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The Latest

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Album Review

If calling their fifteenth studio album The Latest doesn't exactly suggest enthusiasm on the part of Cheap Trick, keep in mind that the band has never shown much enthusiasm for album titles anyway, titling two albums after their band and one after their hometown of Rockford, IL. The Latest follows 2006's Rockford by three years and does indeed offer the latest spin on the band's classic power pop, flowing naturally from that quite excellent back-to-basics set, offering another collection of 13 guitar-heavy pop tunes. After the brief, ominous opener "Sleep Forever," a misleading slice of spacy, hazy, mood rock fades away, Cheap Trick tear into the overlooked Slade gem "When the Lights Are Out," suggesting that The Latest will be a high-octane rock-fest, but apart from a handful of other moments — including the raging "Sick Man of Europe" and the "Slow Down" revamp "California Girl" — a lot of the record consists of thick Beatlesque psychedelia, an appealing shift in tactics that makes this something a little bit different than yet another Cheap Trick record. That said, reinvention isn't the order of the day, staying true to the spirit of their classic '70s trilogy is, and the band acquits themselves admirably, turning out a tight, tuneful collection of proudly unfashionable power pop. And if the best song here is a cover of Slade's "When the Lights Are Out," well, it could be argued that the Move's "California Man" was the best song on Heaven Tonight, too.

Customer Reviews

Back on Form!

Don't believe the summary - 'When the Lights Go Out' is nowhere close to the best track on an album that's their best since 1979's Dream Police. Talk about an Indian Summer....! The band have clearly been bouyed by the reviews (if not the sales) of Rockford and there's a new sense of confidence and purpose coarsing through 'The Latest'. There are at least a half dozen tracks that would make good singles, but the standout is 'Miss Tomorrow' - I dare anyone to listen to it and not find themselves singing it for the rest of the day.... The production is excellent, Robin Zander's voice sounds better than it has for years, Tom Petersson's 12 string bass playing underpins and enhances every song, Rick rocks and Bun E just keeps the train a rollin'. If you have any interest in pop music do yourself a favour and download 'Miss Tomorrow' - you won't be disappointed and you'll be sure to come back for more....!

The Greatest

The Band have never been away. After the brilliant Rockford (disgracefully ignored by radio) this is another set of superbly crafted tunes which would grace any radio station. Anyone listening to this who have not heard of Cheap Trick (can't understand that considering they have influenced numerous bands, not least Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvanna & Green Day) will think this is a brand new act. Any Oasis fans suffering should listen in and see how doing the Beatles should sound like. There's no filler, it's all excellent and with them nicking the strings from their superb Sgt Pepper show (Why does no one report this??) it adds an extra dimension to their already great sound. The best singer in the world, bar none, the greatest rhythm section & smartest lead guitarist, this band requires (although doesn't need) far more exposure to the UK market. Glastonbury et all? See 'em live to truly appreciate their brilliance.


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...
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