In Another World (2021)

1. The Summer Looks Good On You 2. Quit Waking Me Up 3. Another World 4. Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll 5. The Party 6. Final Days 7. So it Goes 8. Light up the Fire 9. Passing Through 10.Here's Looking at You 11.Another World (Reprise) 12.I'll See You Again 13.Gimme Some Truth


One of the many great things about Cheap Trick is that, unlike most of their counterparts from their heyday 40 years ago, they're still releasing new albums on a fairly consistent basis. This record is their fourth album (including a Christmas release) of new material in five years. Sadly though, the upshot of this is that since this sort of schedule is considered an anomaly, a lot of great songs tend to get lost in the literal shuffle. Another factor though, which is quite obvious here, is that the newer material can sound a tad repetitive and a bit watered down.

The band has continued to work with producer Julian Raymond on their last several releases. Although he makes the band sound natural, as well as great, you can't help but wonder if the guys should try to work with someone new that might add a bit of freshness to their now consistent output. We must remember that Cheap Trick used a total of seven different producers for seven different albums over a ten-year timespan from 1979-1988. True, some of those albums shone a lot brighter than others, but what was truly noticed, was that band always sounded fresh and revitalized. A Cheap Trick song from 1982 sounded totally different from a Cheap Trick song from 1983.

So listening to all of the tracks on this record makes me feel like I've heard it all before. Although the music is mostly good, I really don't hear anything that stands out as being "great", "powerful", or even "eclectic". It's a bit of a letdown when the strongest (by far) track on the album isn't even an original, yet a cover of John Lennon's Gimme Some Truth. Its also a bit ironic that the strongest band-written track on the album, Another World, is actually featured on this record twice. Although the second version is listed as a reprise, it really is in fact simply a different version. The first version sounds like The Beatles, the second sounds like The Ramones. We must remember that Cheap Trick can mimic both of these bands and still sound great, and they prove it with the two versions of this song.

In fact, throughout the record, they jump from style to style. Sometimes it sounds great, like the Beatle-ish So it Goes, yet other times, it simply sounds too generic like Boys & Girls & Rock & Roll (if you've never heard this song, it actually sounds exactly like you think it would sound). After repeated listens, there are still a handful of songs that I cant find the tune in my head when I see it on the track list. The songs just aren't really that memorable.

It is quite possible I would have liked this album a lot more had it been the first of their latter day releases as opposed to the fourth. It just feels as though the band is in a bit of a holding pattern. Even though they still tour consistently, they rarely ever play new material. When they do, they usually include, what seems like, an obligatory song just so the crowd knows they do, in fact, have something new out there. In fact, I saw the band in 2021, and before they played a song from this record, they announced something like "This is a new song from our new album, so it might be a good song to leave your seat and go buy a beer." I know, I know, they were kidding. Sadly, though, there's a bit of truth to that statement. Anyway, I guess one really shouldn't complain too much. This is a decent record, just not necessarily a remarkable one.

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