Headphone Meditations: “It’s not___ without___.”

So, I was going to write a nice album review but something else has been spinning around in my cranium as of late that I thought would be interesting to present to you. I’ll get to a review later. In the mean time, let me share with you, my thoughts.

On numerous occasions I’ve read and heard people say, “It’s not (insert band name here) without (insert band member name here). Here are some of the more popular phrases…

“It’s not Black Sabbath without Ozzy”.
“It’s not Black Sabbath without Bill Ward”.
“It’s not Fates Warning without John Arch”.
And my favorite, “No Dennis De Young, no Styx”.

The list can go on and on depending on what you listen to, mainly because, with a few exceptions, almost every band in the history of music has made line up changes. This is normal. And yes, with new members comes a new sound. Just look at Fates Warning and Styx for example. Both bands have only one original member left. But that doesn’t mean it’s not good music. Bands change and evolve like everything else on this little planet. Why would I want to listen to an album that sounds just like the ones before it anyway? I mean, I can listen to Awaken The Guardian anytime I want to.

It seems to me that if someone is bitching and complaining that Dennis is no longer in Styx and that they’re just not Styx anymore, has never been a Styx fan to begin with. They are and always have been, a Dennis fan. And keep in mind that had Dennis stayed in Styx, the next record probably would have consisted of “Music Time” and several songs from “Desert Moon”. (My eyes are rolling)

So before you start crying about your fav band member not being in the band anymore, listen to the new album for what it is, not what you wanted it to be. You just may enjoy it. Expectations are usually a setup for a letdown.



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