Thursday, June 22, 2017

RECORD REVIEW: Cheap Trick "We're All Alright!"

Cheap Trick
We're All Alright!
(Big Machine Records)

Truth be told, as a lifelong
enthusiast, I'have bought
this record regardless. But
all the pre-release super-
buzz did pique my interest.

Cheap Trick created the pop-punk genre, plain and simple — years before Vans Warped Tour and Hot Topic began transforming complicated wannabes with silly-looking comb-overs into YouTube sensations with thriving T-shirt operations. Proof? Check out "Elo Kiddies"from the band's self-titled debut slab way back in 1977.

As for Cheap Trick's 18th studio offering, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have reunited once again with go-to producer Julian Raymond (Fastball, Mutemath, Wallflowers) to create a record worthy of the band's pop-punk legacy.

Also produced by Julian Raymond
Kicking off the 10-song set nicely with a crunchy, double-whammy punch, "You Got it Going On" oozes a "Baby Loves to Rock"-style energy, while "Long Time Coming" boasts bona fide Kinks-inspired riffage. Of the record's many other noteworthy highlights, "Nowhere," "Radio Lover" and "Listen to Me" all point to Cheap Trick's signature old school punk roots, however, "Lolita" possesses a poppier swagger reminiscent of The Latest.

But, does Cheap Trick's latest really live up to all the pre-release hype? Does We're All Alright! really mark an all-time best for the iconic combo? No. But it IS a great little record — one that passes my personal "smell test" easily.

-Christopher Long
(June 2017)


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