Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cheap Trick - The Latest

When I saw Cheap Trick last fall doing Sgt. Peppers, my main disappointment was that they didn't do any of their own stellar material, as well. At this show I discovered that they had a new record out, so I put it on my wish list, but I didn't pick it up until now. Glad that I finally did!

The band is as strong as ever and their time doing the Beatles really comes through here - they were always heavily influenced by the Liverpudians, but it is really obvious here. Not that this is a bad thing, but it is kinda funny as you hear bits and pieces in the new tunes.

The album opens with a short, almost ambient "Sleep Forever" (fittingly, reminiscent of something from Dream Police) before moving into a terrific cover of Slade's Beatle-esque tune, "When The Lights Go Out". Simply marvelous! Really took me by surprise when I first heard this, but it totally works, especially since they add segments of their own "'Elo Kiddies" to the mix!

The album alternates between power ballads and hard rockers, and, naturally, I favor the rockers, but everything is pretty damn good here. There is a bit more orchestration than I sometimes prefer, but nothing that doesn't work within the tunes.

The heavy tunes truly rock, such as "Sick Man of Europe" (sounding similar to an upbeat Jet tune - who got their ideas from Cheap Trick, most likely), "Every Day You Make Me Crazy" (also sounding like a Dream Police outtake), the Paul McCartney-does-Little Richard "California Girl" (right down to the "I'm Down" bass lines and "Whooo's") and the monster riffing in "Alive".

Not as manic as their early works, of course, but still a terrific outing from these cats showing that they still have what it takes.