Styx‘s 17th studio album, Crash of the Crown, hits stores today.
A follow-up to the band’s 2017 concept album, The Mission, Crash of the Crown is a 15-song collection that finds the veteran rockers looking at current upheaval in the world while expressing hope for the future.
Styx frontman Tommy Shaw tells ABC Audio that staying positivite in the face of adversity is “an attitude [that] has always been reflected in Styx music.”
He explains, “It’s kind of an old-fashioned gospel way of…doing music, where it’s ‘things may be dark today, but brother, tomorrow’s gonna be OK.'”
Most of Crash of the Crown‘s songs were co-written by Shaw and his frequent collaborator Will Evankovich, who also produced the album. But Tommy stresses that the album was a true group effort.
“We’re all huge fans of each other,” he declares. “[A]s a writer…it’s just a joy knowing that you have all these great instrumentalists and singers.”
One of the album’s standout songs is the title track, which features three distinct parts sung by three different Styx members — guitarist James “JY” Young, Shaw and keyboardist Lawrence Gowan.
“It’s just little pieces of things,” Shaw points out, “an old piece, [a] new piece, a piece we made to connect the pieces together.”
Another interesting track is “Our Wonderful Lives,” an upbeat singalong featuring Tommy playing banjo, quite a departure for the prog-influenced group.
Shaw says while looking to add a part to complete the track, he noticed a banjo in his studio and thought, “‘[L]et’s see if we can put it in without it ruining the song’…So, I just put [a] little thing in there and played it back. It was like, ‘Not bad.'”
Here’s Crash of the Crown‘s full track list:
“The Fight of Our Lives”
“Hold Back the Darkness”
“Save Us from Ourselves”
“Crash of the Crown”
“Our Wonderful Lives”
“Sound the Alarm”
“Long Live the King”
“Lost at Sea”
“Coming Out the Other Side”
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.