Cheap Trick is a band that needs no introduction and there should be no argument that they are legends, who deserve a place in the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame. They have sold millions of records not only in the U.S. but worldwide and they have influenced countless bands. Unlike a lot of the bands that came out around the same time, Rockford, IL finest are not content resting on their achievements and just touring off their catalog. In fact I think the guys have gotten better since their so-called “heyday”. With their newest release simply titled “the Latest” one listen is all it takes to realize the British Invasion and the Beatles were a huge influence, more so than on any other previous albums, and that influence has given Cheap Trick their best album in the last 20 years.
After a short intro titled “Sleep Forever” Robin Zander and the guys kick into “When The Lights Are Out” which is a good time fun song filled with melodies galore, a great groove and sing along chorus that should put a smile on your face unless you are legally dead. “Miss Tomorrow” is up next which reminds me of the late George Harrison when he was working with Jeff Lynne with the acoustic guitars, strings, and Zander’s absolutely perfect vocals. The album’s first single “Sick Man of Europe” is one of the heavier songs on the album with a Kinks feel to it. For all you useless trivia buffs Sick Man of Europe was also a band name used by Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson before they finally decided on Cheap Trick. “These Days” is a classic Cheap Trick type of ballad, which should get major airplay at the very least on the classic rock stations. John Lennon’s influence is all over “Miracle” an absolutely great song. “Everyday You Make Me Crazy” may only be a minute and twenty seven seconds long but the guys make the most of it. “California Girl” is another song that sounds heavily influenced by both the Kinks and the Beatles, this stomper is a perfect song for summer. “Alive” is another stomper in the classic Cheap Trick fashion, unlike a lot of guitarists Rick Nielsen does not need a flashy solo every song to show the world how great he is and his playing on “Alive” is a prime example of that.
With 13 songs on “the Latest” Cheap Trick makes sure everyone gets their money’s worth delivering a fantastic album filled with layer upon layer of hooks, melodies, and catchy well written and played songs, one hell of a great summertime album.
Rating: Out of 10
- Sleep Forever
- When The Lights Are Out
- Miss Tomorrow
- Sick Man of Europe
- These Days
- Everyday You Make Me Crazy
- California Girl
- Everybody Knows
- Times of Our Lives
- Closer, The Ballad of Burt and Linda
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Cheap Trick is:
Robin Zander – vocals, guitar
Rick Nielsen – guitar, vocals
Tom Petersson – 12-string bass, vocals
Bun E. Carlos – drums, percussion