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Articles Home » 2009 Articles » Cheap Trick - 2009 The Latest
Cheap Trick - 2009 The Latest

ARTIST: Cheap Trick
ALBUM: The Latest
LABEL: Cheap Trick Unlimited
YEAR: 2009

LINEUP: Robin Zander - vocals, guitars, keyboards * Rick Nielsen - lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals * Tom Petersson - bass, guitar, backing vocals * Bun E Carlos - drums, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sleep Forever * 02 When The Lights Are Out * 03 Miss Tomorrow * 04 Sick Man Of Europe * 05 These Days * 06 Miracle * 07 Everyday You Make Me Crazy * 08 California Girl * 09 Everybody Knows * 10 Alive * 11 Times Of Our Lives * 12 Closer, The Ballad Of Burt And Linda * 13 Smile


WEBLINKS: www.cheaptrick.com

It might be a surprise to many that Illinois pop rockers Cheap Trick are still a going concern, and proving to be highly relevant in the year 2009. Without doubt, the band have spawned a gazillion clones over the years, and with the resurgent pop scene occurring, these guys could now be considered godfathers of the genre. The band's last studio album from 2006 'Rockford' gained positive reviews from just about everywhere (including us), and though it's been three years since, the momentum continues with the the latest album coincidentally called 'The Latest'. For an album of thirteen songs, the band clock in with a very economic 41 minutes worth of music, making Cheap Trick the masters of the short and snappy pop song. Are these short sugar bursts of melody enough to satisfy your pop thirst? Or are they throwaway tunes like the gratuitous candy wrapper? I'll leave that for you to determine.

The Songs
What is clear about this album is how much CT are influenced by The Beatles. I think it goes way beyond fanboy status, I mean CT have been in business for 35 years, so if that fact isn't apparent to you by now then something must be lost in your translation. Cheap Trick could also be accused of inconsistency over the years, but again, a little 'up and down' is something to be expected over a long duration. They've also proved to be very 'jekyll and hyde', with some wacky moments along with the genuinely good. It's the same here. Whether it's the two minute blast of 'Sick Man Of Europe' featuring some OTT bass work from Tom Petersson, or the manic pop of 'California Girl' and 'Alive', the band prove to one and all that they still know how to rock. There are some very melodic moments.. 'When The Lights Are Out' is an extremely bouncy number, and if you can imagine the Travelling Wilburys doing power-pop, then you'll understand where 'Times Of Our Lives' is coming from. CT along with producer Julian Raymond have thrown in some orchestral passages, as heard on 'Miss Tomorrow', 'Everybody Knows' and the album closer 'Smile'.

In Summary
Another impressive blast from the kings of middle America power-pop. Don't be put off by the number of tracks here, the music passes by in a flash, and you'll be riding the power-pop rollercoaster along with all the other CT fans on the planet. According to reports, Cheap Trick will be performing the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album in a series of shows in Las Vegas during September 2009. It doesn't get any better for fans of both The Beatles and Cheap Trick! I wonder if Paul and Ringo will be invited along?

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#1 | jeffduran on August 12 2009 08:41:57
Always inspired, occasionally taking the safe route when they don't have too. More hooks than a tackle box, Zander sounds better than ever. Good times!
#2 | Jez on May 05 2010 11:24:32
A MAJOR highlight of the year for me (and many others it seems, judging by the rave reviews this one is getting all over the place). All the classic elements of this band are still here, from the The uptempo power pop rockers (the cover of Slade's 'When the Lights Are Out' and 'Sick Man Of Europe' being 2 great examples),to the heartfelt Zander sung acoustic ballads which they are so good at, even the 'Dream Police' strings are there in full force on some tracks. The songwriting is back BIG time again (a major reason why the last album 'Rockford' was so good too) and the consistency of the material on here is truly excellent throughout. My one minor groan is that there are too many of the mid tempo and ballads towards the end and maybe a slight reshuffle in the tracklist would make this run a little more smoothly, but that is only a very minor niggle.
Robin Zander still sounds fantastic and really is one of the best there is at this game, even after all these years. The rest of the band are playing with a renewed freshness aswell, which was first really obvious on 'Rockford' back in 2006 and something they had maybe lost in part from the mid 80's onwards, because of the 80's gloss and outside writers. 'The Latest' is a fantastic disc, better and more varied than 'Rockford' in my opinion and one that goes some way of showing that these 'Old Timers' still have something relevent and fresh on offer in 2009.
#3 | reyno-roxx on August 19 2015 21:38:23
Julian Raymond of Dear Mr President infamy as producer.
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