Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A Good Pop Album
Mallory Seaback | Ridgefield, WA USA | 10/05/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I found Tommy's second post-Styx effort to be much like his first, "GIRLS WITH GUNS." It is chock full of good popular tunes with a middle-of-the-road feel. "Reach for the Bottle" is my favorite cut; its message is powerful. This CD is a must for serious Tommy Shaw collectors, but not for you if you're expecting folk music or hard driving rock."
Excellent Solo Effort
Music Fanatic | Muncie, IN | 06/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Every song on this CD is sing-along worthy. Very enjoyable. I don't understand the low reviews. Not fair in my opinion. Definitely worth having."
A MASTERY of great music
J. HARMON | Houston, Texas | 06/22/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am stunned to realize that I do not have a review on AMAZON.com of my favorite album by my favorite artist.
This album is truly a fabulous work of art filled with everything that makes music wonderful. Tommy bares his soul (and all of the lust, anger, sadness and pain within) carrying with him, the listeners on his roller coaster ride.
As Tommy has mentioned before, most of his songs are at least loosely autobiographical. One needs only to listen to WHAT IF to understand the emotional struggles and the high times which Tommy is embroiled during this period of his life. Of course, Tommy spends much of 1985 longing to reform STYX and aching over the marital turmoil with his then wife, Pamela (featured on the album cover with Mr. Shaw.) This explains the blues tinges found throughout this record... starting with the opening cut.
REACH FOR THE BOTTLE is one of the finest blues based rockers ever, dealing with the confusion and torment of despondency and alcoholism. The agonizing rhythm of the song, the dire vocals and the anthemic yells all tell the tale of Tommy's "bohemian side" that he acknowledged he wanted to reveal in STYX but never did.
WHAT IF is a clever turn of pondering the questions and existance of life and living. About whom he could be singing is anyone's guess and Tommy's secret. This song could be as much about himself as it could be about Dennis DeYoung or about Pamela Shoemaker. As much or more so, this song could be about you and me.
JEALOUSY rocks harder and with more turbulence than just about any song by DAMN YANKEES. Richia Canata does some fabulous work throughout this album but none better than his solo on this track. The title says it all... someone is being unfaithful. "I'm a man and I know men, so don't you ask me to pretend. I'm all for liberation. And I'm all for being fare. And I'll always do what it takes to show how much I care. But if you push me too far, get my back against the wall, it's no big surprise to you, there's a limit after all... jealousy."
THIS IS NOT A TEST is a phonic battlecry against the hawk-ish behavior of nationalism, particularly relating to the constant Cold War threat of nuclear warfare. Though the song is dense in 1980's layering, it is still a fabulous song for the justification of peace.
COUNT ON YOU. Many have derided this song, particularly as the capabilities of compact discs reveal the flaws in the multi-take lead vocal. However, this song proves unequivocally that Tommy Roland Shaw could write, arrange and release a ballad far more beautiful, spiritual and meaningful than his former co-lead singer from STYX ever could release. Achingly, hauntingly beautiful... a classic song of love and commitment.
NATURE OF THE BEAST. This song echoes out with much of the same eloquence and spirit as MAN IN THE WILDERNESS and LOVE IN THE MIDNIGHT. Tommy reveals true spirit and wonderment within this brilliant song. Though hardly one of my favorite songs of Tommy's, amazingly enough this may be one of the finest songs he has ever recorded... and for me, there are many amazing and wonderful songs by Mr. Shaw.
BAD TIMES - When Jim Corboy remarked that Tommy wasn't burning "the candle at both ends, he threw it in the fire" he need not look any further for corroboration than this song. "Let's get naked, take a dip. I'll be the submarine, you be the ship. We need a vacation, we need some sun. We've been working too hard to please everyone."
Don't let your "bad times chase you away." Buy this amazing album. An album filled with varied styles and sounds and yet almost never (FRIENDLY ADVICE being the fun exception) strays from the rollicking sound and insightful structure of the music of Tommy Shaw (STYX, DAMN YANKEES and SHAW BLADES).
This is my favorite album by my favorite artists in the entire musical world... Tommy Shaw.