Styx – Crystal Ball (Album Review)

Ladies and gentlemen!
Welcome to PLA Addiction! I’m Jex Russell,
I’m only the co-host. Please welcome the host, the most:
PLA! Welcome everybody to this extravaganza show! Today we will be talking about:
STYX! Yes sir! PLA: Crystal Ball.
Jex: That’s right. It’s the PLA & Jex Spectacular Review. PLA: Of Crystal Ball.
Jex: That’s right. Alright, so yeah, let’s start by talking about when we discovered Styx. Actually, I think you’re the same, we grew up with Styx. I actually can’t remember when I heard it first, but we both listened to “Mr. Roboto”, so many times. That was the beginning of Styx for me.
My dad had it on a mixed tape… …used to listen to it a whole lot, thought it was a great song. First *Kiss* record I ever picked up… It’s a little loud.
(laughs) First *Kiss* record I ever picked up was “Kilroy Was Here”… …because of “Mr. Roboto”.
-Exactly! And then eventually I started looking more into the band and picked up other albums. But this one here specifically, we have a story about it, which I’ll let you have the honors. For sure! So this one time, back in 2009, I was on I-Tunes… And at the time, they had, like, a “Recommended” section for music. -Jex: Yeah.
PLA: So, I had some of my music, and they were like: “Oh, you like this? Well you might like “Styx: Crystal Ball”. So I was like “Okay, I’m gonna listen to it.”
So I press Play, I’m like: “Okay, it’s pretty good, it’s pretty good.” Then I hear: THE CHORUS!
(Jex laughs) And I’m like: “HOLY MOLY! THIS IS SO GOOD!” By the way, I only knew Jex for a couple of months at that time. -Like, we were new buds then!
-Brand new, brand spanking new! So I was like “Holy, Jex! You gotta stop everything that you’re doing…” “…and you gotta listen to that song: it’s called ‘Crystal Ball’ from Styx” Yeah, I’m gonna take over and tell my side.
-Exactly. So I’m walking home that night… I was taking a walk, whatever, and I’m heading home, and I get a text from PLA, and that’s exactly what he’s saying: “Stop everything you’re doing! You gotta check out this song! It’s gonna change your life!” Something like that. He was very enthusiastic. So I’m like “Okay.”, I was looking forward to it. Thankfully, I was almost home. So I get home, first thing I do: I go to my computer, Youtube… Styx… Crystal Ball… Comes on. And… So, the song goes like this: “I used to like to walk the straight and narrow line”… Yes, but I was expecting: (Imitates fast-paced rock style) Yeah, so I’m like “What is this mellow, ballad thing you’re sending me?” But I thought it was an okay song, so I think that’s what I texted you. I didn’t want to sound like, like a jerk, so I was like:
“Oh yeah, it’s pretty good.” But, you know, my hypes (laughs), my hypes! My HOPES were up high, because he hyped it up so much! I thought “Man, what’s the big deal?”.
Anyway, fast-forward to 5-6 months later… I’m at a local pawn shop in our hometown, well my hometown: Bathurst, New-Brunswick… And I find this… “Styx: Crystal Ball” CASSETTE! It didn’t have the cover or anything so it was only 25 cents. So I thought of you right away, I’m like “Oh, I gotta pick this up.” Inside joke, you know. PLA: Yeah, as a gag. (Laughs) So I picked it up, showed it to him, had a good laugh.
Eventually, I go home… I’m gonna pop it in. What do I have to lose? Pop it in, first song comes on: “Put Me On”, which is… PLA: The song that’s playing right now.
Jex: That’s right. And that one just melted my face off, you know, not literally, but uh… I was just like “What is this? This is awesome!”. And then “Mademoiselle”, “Jennifer”, “Crystal Ba–“… -“Crystal Ball”, I grew a liking to it with time.
-Yeah. And then, yeah, all the songs on here are pretty good.
The album, I liked it more and more with every listening. And it’s thanks to this guy. Oh yeah, for sure. So, by the way, this album is when one of the guitarists, he started there… You’re probably gonna find his name… Tommy Shaw, is it?
Jex: Tommy Shaw, yeah. First album with Tommy Shaw on guitar and vocals. Yeah, for sure, and he created the song “Crystal Ball”… So I guess they created maybe a new vibe of Styx there? It was definitely, yeah, it was a turning point for the band. They changed their sound… I, myself, personally, I’m more familiar with the Tommy Shaw years, not so much the early years. I’m a big fan of the earlier years. “Best Thing” from their first album, “The Serpent is Rising”, stuff like that. You still have to, you have to show me that stuff. I never checked out the early Styx. Yeah. By the way, I own almost every album of Styx.
-Yeah. Yeah. I’m missing “Serpent is Rising” and “The Man of Miracles”… They’re harder to find around this area, I don’t know why.
-They don’t come up a lot. Yeah, they are hard to find. Alright, anything else? I think that’s, I think we covered it. Yeah, the album is good, nothing else to tell, I guess. No no, that’s pretty much it. We had this idea. We wanted to start making reviews of, you know, albums we both love, albums we both have… Because we’re usually just doing updates, stuff like that. But we thought it would be cool to actually review, talk to you about albums and… I love the story behind that one:
“Stop everything you’re doing!” It was the best! And we do have stories for other albums too, so you’ll have to stay tuned for those. So, hopefully you guys like this, let us know your thoughts: Comment BELOW! And we’ll keep doing these if you want us to. -PLA:Yeah. Have a good one!
-ALRIGHT! -PLA: See you later.
-Jex: PEACE OUT! Nailed it! Welcome everybody to this extravaganza show!
Today, we will be talking about: STYX! -YES SIR!
-Where’s my copy? (Both laugh) Here it is. Oh man! What you gonna do? -Alright, you start. It’s your show!
-Alright, sure! Let me take the music down first. I’M FULL OF COFFEE!!!!! What you talkin’ about, Willis?

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