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Articles Home » 2007 Articles » REO Speedwagon - 2007 Find Your Own Way Home
 
REO Speedwagon - 2007 Find Your Own Way Home



ARTIST: REO Speedwagon
ALBUM: Find Your Own Way Home
LABEL: Speedwagon Recordings
SERIAL: 3500
YEAR: 2007

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Kevin Cronin - vocals, guitars * Dave Amato - lead guitars * Bruce Hall - bass * Neal Doughty - keyboards * Bryan Hitt - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Smilin' In The End * 02 Find Your Own Way Home * 03 I Needed To Fall * 04 Dangerous Combination * 05 Lost On The Road To Love * 06 Another Lifetime * 07 Run Away Baby * 08 Everything You Feel * 09 Born To Love You * 10 Let My Love Find You

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.speedwagon.com


Background
2007 sees a few changes in the REO Speedwagon camp. The band are no longer signed to a label, they've gone it alone and good on them. Is keys man Neal Doughty part of the band or not? He didn't contribute a great deal to the album, producer Joe Vanelli pitched in where necessary. My guess is that Neal is still part of the picture - participating on the upcoming live dates during 2007. This is a band that have seen massive musical highs and some appalling abysmal lows. What is known, is that REO have a strong fan base, and enough pulling power to sell their material independently. The songwriting skills of Cronin and sidekick Amato are apparent as ever on this latest album. According to interviews, blogs and fan sites, you'd be thinking that REO have completely upped and changed their sound.. potentially isolating their audience. From my observation, this is hardly the case. In 2007, REO are alive and musically healthy. For any band to survive in this genre they have to have the songs, and on 'Find Your Own Way Home' - the proof is in the pudding. Let's hope these tunes can stack up in the live environment, because let's face it - these boys are not getting any younger.


The Songs
The eventual songlist settled on by the band is a great representation of their 2007 sound. It blasts off with three smokin' tunes: 'Smilin' In The End' a high energy rocker with definite attitude, 'Find Your Own Way Home' which must be the signature REO tune on this album, reminiscent of recent efforts by Survivor and Pride Of Lions but without their distinctive vocals. Rounding out the three is the sublime ballad 'I Needed To Fall'. The trademark Cronin vocal is picture perfect. Elsewhere, 'Dangerous Combination' dabbles in a hybrid West Coast/new Country mode, somewhere between King Of Hearts and Frazier River, 'Lost On The Road Of Love' could best be described as 'bayou music', and not a good example thereof unfortunately. back to the 80's trademark sound is 'Another Lifetime', but the change-up moment on the album is the unusual 'Run Away Baby'. Sort of a rockabilly sound that a band like the Stray Cats and Brian Setzer could turn on a dial. It might sound strange, but it's not too bad actually. 'Everything You Feel' is another cool tune, no problem here, though the arrangement is less of the feel-good attributes heard previously. Bassist Bruce Hall sings the lead on 'Born To Love You'. It gets a little too R&B and earthy for my liking. Much more to my liking is the acoustic ballad 'Let My Love Find You', a tune you could imagine a band like Restless Heart performing with grace. I can just see the video for a song like this; the long never ending country road with a couple of good ol' country boys singing the harmony vocals in the background. You get the picture? Good..


In Summary
Initially, the new album was carried by Walmart, as a three CD offering. The new album, an enhanced version of their 1980/1981 hit album 'Hi Infidelity', plus a DVD featuring some live video footage. To launch their new CD, the band performed at a few Walmart car parks during April 2007; in Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Personally, I think the new album is strong enough to carry itself on its own. Kept in context, REO have followed a path that timeless Aussie rockers LRB have recently taken. Going it alone as a band without a label (thats not a bad thing.. believe me!), and plying a musical road that is earthy, midwest, and southern all in the same breath. The production is smooth, the melodies are flowing, and the tunes are all worthy of playing time in your music player of choice! A fun listen, and for those of you who enjoy a variety of artists in this genre, then you'll enjoy this one too. I give it an 8 and a half!


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Comments
#1 | Eric on June 10 2007 13:26:22
I have mixed feelings on this disc. I can appreciate the band moving into different directions. The comparisons to Restless Heart etc. are dead on, and if you go back and listen to stuff like 'Time For Me To Fly' it's certain that 'New Country' owes much to REO.

My problem is over the years I have had too much REO to care. My listening history starting with the 'Cow' album in '76. In 2007 it's nice to see a true Midwestern rock band still kickin' it around, but do I really need 'em? hmm!
#2 | gdazegod on June 11 2007 01:54:54
Yes Eric, You are probably a bit too close to the action with this band. In saying that though, this is a very professional 'big-label' sounding, and packaged product. I am all for independent/self released acts going it alone. In that regard, I give REO a double thumbs up.. Thumbs UpThumbs Up. They are paving a way forward into the future.. a future without record labels! Annoy
 
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