(Album Review) CHEAP TRICK - In Another World
Release date: April 9, 2021 (BMG)
Written by Jeff Tighe
For their twentieth studio album, hard rock legends Cheap Trick have put together an impressive 13 song, 45 minute collection of rock'n'roll anthems and a handful of lighter radio friendly songs.
For those who remember the band fondly from their heyday in the late 70s, this new album won't disappoint. Vocalist Robin Zander's pipes are in great shape, and his voice hasn't gained that thickness and loss of range that so many other 68 year old classic rock singers have. Lead guitarist Rick Nielsen and bassist Tm Petersson are also still rocking, despite being in their early 70s. Nielsen's solos tend to be fairly short and tasteful, while Petersson's bass is solid as a rock. The drums are handled competently by Neilsen's son Daxx.
Most of the songs are catchy hard rock ditties with memorable choruses, the way the band have always delivered. Prime examples of this are "Boys & Girls & RocknRoll", "Quit Waking Me Up", "Here's Looking at You" and "Another World (Reprise)". Notably, Sex Pistols legend Steve Jones supplies guitar work on "Gimme Some Truth". While Cheap Trick have always known how to write catchy songs, what recommends this album is the energy and effort the band brings to the recording, even though they are quickly approaching 50 years together.
The slower songs and ballads are also well written and won't have you reaching for the skip button. "Passing Through" in particular has great lyrics and a quasi-psychedelic sound that is reminiscent of the early 70s, while "Another World" could have fit seamlessly on a latter-era Beatles album.
Other classic rock bands that still bother to record new material should use this album as a wake up call as to how to remain relevant. (Ed. They should refer to the new Styx album, as well !) (8.0)