Find Your Own Way Home (2007)

1. Smilin' in the End 2. Find Your Own Way Home 3. I Needed to Fall 4. Dangerous Combination 5. Lost of the Road of Love 6. Another Lifetime 7. Run Away Baby 8. Everything You Feel 9. Born to Love You 10.Let My Love Find You


This was the first album of new REO songs in over a decade, and only their second in the last twenty years. The fact that they had such a tenured background before their breakthrough album in 1980, Hi Infidelity, meant that they could survive an awful long time after that by being a "retro" band, even though they never came close to the success of that album again. So new albums obviously weren't really necessary, and as bands in this same genre found out, weren't exactly financially lucrative. Bands and their labels soon found out that it was always more financially desirable to release and re-release compilations and hit packages ad nauseum.

Plus, the changing times dictated ridiculous contracts that would only allow certain retailers to carry new releases of product, usually Wal-Mart or Best Buy (this one was done with the former) which meant that a lot of fans were alienated, but again, it seemed to all be about the money these days.

Fortunately, in the midst of all this, the guys managed to put out a pretty decent album. It's not great, but it delivers where it's supposed to and had more positives than negatives. As they've shown of late, the current incarnation of this band is more inclined to sound more like the band of the mid to late seventies than the early eighties, but this particular record's sound probably resonates better with most people and seems to age a lot better. As with most latter day REO releases, this one seems to be mostly Kevin Cronin, with the other guys not as visible musically. They've had the same lineup now for about 15 years, but since they've had few new music during this time, it's still a bit of a shock to hear how "different" these guys appear to sound from the "classic member" lineup.

The music here is very light-hearted. They never exactly rock too hard, but these guys never really did to begin with, despite their heavily hedonistic reputation of the past. There are a few times when the beat is fast, and the guitars are heavy (most notably Smilin' in the End and Dangerous Combination), but like most of their latter material, they seem to be mostly successful in the "ballad" department. There are several of them here, the strongest being the title track and the stellar I Needed to Fall. Everything else falls somewhat in between. As usual, Bruce Hall manages to add one killer track, the very nostalgic Born to Love You which manages to sound nothing like anything he's ever done, but still delivers in a strong way. It's really a shame we never heard more compositions from this guy throughout this band's career.

All of the songs are pleasant, with none being particularly memorable, In other words, if these guys are still around ten years in the future, don't really expect to hear much from this record at a concert or anything.

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