The first Styx album I heard was the one preceding this, 'Pieces Of Eight', a great and varied rock album, and still my favourite by this band. 'Cornerstone', by comparison, disappointed me. Not surprisingly, they share similar production values, but not quality of material. Empty, forgettable love songs, mainly the responsibility of Dennis DeYoung, are to blame. 'Babe', despite its tackiness, I can forgive because it's so memorable, but not the others. The band's true rocker, James Young, has just one song, the raucous 'Eddie', which stands out as a result. Tommy Shaw seems to have one foot in both camps, co-writing the passable 'Lights' and 'Borrowed Time' with DeYoung, while contributing the above average 'Love In The Midnight' himself. He's also behind 'Boat On The River', the only song besides 'Eddie' that doesn't conform to the general style of the album. Mandolin, accordion and a very un-rock rhythm make for a brave effort which no doubt divides the band's fans, but I prefer that to some of the slush elsewhere on the disc. Overall, 'Cornerstone' is just about OK, but in relative terms it's one of Styx's career blips.