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RECORD RACK

On The Wagon

March 01, 1987|STEVE HOCHMAN

"LIFE AS WE KNOW IT." REO Speedwagon. Epic. There are a few surprises on the 14th album from a band whose musical predictability is generally exceeded only by its popularity. Kevin Cronin and company sound as if they really want to rock, so they dispense with the overblown but undernourished music and lyrics that normally clutter their brand of arena-rock. But as good as the intentions may be, REO is still playing things quite safe. Though the snappy tempo of the first cut, "New Way to Love," hardly lets up over the course of ten songs, a plebean, sort of Huey Lewis-ish tone is as far as things get. It sounds like the band is sincerely interested in doing things differently, but not if it means taking any chances.

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