REO Speedwagon

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Most people who were alive in the late '70s and early '80s look back on the era's music and fashions with a strange mixture of fondness and embarassment. After all, the aftermath of disco culture sure felt good at the time, but in retrospect had more cheese than a Velveeta cook-off. That said, anyone who listened to Top 40 radio in those days can't help but smile at this retro flashback, which captures one of the era's sappiest feel-good rock bands (second only to Air Supply) live on yet another reunion tour. Unlike other bands milking the nostalgia curcuit, at least REO Speedwagon still has virtually the same lineup (with the exception of drummer Alan Gratzer, who was replaced in 1990 by Bryan Hitt), and is still attacking the same pop/rock blend with the energy of kids half the band members' age. But while up-tempo numbers like the opening "Don't Let Him Go" still pack a mild arena-ready punch, touchy-feely country-pop hits like "Take It on the Run," "I Can't Fight This Feeling," and "Keep on Loving You" have not aged well, making this 13-song CD recommended only for die-hard fans who can still sing along to every word.

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