Building the Bridge

Artist: REO Speedwagon
Listenability Scale: 75%
Released by: Castle Records
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Hell, if every other band in the world can return to the music scene and release a new CD, why not REO Speedwagon. Building the Bridge is the new CD and a trip across America with Foreigner and Peter Frampton is the tour. And for the band that put out one of the only record albums I wore to the point I had to buy a new one (remember Hi Infidelity – the record that got me and countless millions through school), Building the Bridge brings a maturity level to its fans of old – and its fans of new.

I’ll be honest, I don’t see this CD getting millions of new grade and high schoolers through the teen years, but it is your, for no better way to put it, standard adult contemporary showing that growing older may not be easy, but it can be fun.

Building the Bridge is a good mix of love songs (“Then I Met You,” “One True Man”), and fun songs (“Can’t Stop Rockin’,” “The Ballad of the Illinois Opry”), and mixes the traditional REO sound (like Kevin Cronin can be anything but the traditional REO sound) with more mature lyrics (“Father to son, husband to wife, brother to brother, black man to white. Living together, falling apart, looking for common ground in every human heart…” from the title track). I wouldn’t call it groundbreaking in those silly artistic senses, but it’s a good CD.

I can read the reviews from your typical rock/music critics now: “REO Speedwagon makes an unwelcome return to both CD’s and a tour,”; “The band should have just rested on the royalties of the past”; “Another band wastes our time by staging a comeback.” But, you all know that I am not your typical critic. Maybe slanted, I loved REO Speedwagon growing up, even loved them on the festival tour I saw in Crestwood, Illinois a few years back, and if you liked REO before and have grown up a little – you’ll probably like Building the Bridge and you’ll probably like the tour. And, even if you haven’t grown up, and didn’t like REO Speedwagon before, they’ve changed enough with an adult contemporary sound that you just might like them now.

All in all, Building the Bridge gets a 75% on the listenability scale. Give it a listen and maybe you’ll say REO’s return isn’t so unwelcome after all!

That’s it for this one, I’m The Dude on the Right. L8R!