Rockford (2006)


 
1.Welcome to the World 2.Perfect Stranger 3.If It Takes A Lifetime 4.Come On Come On Come On 5.O Claire 6.This Time You Got It 7.Give it Away 8.One More 9.Every Night and Every Day 10.Dream the Night Away 11.All Those Years Away 12.Decaf

 

It seems like Cheap Trick has spent the majority of their career "trying" to do something. In the early eighties they were "trying" to recapture their early magic, in the late eighties they were "trying" to sound commercial and in the nineties they were "trying" to be their old selves. On Rockford, it sounds like they stopped "trying" so hard and just decided to play some good music.

This is a good thing, and for the most part they succeed. For the most part, there's not a lot of variety here, but since the songs are so powerful and catchy, it's an asset rather than a liability. Unlike some albums by any artist, it's easy to classify several songs on an album with a "label" (this song is the "ballad", this song is the "artsy" piece, this is the "rocker", etc.) and it becomes easy to distinguish. Not here. These songs are quite often only slightly distinguishable from each other, but it's the Cheap Trick that we all know and love so well, so all is well. Very well indeed.

The cd starts off a little iffy. Welcome to the World sounds a bit like "The Brady Bunch meets Spinal Tap" and the ending number Decaf is a bit forced (The chord sequence is D-E-C-A-F, hence the name). Everything else in between, fortunately, is pure enjoyment.

There are a few standouts, most notably O Claire (not to be confused with Oh Claire from Heaven Tonight) that is a beautiful, Lennon-like ballad of the loss of a long loved spouse. It's one of the most touching pieces in the band's catalog. Then there's the entirely different hard-edged One More - a great song about the dangers of addiction. Not necessarily addiction to drugs, but addiction to anything in general.

The rest of the songs have a very similar feel. A hardcore fan might have to even consult the CD sleeve for the song names because of the similarities of the songs. This one is very memorable. Not necessarily for anything unique, but just for some great great music.

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