Cheap Trick – The Latest

July 2, 2009

cheaptrickthelatestIf there’s anything wrong with Cheap Trick’s new self-released album, The Latest, it’s that there aren’t enough full on rock tracks like “Sick Man Of Europe,” which is a short, sweet shot to the body that sounds like their early work, albeit with a modern polish. It’s a small quibble, however, as by the end of my first listen-through, I was pretty sold on The Latest: It is, flaws and all, a pretty solid summer album, and ample proof that Cheap Trick have a lot of mileage left in them, even after thirty-five years rockin’ it hard. The first full track is a heretofore buried gem from 1976, “When The Lights Are Out,” which, fairly startingly, blends seamlessly with material recorded over three decades later. Lead singer Robin Zander sounds as incredible as ever, and the band, Rick Nielsen, Bun E. Carlos and Tom Petersson, haven’t lost a step. Sure, a lot of it is Cheap Trick in power ballad mode, i.e. the swoon-ready closer, “Smile,” but it’s such a unique pleasure listening to them play that I didn’t mind. Definitely recommended for classic rock and power pop fans. Standout cuts: “When The Lights Are Out,” “Sick Man Of Europe,” “Alive” and “Closer, The Ballad of Burt and Linda.”


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