(The Guide, 12/12)
• REO Speedwagon, “Not So Silent Night”: It’s hard to imagine what is the intended audience for REO Speedwagon’s “Not So Silent Night,” the ’80s soft-rock hitmakers’ attempt to throw yet another gloss of “contemporary” paint on seasonal classics that are already dying of lead poisoning. Do you load the cheddary “Deck The Halls” (with its “Hey, Dad, Santa is downstairs!” intro banter) into your Shuffle along with “Time for Me to Fly?” Or do you slip these songs into the Christmas dinner playlist, only to have Grandma rocketed from her seat by the furious gospel of “Happy Xmas (War is Over),” a decidedly red-state repurposing of the Lennon classic? And can even die-hard Speed Freaks explain the use of auto-tuning and the phrase “funky gentlemen” on the track “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen?” If, for some untold reason, you are an REO Speedwagon completist, they got you good.
I have a copy of this album if you want it. You don’t want it, and I won’t give it to you. Not even a shred of salvageable irony here, kids. Trust me.
Oh, wait, I just got it: NOT so silent. Because of the rocking.