We're All Alright (2017)


 
1. You Got It Going On 2. Long Time Coming 3. Nowhere 4. Radio Lover 5. Lolita 6. Brand New Name on an Old Tattoo 7. Floating Down 8. She's Alright 9. Listen To Me 10.The Rest of My Life --Bonus Tracks-- 11.Blackberry Way 12.Like a Fly 13.If You Still Want My Love

 

It’s divine justice that a band like Cheap Trick has made a critical comeback in the past ten years or so. Although they tour endlessly, they don’t pack arenas since their brand isn’t the draw that it was 35 years ago. The guys seem fine with playing to 800-1000 people or so -even playing afternoon state fairs etc. Strange because critics have heaped tons of praise on just how influential these guys have been in the annals of rock and roll. Not content with playing a bunch of their old hits in live shows (they never really had many hits), they’ve managed to channel their new found energy in a couple of back to back albums released almost exactly one year apart.

This one follows 2016’s Bang Zoom Crazy Hello. In many ways it can be seen as a carbon copy. Continuing with new drummer Daxx Neilson and producer Julian Raymond, this record essentially churns out a nice blend of power-pop, testosterone rock, punchy-punk, and some nice Beatle-esque like tunes. The styles all blend quite nicely.

My favorite songs are Nowhere and Radio Lover which are both sound as though they’re ripping of The Ramones. These two songs actually sound quite similar, but the boys pull the whole thing off rather nicely. They sound a bit “cock-rockish” on the Motley Crue wannabes Brand New Name on an Old Tattoo and the album opener You Got it Going On. Both sins are minor since they are a lot of fun to listen to, and the guys sound like they had a great time recording the songs as well. The only song here that I find less than favorable is the bland She’s Alright that sounds as though it would be more at home on a Robin Zander solo album. It never quite catches and doesn’t really have any sort of “Cheap Trick” feel to it.

Which brings me up to another minor criticism. The “bonus” version of this CD has three extra songs. I’m not sure why or how this was decided. The three are just as good, if not better than many of the first ten songs. Included as one of these bonus tracks is an infectious cover of The Move’s Blackberry Way. All this to say – buying the “standard” issue of this album is a waste of money since the three extra tunes are so potent.

Listening to this album, along with the majority of their last few releases, allows you to forget the decade of the eighties when the band seemed hopelessly lost at many times. They’ve definitely now had their old groove back for quite some time.

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