CD Reviews

Album Review: Cheap Trick – In Another World

Artist: Cheap Trick
Album: In Another World
Reviewer: Curt Ubank

It’s absolutely no secret that we here at Hear2Zen are massive fans of the legendary rock Quartet Cheap Trick. We’re all fanboys. Its hard not to be. They’ve been around for many years, have released an almost infinite number of tracks that are STILL radio staples and a couple of years backs the team got to see one of the best live show we’ve ever seen, when Cheap Trick played the Tivoli here in Brisbane. (Check our site for a rundown of that gig). But Sounds evolve, Line ups change and magic gets altered. It happens with every band. Cheap Trick have dropped 20 studio efforts since 1977, are they still gonna have what it takes to make a truly Cheap Trick record?

Absolutely.

Photo: Lou Brutus

“In Another World” cranks off with “The Summer Looks Good On You”, which was released as a single WAY back in May 2018. Now when it was released there was no talk of an album release date, but when the second single dropped at the end of 2019 we then had a little run in with a Global thing that did shuffle stuff about a bit, more on that later. “… Summer” Is a great old time, Its like a favourite pair of shoes, immediately reminding you of WHY you love this band, but being fresh and new. The same can definitely be said of “Quit Waking Me Up” which is a bright horn filled romp. Its bouncy and fun, with the trademark ‘Trick snarky wit. 

“Boys and Girls of Rock And Roll” Is probably my personal favourite track from the album, with a hard rock sound, mixing an Alice Cooper-esque main guitar riff and a vocal delivery from Robin Zander thats very Mick Jagger. It’s a driving track that would fit on literally any previous album from the Band. “The Party” and “Final Days”strut us further into the record, with some slick attitude that brings a little more balls to the mid section of the album. Its grit and grunt is a stark contrast to the soft acoustics of “So It Goes”. Its Tonal shifts such as these that are always masterfully employed by “Cheap Trick”, and to a lesser band a technique like this would fall flat, but here it adds the sonic depth and expanse we’ve come to expect from a band 20 albums and over 40 years into their career.

That acoustic interlude ends as we punch into another handful of banging riffs with “Light up the Fire” and “Here’s Looking At You”, with the later’s high energy chorus featuring a subtle keyboard lick thats VERY reminiscent of “Dream Police”. It’s the kind of track you’d hear closing out the credits of a massive Summer Blockbuster, a fantastic composition that if you’re anything like me you’re gonna wanna air-guitar to just a little bit. It is hard to overstate just how varied but familiar this whole album is, but it’s unsurprising that its such fun cover to cover. 

The record is rounded out by “In Another World (Reprise)”, “I’ll See You Again” and a cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth”. The Lennon cover was released as a single as well, but back in the before times at the end of November in 2019. This whole album was completed in 2020 but due to the whole world falling to shit rather quickly, we had to wait another 12 months as the release date was reshuffled. Ultimately the decision was a solid one, because this whole album’s vibe fits so much better in a year when we can actually go outside, and if you’re Down Under like us, you can celebrate this album with “Cheap Trick” when they play at “Under the Southern Stars” at the start of May. The Boys from Illinois aren’t reinventing their sound with album #20, if anything they’re reaffirming it further. Its fresh and new, but with a solid familiarity that feels so welcoming as a long time fan This whole disc plays as a love letter to their sound and style that we’ve come to know and love, its perfectly Cheap Trick and that’s more than alright with me.

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