Well, well, well — the day has finally come to shoot some fish in a barrel. Although Jason has since admitted on Twitter that he found some enjoyment in “The First Noel” and “Blue Christmas,” there will be no happiness in today’s chat. You will soon see why. TWICE.

REO Speedwagon — Deck the Halls (download)

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Jason: What the hell??

Jeff: Ha ha ha ha ha! Kevin Cronin has ZERO shame. NONE.

Jason: Wow, that’s some weak-ass clapping from the kids. “Yay!” they said half-heartedly.

Jeff: It was probably at the end of an REO show.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Oh no. I think the kids talking was the best part.

Jeff: Hey, baby! The halls are lookin’ a little bit empty!

Jason: Kevin Cronin, I hate you. Does he bully the rest of REO Speedwagon into doing whatever he wants?

Jeff: What strikes me about this whole album is that REO actually sounds pretty decent, and the arrangements aren’t awful. But Kevin Cronin is never anything short of annoying as hell.

Jason: Oh crap, that “Fa la la la la” part is BULLSHIT.

Jeff: “Come on, boys! Let’s DECK the halls!”

Jason: “Shut up, Kevin!”

Jeff: Why hasn’t he been extradited to Vegas yet? This is a really persuasive argument for taking songs out of the public domain.

Jason: You know, I hate to say this, but I could totally see Brian May guesting on this album. This is like the lame album Queen + Paul Rodgers put out a couple of years ago.

Jeff: But Paul Rodgers is Springsteen compared to Kevin Cronin.
We’re gonna DECK the halls! Oh whoa whoa whoa! It’s the season to be jolly, baby! Wipe those tears outta yo’ eyes!

Jason: What is this crap?

Jeff: That’s Kevin Cronin attempting to channel the spirit of Ray Charles. And the spirit of Ray Charles attempting to take a shit in Kevin Cronin’s brain.

Jason: And wait a minute — it FADES OUT? Why would you fade out a song like this?

Jeff: I’m guessing someone in the band started screaming midway through the next bar.

Jason: Yes! That’s why! Cronin kept ad-libbing and the drummer walked out! And the producer was like, “Well, we certainly can’t have the words ‘fuck this shit!’ on our Christmas record, so I guess we’re fading out.”

Jeff: Or threw one of his sticks at Cronin’s bleached Play-Doh head.

Jason: That’s what they should have called the album. Fuck This Shit: An REO Christmas.

Jeff: We Give Up: Kevin Cronin featuring REO Speedwagon in a Holiday Nightmare.

Jason: Ha!

Jeff: Just wait until he talks the band into doing an Easter album.

Jason: They could do every holiday!

Jeff: “Hey, Dad! We want to go outside and hunt for eggs!” “Oh, jeepers! Did the Easter Bunny show up?”

Jason: Fuck This Shit: An REO Ramadan.

Jeff: Holy war! That would bring about Armageddon, I’m pretty sure. And that, if I remember my Bible correctly, would make Kevin Cronin the Antichrist. Which makes total sense.

Jason: Fuck This Shit: An REO Purim.

Jeff: Ha ha ha ha ha!

Jason: “Chag Sameach, baby!” “Wipe that Manischewitz off of your mouth!”

Jeff: “I had a dreidel, baby! Whoo! You know I made it out of clay!”

Jason: Yes! REO Speedwagon should just change their name to FTS Speedwagon. Every song would end with the drummer yelling “Fuck this shit!” and storming out.

Jeff: As you are aware, I reviewed this album. I gave the record one star. And I compared Kevin Cronin to a hairless kitten.

Jason: I remember! That was awesome!

Jeff: And I was promptly taken to task by a small army of passionate REO fans.

Jason: Well, of course.

Jeff: They didn’t get as angry as the Dan Fogelberg fan who told me I should slit my own throat the other day, but it was close.

Jason: I thought that guy had a point.

Jeff: gasp

Jason: No! I’m just kidding! Although if you were to die, dibs on your wife. Just saying. Someone else can take the kids, though.

Jeff: Kevin Cronin?

Jason: gasp I can’t believe YOU went there. I may wish horrible things on you sometimes, but I would NEVER wish Kevin Cronin on your kids.

Jeff: After all the nights they’ve woken me up, they deserve to be extras in a skit on an REO Speedwagon holiday album. A Very REO Memorial Day.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Arbor Day with FTS Speedwagon.

Jeff: So I haven’t listened to anything else from this album since I reviewed it, and in the interest of fairness, I feel like we should probably listen to another track. Just to see if maybe the FTS fans were right. Maybe I missed something.

Jason: I’m okay with that.

Jeff: Let’s give REO a shot at making this Mellowmas season joyous.

Jason: Sure! What song shall we torture our readers with?

Jeff: How about “Joy to the World”?

Jason: I don’t think that title is accurate, but okay.

Jeff: Let’s give Kevin a chance.

Jason: I don’t think he deserves it, but okay.

Jeff: Let’s, uh…*cough*…open our…*snicker*…Fuck it. I can’t pretend anymore. We’re going to pound on this song like a piñata.

Jason: NOW you’re talkin’!

Jeff: Kevin Cronin is the Antichrist. Ready for some fun?

Jason: Let’s do it!

REO Speedwagon — Joy to the World (download)

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Jeff: Ominous slow build!
…and ROCK!

Jason: I wasn’t sure if that was a guitar or a didgeridoo.

Jeff: Sitar?

Jason: The instrumental track is pretty good, I’ll give you that.

Jeff: I raised this point in my review, but I was serious, so I’ll raise it again: How is it that Cronin hasn’t been fired by the band yet?

Jason: It must be a contractual thing.

Jeff: Are they impressed by his ability to expand the letter R into two syllables?

Jason: I haven’t heard the typical “RRRR” from Cronin yet. I can feel the joy!

Jeff: You missed the first “worrrrrrrrrrrrrld”

Jason: Oh fuck! Truck driver key change!

Jeff: Makes the nations GROOVE? Did he say that? DID HE SAY GROOVE? Another change!

Jason: Hang on, I’m looking for earplugs.

Jeff: Can you feel the joy? Feel the joy, baby! Here we go!

Jason: I feel nothing but suicidal.

Jeff: I think I just heard the keyboard player sigh.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: Whoa, whoa, whoa!

Jason: Is that a gospel choir thing that they’re going for?

Jeff: I really think that’s just Kevin. Whoa, the Lord has come! I can feel the Lord! That…is inappropriate.

Jason: Another goddamn fadeout. At least end the song like a man, Cronin!

Jeff: Ha ha ha ha ha! Have you seen Kevin Cronin? I think he even pees sitting down.

Jason: Again, the drummer must have walked out. “A choir now, too? Fuck this shit!” throws drumsticks

Jeff: “I can feel your drumsticks! Whoa, whoa, whoa!”
So upon further reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that REO Speedwagon fans have no taste and don’t know what they’re talking about. And they can eat me.

Jason: Great. Now our comments section is going to get hammered.

Jeff: Bring it on, effeminate rockers!

Jason: I can see why REO fans would like this album. If you like REO and Cronin, this is obviously right up their alley.

Jeff: I feel like you have to like REO and Cronin, but also hate Christmas.

Jason: Ha ha ha ha ha!

Jeff: Because otherwise, you’ve surely heard many dozens of superior versions of these songs. And you know this album is an affront to all holidays. Of all cultures.

Jason: That’s true, but if they’re real fans, like the ones that want us to kill ourselves for making fun of them, it probably doesn’t matter to them. I’ll at least give credit to the band for playing right to their fans. As opposed to another Mellowmas artist we’ll be discussing shortly.

Jeff: The only thing I’ll give credit to the band for is managing to keep themselves medicated enough to deal with Cronin’s shit without plunging into full-on addiction.

Jason: I won’t tell our readers who, but her name rhymes with “Gory.”

Jeff: Oh, was that foreshadowing? Tori Spelling?

Jason: Yes, Jeff. Tori Spelling.

Jeff: Did Tori Spelling make a Christmas album?

Jason: FUCK THIS SHIT! throws computer