The Upshot: The former power pop band currently eschews the pop in favor of the power. Melody is less of an essential, but the sheer verbosity suggests that they’re opting for a stadium-sized sound.
BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
With a 40 year history behind them, Cheap Trick has managed to remain an enthusiastic ensemble even when they weren’t exactly reaping the love due them for their unceasing commitment to the cause. Last year’s overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame went a long way towards bringing them renewed recognition, but it’s a new album — the first since those honors were bestowed — that shows they’re playing for keeps
The blatantly titled We’re All Alright! — a not so disguised reference to one of the biggest hits of their collective career, the song “Surrender” — shows a determination that’s as vital and inspired as ever. Age is clearly not a deterrent, at least as far as energy and exhilaration are concerned. The opening volley of “You Got It Going On,” “Long Time Coming” and “Nowhere” ploughs forward with an intensity befitting a band half their age. Robin Zander’s remarkable wail on “Brand New Time on an Old Tattoo” verifies the fact that they’re as amped up as ever.
That said, the exclusion of original drummer Bun E. Carlos in favor of Rick Nielsen’s son Daxx might damper the enthusiasm of some long time devotees. Sadly, Bun’s photo is nowhere to be found in any of the collages that grace the album cover. So too, this former power pop band currently eschews the pop in favor of the power. Melody is less of an essential, but the sheer verbosity suggests that they’re opting for a stadium-sized sound. And frankly, that’s all right indeed!
DOWNLOAD: “Brand New Time On An Old Tattoo,” “You Got It Going On,” “Long Time Coming”