In Another World
By Madeline Bocaro
© Madeline Bocaro, 2021. No part of this site may be reproduced or re-blogged in whole or in part in any manner without permission of the copyright owner.
This new world inhabited by Cheap Trick is a Power Pop paradise! Rolling Stone gave this album a bad review. What world are they in?! Just because an album by a band with such a fantastic history might not be their best, it does not mean that it’s less than great! The standard has been set extremely high by Cheap Trick’s classic albums, but this is a distinctive and refreshing record at a time when we need to be uplifted.
Sorry Rolling Stone.
This album rocks MY world!
Right off the bat, the band incorporates every cheap trick in their wonderful book on their 20th studio album! ‘The Summer Looks Good On You’ has it all; harmonies, phasing, orchestrations, a great riff, Robin’s superbly unmistakable lead vocal… It’s killer! They might not even be aware of this, but the groove reminds me of Iggy Pop’s ‘Neon Forest’ (my favorite track from his 1990 album Brick By Brick). This riff is also palpable (faster) on track 4, ‘Boys & Girls Rock & Roll’, which has a kick-ass Stonesy vibe – including the line, “It’s only rock n’ roll.”
All of the band’s influences permeate the record – and since I love them all, this is a great thing! Despite all the influences and references, it’s purely a Cheap Trick creation. Only they could put it all together in this incredible way. This is a tremendous offering from Rick Nielsen, Robin Zander, Tom Petersson, Julian Raymond and Daxx Nielsen.
‘Another World’ is a melodic anthemic ballad. The song is reprised later on the album in a gloriously speedy punk style. Both versions are stunning. The faster reprise is joyous!
‘Final Days’ is a slow bluesy groove with a Lennonesque ‘Cold Turkey’ guitar vibe. Robin actually sounds like John’s son, Julian Lennon here. ‘So It goes’ shimmers like a lovely old McCartney melody.
‘Quit Waking Me Up’ sounds like a bombastic Partridge Family track – and there is absolutely everything right about that! Moments from this remind me of CT’s ‘Voices’ (1979). It was co-written with Kristian Bush of Sugarland.
The much heavier ‘Light Up the Fire’ (the first single) is possessed by Metallica. ‘Passing Through’ (with its psychedelic vibe) and ‘I’ll See You Again’ are both beautiful ballads.
‘The Party’ heavily invokes Alice Cooper. (In fact, Alice just released a song about the sorry state of the world in February, on his new album Detroit Stories. It’s called Our Love Will Change the World’. See the amazing video on YouTube)!
‘Here’s Looking at You’, written by Linda Perry has a very cool Sex Pistols style riff… A really great pop tune!
Speaking of the Sex Pistols, Steve Jones joins in on guitar for John Lennon’s ‘Gimme Some Truth’ – the 13th and final track. It’s not as blazingly evocative as their version of ‘I’m Losing You’, but it’s still pretty nice.
This is just what I needed to hear.
I’m in heaven tonight!
Photo: Backstage at a Def Leppard concert with Robin in 2009,
when I gave him the latest Sparks Fan Club Newsletter (which I wrote).
© Madeline Bocaro 2021. No part of the materials available through madelinex.com may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated, re-blogged or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of Madeline Bocaro.
Any other reproduction in any form without permission is prohibited. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without prior written permission of Madeline Bocaro.
madelinex.com is a non-profit blog created for educational and research purposes.
Any content that may violate copyright or free usage laws will be removed immediately upon request.