Review originally posted on http://www.myspace.com/disc_connected on July 1, 2007
Dennis DeYoung chose to open his latest album with a song reminiscent of his love of the stage. Why the French lyrics? Well, it is a Canadian-only release (so far). I did wonder as the first track spun whether this was what the whole album was going to be like.
Don't get me wrong-any release from Dennis is a call for celebration in my book, especially one of all-new material for the first time in almost twenty years (not counting his Broadway tunes disc or the soundtrack to his musical rendition of "Hunchback Of Notre Dame." Twenty years. That would make him about sixty. Which means I'm starting to push fif-let's not even go there! The point being, Dennis DeYoung has always had one of my favorite voices in rock.
It is a more mature DeYoung at work here. And from where I'm standing (well, sitting actually-I'm at my computer typing), Dennis' strong suit has always been his ballads. I think it is a special feat to have been in the rock world since the late sixties and still be married to, let alone deeply in love with, the same woman. Dennis certainly wears his heart on his sleeve for Suzanne, and it's a good thing for us, his fans, as that love has been the inspiration for some pretty great songs.
This album does not fail to deliver a couple of heartfelt ballads in "Breathe Again" and "I Believe In You."
The disc does manage to rock a little as well (check out "This Time Next Year" and "Turn Off CNN"), and there is not a weak song on the album. Fan's of Dennis' distinct voice and songwriting style will not be disappointed. Styx fans should not expect another "Grand Illusion," and will want to give the disc a few spins before passing a verdict. The Canadian import is available at Dennis' site (http://www.dennisdeyoung.com) and at NEH Records, a great mail order site (www.nehrecords.com). Dennis' site says that an American edition will be available in the fall (sans the French lyrics) but I couldn't wait. Neither should you.