Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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REO Speedwagon

  • Hi Infidelity [Epic, 1980] B-
  • The Hits [Epic, 1988] C

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Hi Infidelity [Epic, 1980]
I'm not saying they deserve the biggest seller of their crummy era. But however meaningless the results, they do know something about the hook and the readymade. My favorite is "Tough Guys," which will never go top forty because it features this Inspirational Verse: "They think they're full of fire/She thinks they're full of shit." B-

The Hits [Epic, 1988]
Let history record that they got better--pioneers of AOR schlock-rock schlock-pop, they were honoring Fleetwood Mac and the Doobie Brothers by the time of Hi Infidelity. Let history also record that they then got worse. C

Further Notes:

Distinctions Not Cost-Effective [1970s]: When the banality achieves a certain density, I thought, velocity no longer matters. Then they began to score hit ballads.

Everything Rocks and Nothing Ever Dies [1990s]