REO Speedwagon may prepare listeners for a dose of noisy rock & roll on the title of Not So Silent Night, their first-ever Christmas album, but the 13-track seasonal record isn't all that loud. The group turns the nominal title track into a power ballad, treats "Winter Wonderland" as a boogie, recasts "Deck the Halls" as a deeply silly rocker, Spectorizes "Little Drummer Boy," tears it up on "Children Go Where I Send Thee," and reworks "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen" into a weird piece of prog (complete with Kevin Cronin calling out "oh you funky gentlemen" during a breakdown), but there's an amiable politeness to the performances, so it never sounds too raucous. It does, however, sound like REO Speedwagon, so anybody looking for classic carols, both traditional and contemporary, given a full-on arena rock treatment should be satisfied with this cheerful little LP.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine