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Woke Up with a Monster

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Album Review

With the release of Woke Up with a Monster, Cheap Trick's first new music in four years, the band was in for a rude awakening of its own. The disc died on the vine, reaching a dismal number 123 on the U.S. charts and (with an almost audible sigh) retiring to the ignominious role of a cut-priced cutout, to be sold on convenience store countertops and in the discount bins of broken dreams. While it was a commercial bust, the music represents a reclamation of artistic ground ceded over the years. Some fans, in a zealous attempt to vindicate commercial indifference, rank this alongside Cheap Trick's first few albums — it's a weird thing about some Tricksters that each new release holds the vague promise of returning to the innocent power pop of their youth, and every catchy hook spurs on the belief that some holy grail of homecomings is forthcoming. It's not, get over it, and enjoy the music that they are making. Woke Up with a Monster is enjoyable in its own right; power pop with the emphasis on power, it's the first Cheap Trick tape in some time that you'd feel comfortable listening to in your car, loud with the windows rolled down. Robin Zander's voice has grown rougher over the years, but it's well suited to the band's harsher sound. Sure they sound like the rejuvenated Aerosmith sometimes (e.g., "Girlfriends"), but if it ain't Busted, don't fix it. Producer Ted Templeman, well-known for his work with Van Halen, helps CT find middle ground between pop hooks and hard rock. Sometimes the elaborate production complements the melodies ("Woke Up With a Monster"); sometimes it masks the lack of one ("Ride the Pony"). If their power pop is a little over the top, underneath are some very good songs: "Didn't Know I Had It," "Tell Me Everything," "You're All I Wanna Do." So, if you spot Woke Up with a Monster in a bargain bin, don't let it languish alongside Billy Joel's Streetlife Serenade and Asia's Alpha; give it a good home and enjoy these cheap tracks.

Customer Reviews

A Semi Return To Form

Just like the I tunes review says....A welcome addition to the Cheap Trick canon. A return to form when you consider the last 2 records were horrible (Lap Of Luxury and Busted). I always thought the cover was some sort of sick John Wayne Gacy experiment gone wrong, but the songs on this more than make up for it. A welcome return to past power pop glories that a Nirvana loving public ignored at the time....If you can find it, pick it up.

Poor marketing

I don't know whom they have working on their cover art.
I don't want to listen to it just because of the cover.
A clown?

I keep wanting the women to turn towards me with a monster body.
Sex sales records. Not clowns.
I give it two stars for that reason.

Probably why no one on the radio wanted to play it either.
Not sure what record label BIG3 is, they could use a shake up in management.

Some of the songs sound alright. Probably would have been some goods songs had they been repeated over and over again on the radio.
Of course now, not as many listen to radio. It has to be that much harder to reach such a diverse listener base.
Need to use some viral marketing these days on you tube.

Woke up with a Monster

CT is always very high quality. This album is no exception. My favorite CT music is the heavier, less radio oriented stuff. There are a few heavy tracks like that here, however, there are also a number of pop songs that sound like they were written just to get on the radio. That's why I give it only 3 starz.

Biography

Formed: 1975 in Rockford, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Combining a love for British guitar pop songcraft with crunching power chords and a flair for the absurd, Cheap Trick provided the necessary links between '60s pop, heavy metal, and punk. Led by guitarist Rick Nielsen, the band's early albums were filled with highly melodic, well-written songs that drew equally from the crafted pop of the Beatles, the sonic assault of the Who, and the tongue-in-cheek musical eclecticism and humor of the Move. Their sound provided a blueprint for both power pop and...
Full Bio