REO Speedwagon – Find Your Own Way Home
By Barbara Fara
Before we even start the CD review, we just wanted to let you know that all songs were produced by Joe Vannelli and Kevin Cronin, who did a beautiful job. So let’s take a look at the tracks.
Smiling In The End – This is a tribute to every young band that is trying to make it big in the industry. From REO’s point of view, even if you grew up in a family with 6 kids or as an only child, there will be someone out there to discourage you from your dreams. When people tell you that you have no talent, but you know in your heart that you do, the best thing you can do is walk away from your critics and believe in yourself. Music is music; this is a tribute to anyone who needs to learn to find believe in yourself above everything else.
Find Your Own Way Home – I am not going to assume this is Kevin Cronin talking here, even though he wrote the lyrics. Let’s say a man is in a relationship, and the one person he trusts breaks his heart after he caught them with another person. Even though he is willing to forgive them and give it another chance, his heart is breaking and dripping from the pain, but he is willing to let it go, but the person keeps dragging the painful affair on. The person is torn as to whether or not to leave like they want to do, or forgive and forget. I personally wouldn’t forgive and would walk away - she sounds like a bitch.
I Needed To Fall – This could be about any musician or any joe blow. Let’s say it’s up there as a ranking musician or a massive CEO or a person involved with mergers and acquisions – and yes, I am taking this analogy from American Psycho, which is a great movie for stress management. When you finally have that mental breakdown, even if you are not admitted in a psych ward, but still you know you hit rock bottom. The song is for someone to give to their loved ones to explain why they have broken down and why they have cracked and they need you in their lives. Everyone should always get a second chance, no matter what. If you were in a relationship and it was as stressed as it is in the words of this song, and your partner would give this song to you, you would finally understand enough to give him that second chance.
Dangerous Combination – You are a girl at a bar or club. Local bands are playing, you’re having a good time with your friends and you go up to the bar and order a black tooth grin. Now minions, ask me what a black tooth grin is. It is the famous drink of Dimebag Darryl Abbott, which consists of one shot of Jager, one of crown and a shot of coke (-a-cola, not cocaine. Ahem.) So you order your drinks and you’re having a great time – a girl’s night out on the town. And then he comes up, Mr. Rebound. I do not know if Kevin went through a bad break up recently but I send them my regards – I’ve been there and I know their pain. But guys – you wrote the best rebound song that would be playing in any jukebox anywhere and some sweet innocent guy would understand this and pick up a hot girl and use this song to cry on her shoulder. Rebounds suck, you always end up hurting the person you picked up, so what they are telling you is have a good time but don’t just pick up anybody. Rebound relationships are a no-no. If I had just gotten out of a relationship, you have to give it time, and if I met anyone new, you cook it slow like a stew. Building a relationship is like building a stew. You need trust, communication and honesty. If you don’t have all these elements, your stew will burn. No matter how much it hurts, give yourself at least 6 months to recover and just have some fun.
Lost On The Road Of Love – The song itself is very bluesy with a little funk – so you figure that the music behind the words and actually on the entire album is fantastic. Whoever they are writing about has clearly just come out of a bad relationship or divorce. It remind me of the great Robbie Johnson at the crossroads with the devil trying to find his true love; but the devil makes promises that never come through (maybe because he was wise and never sold his soul to the devil). This character wanted hard proof that the devil could actually find him true love before he signed the contract. But all the devil did was fuck with his head. The only thing that this person wants is to find someone who loves and accepts them as they are. If you can’t find someone like that – fuck them. Have you ever heard love at first site? You will know when they walk into your life. To quote the great Steve Winwood – “Bring Me a Higher Love” and that only happens when you are willing to live your life as it is and have no expectations – opening the doors of perception and watch them walk right through the door. You will know. For example, my brother Robert, who I love dearly, when he was in high school, he loved his second wife that he is married to now – but he was scared to ask her out. My brother’s first marriage ended amicably and he was sitting in a bar having a beer and who walks in the door but the girl from high school that he always loved and never asked out – and now they are still happily married to this day. This is why I say - romance comes to you, just relax and let it walk through your doors of perception.
Another Lifetime – This song was written by all the band members. Now, you hear the lyrics and your heart just breaks, it makes you think of the song “Can’t Fight This Feeling” – that’s how beautiful it is. Let me put it to you in younger words, because you are probably too young to remember that song. This is about a person trying to save their relationship. I don’t care if you are a musician, a long haul trucker, or a farmer - people make mistakes. And if this person can forgive you all the time, why can’t you do the same? Don’t you think that this person has you on their mind all the time and you know it’s breaking their heart and the separation is killing both of you. This song could save any relationship, because it’s honest and shows how that person feels inside about the relationship. If you are a musician’s partner and you are on the road many months out of the year, go out on the road with them, experience it, and see how they live. Go on those long hauls if you are a trucker’s partner. Give their life a chance before you flush it down the sea of broken hearts.
Run Away Baby – I love the beginning of the guitar playing – it reminds me of the late great Stevie Ray Vaughn, and I normally NEVER compare anyone to him. So whoever played that, they had to be influenced by Stevie Ray. Now, this is for all you people planning your wedding. That is an excellent song for a first dance between newlyweds. This should have been the first release. It’s happy and cheerful and no one’s heart is breaking. This would be a great wedding song.
Everything You Feel – Again, written by Kevin. In a nutshell, Kevin is telling you it could be anybody, any relationship but out of that relationship, every 5 minutes there is a child or partner being abused. And this could be happening from childhood on like he states in the song. There is this old saying, if you keep one foot in yesterday, and one foot in tomorrow, you will piss today away. But as you are looking at the abuse victims some can let it go and some can’t. So Kevin is telling you that you’ve got to deal with the issues at hand and deal with them now before you burn yourself out. No answers are ever found in the bottle or through drugs. There are 800 numbers for all types of victims of abuse. So if you are living in your hometown and you know you neighbor is being abused and no one is talking about it - have the balls to call 911 and report the person abusing them. It has to stop. No one is judging you, realize help is out there.
Born To Love You – If you remember early REO, they had a hit called ‘Heard It From A Friend’, it’s a sad song, it’s an honest song, because he heard it from a friend who….you know the song. When you look at this song, this is like his heart was crushed in the past when somebody hurt him, but this time, he has found his soul mate and there is no way he is going to give her up and this is how life should be. No matter how many problems a relationship has - bills, messy house, it just seems like everything is falling apart in front of you. But the one thing that keeps that relationship going is that love keeps you bound together and that you go to bed together each night and you wake up happy because you are with the person you were born to love. PS – When you are in a relationship, I don’t care how bad you fight; NEVER go to bed angry without telling each other that you love one another. Even if you are lying. This way while lying in bed pissed off, just say to yourself, I’ll finish this one tomorrow motherfucker.
Let My Love Find You –This is the song of the year - it is nothing but pure love and honesty about how one person feels for that one main partner in their life that they want to spend the rest of their lives with. And if you are in love and want to get married and don’t know how to express your feelings - this is the song for you.