CD Reviews

Cheap Trick - 'The Latest' Hot

Added by James Gaden     February 17, 2010    
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17th release from the Rockford based pop rockers.


Those hardy perennials of pop rock have done it again. After 2006’s excellent ‘Rockford’, Cheap Trick have unleashed another cracker - possibly even their finest since 1985’s sublime ‘Standing on the Edge.’

Never afraid to plough their own furrow, Cheap Trick have proved beyond doubt the ‘majors’ don’t matter, releasing ‘The Latest’ on their own terms and their own label. Quality is never compromised and the contributor’s credentials on ‘The Latest’ are the first clue to what lies in store, with Julian Raymond from the criminally underrated ‘Dear Mr President’ sharing production credits, whilst Roger Joseph Manning Jr from the equally underrated Jellyfish makes a guest appearance on keyboards.

And the album itself? Absolutely gorgeous. From start to finish, Zander, Nielsen, Carlos and Petersson never put a foot wrong. The somnambulistic ‘Sleep Forever’ gives way to the gloriously infectious ‘When the Lights Go Out’ – 3 minutes 26 seconds of total pop perfection. But just when you think they may have prematurely peaked, ‘Miss Tomorrow’ clearly states the band’s intentions. Lush harmonies, beautifully underpinning orchestrations. How can it get any better than this? But of course it does. Cheap Trick are masters of their craft and like a perfect meal, know not to overface the listener, but whet their appetite with short, sweet and perfectly formed compositions. Before you even realize it, you’re six tracks in and onto ‘The Miracle’ – though the real miracle is how after more than 30 years this band can produce something as stunning as this. Like a lemon sorbet midway through the meal, ‘Everyday You Make Me Crazy’ is the ideal 77 second refresher, followed by the twist and shake sensibilities of ‘California Girl’ and the beatlesque (what did you expect – this is Cheap Trick after all) ‘Everybody Knows.’

The raucous rock and roll of ‘Alive’ gives way to album highlight ‘Times Of Our Lives’ – which is clearly, from the evidence on display, what these boys are having. Then it’s back into ‘Beatles’ territory, with the Lennon/McCartney comparisons nowhere more evident than on ‘Closer – The Ballad Of Burt And Linda.’ And finally, the appropriately titled ballad ‘Smile,’ which is precisely what this album leaves you with, beaming like the proverbial Cheshire Cat.

In short, more essential than water and a true contender for album of the year.



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Alan Gilmour said:

I have been a long standing Cheap Trick fan since the 70's who in recent years have thought the band were slowly winding down to retirement . But how wrong I was ,this album is quite simply up there with the best they have ever produced . If this had been released but a more fashionable up and coming band this would be HUGE . If you were thinking of buying this , then think no more , this is a must have album .
May 31, 2010
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