Our Hands: A Styx Tribute Album
(Salt Lady)

Most multiple-performer “tribute” collections are little more than thinly veiled attempts by little-known (and often under-talented) acts to establish parasitic relationships with big-name musicians (and the wallets of their fan base). By contrast, this one is an entirely non-veiled attempt by little-known (but for the most part talented enough) acts to make lemonade of the Styx songs life has given them. Some of it works as music (Tom Freund’s techno-lounge “Blue Collar Man,” Jonathan Rundman’s campfire-with-synth “Come Sail Away,” Jeff Krebs Donovan-esque “Boat on the River”), some as deconstruction (Jim Roll’s Residents-worthy “Babe”), some as novelty (Alva Star’s “Lady”), and some as filler (maybe half). Of course, these being Styx songs, some of it fails too. And, these being Styx songs, watching them fail is half the fun. Rating: Three-and-a-half grand allusions out of five.

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