Posts Tagged ‘In Another World’

Decades Removed From Their Glory Days, Cheap Trick Return with a Late-Career Triumph

Just this week, two days before the release of Cheap Trick’s 20th studio album In Another World, comedian and SNL star Pete Dadvison and Jimmy Fallon attempted to play the band’s biggest hit “I Want You to Want Me” using a guitarrón and melodica while members of The Roots tried (unsuccessfully) to guess what song it was. Of course, the Beastie Boys had already turned Cheap Trick into something of a meme 30 years ago when they opened their album Check Your Head with a snippet of Cheap Trick vocalist Robin Zander’s famous stage banter from the 1978 live album At Budokan, to date the band’s biggest seller.

Judging from the way Cheap Trick playfully reference their own legacy on “In Another World”, they don’t seem to mind very much. On “Quit Waking Me Up,” for example, the band folds Beatles and Brian Wilson influences back into its own classic tune “Surrender,” as Robin Zander drags-out the word “souuuuuund” in the chorus to a chord progression that must surely have been designed, almost like a wink, to get you to think about the past. Likewise, on “The Party,” the band rolls the familiar grooves from both its own ‘70s-era track “Gonna Raise Hell” and Zeppelin’s “Trampled Under Foot” into one. And a cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth” points back to guitarist Rick Nielsen and original Cheap Trick drummer Bun E. Carlos’ session work on Lennon’s Double Fantasy.

Back in the ‘90s, when hip figures like Steve Albini, Billy Corgan and Stone Temple Pilots gave Cheap Trick their blessing, the band played along. After all, why wouldn’t they be grateful for the endorsements? In a USA Today interview that ran the day before the release date, Nielsen remarked that “We’re a lot of people’s fifth-favourite band. They say, ‘I’ve got Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, the Beatles … ’ But I don’t mind being fifth.” The self-effacing attitude looks good on paper, but it’s unfair: The reason why the band can get away with copping its own licks at this point is that it isn’t content to just self-cannibalize.

For one, other than a passing (if carefully placed) nod to “Surrender,” “Quit Waking Me Up” bears no other resemblance to the older song. Similarly, “The Party” quickly veers away from the familiar into all-new hooks that sound fresh when paired against older, tried-and-tested ideas. As for the hooks, it’s hard to remember a time when Cheap Trick sounded this abundant with catchy parts that move you to sing along. Just as importantly, the band breathes life into every note on In Another World with a verve that’s nothing less than shocking at this point in its career.

After coming out of the gate with their fiery, Jack Douglas-produced self-titled debut album in 1977, Cheap Trick spent the rest of the ‘70s putting out records—In Color, Heaven Tonight and Dream Police—that presented the band (not necessarily by its own choice) as purveyors of radio-friendly power-pop. Nielsen has remarked over the years that the band’s label at the time, Epic, essentially forced them to accept mixes of those albums that weren’t as raw as he would have liked. And while Zander’s airy, heartthrob vocal style certainly fits the “power-pop” bill (especially on the new material), Cheap Trick were way heavier than those classic albums indicate.

Zander’s rhythm guitar, along with Nielsen’s explosive playing and bassist Tom Petersson’s 12-string bass work, created a dense—at times, even harsh—wall of sound. Petersson, the musician who first proposed the invention of the 12-string bass, has always been crucial to the band’s lush tone, at least when they’ve managed to achieve it. Cheap Trick got even softer and more pop-oriented in the ‘80s, and they’ve in a sense been chasing their own past glories ever since. They’ve often arrived at intriguing results, but if we’re being honest, it’s been at least three decades since anyone expected any new twists from Cheap Trick.

Which is what makes the new album’s blend of old and new flavours such a left-field triumph. In the past, when the band tried jangle-lite arrangements and keyboard strings like what we hear on the new song “Another World,” the menu consisted mostly of air-fluffed power-ballad soufflé. Today, those same types of moves at least contain organic traces. “Another World” is basically, a modern-day power ballad, but you can hear the flesh and bone that went into it. To be clear, it’s pretty apparent at this point that Cheap Trick aren’t going to come close to recapturing the thrilling roar of their stage sound circa 1978, but they don’t have to. In fact, if the new material is any indication, the band sounds liberated, loose and more alive than it has in years for not pressing too hard.

Album opener “The Summer Looks Good on You,” for example, marries the dissonant chord voicings of the gloomy debut album track “The Ballad of TV Violence” with an infectious Beach Boys-style harmony that resounds with hope and possibility. Undoubtedly, the song was custom-crafted for driving with the windows down and letting the wind blow your troubles away. For the time being, that’s more than enough. Cheap Trick and others from their graduating class may be perfectly content to carry on as walking memes, but In Another World reminds us that this veteran rock act still has lifeblood coursing through its veins.

Cheap Trick have just unveiled the second preview from the upcoming album, “In Another World” which arrives April 9th. Produced by long-time associate Julian RaymondCheap Trick’s 20th studio album, The blistering new single, “Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll,” is a heavy-hitting love song set to distorted guitars, rock riffs and the sort of legendary monster hooks that make Cheap Trick such a legendary band.

In Another World will be Cheap Trick’s 20th album. The 13-track record LP also features the lead single “Light Up the Fire” and a previously released cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth.” 

A statement about the album said: “In Another World sees Cheap Trick doing what they do better than anyone – crafting indelible rock ‘n’ roll with oversized hooks, mischievous lyrics, and seemingly inexorable energy. Trademark anthems like “Light Up The Fire” and “Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll” are countered by more introspective – but no less exuberant.”  Cheap Trick crafting indelible rock ’n’ roll with oversized hooks, mischievous lyrics and seemingly inexorable energy. Trademark anthems are countered by more introspective but no less exuberant — considerations of times past, present, and unknowable future on such strikingly potent new tracks as Another World and I’ll See You Again.
In Another World further showcases Cheap Trick at their most eclectic, touching on a myriad of distinct sounds and song approaches, from the swampy Chicago blues number Final Days (featuring fiery harmonica from Grammy-nominated Wet Willie frontman Jimmy Hall)

“In Another World” will be available in standard CD, black vinyl and digital formats, along with a limited-edition picture disc. The album is due out on April 9th

Rockford, Illinois band Cheap Trick announced the release of their 20th album, “In Another World”. The album will be available on April 9th. The veteran band also released the first single from the record, “Light Up the Fire.” The album follow-up to 2017’s Christmas Christmas will be available in standard CD and digital formats along with blue and spattered vinyl at independent record stores and as a limited-edition picture disc, “Produced by long time associate Julian Raymond, “In Another World” sees Cheap Trick doing what they do better than anyone – crafting indelible rock ‘n’ roll with oversized hooks, mischievous lyrics and seemingly inexorable energy,” BMG Records said in a statement.

The statement notes that the coronavirus lockdown had forced Cheap Trick off the “endless highway” for the longest period of their career and that they intended to return “as soon as they can.”

“This band is held together by music,” singer Robin Zander said. “It’s the super glue that keeps us writing and putting records out. The reason we started the band in the first place was to tour and write songs and put records out. If all that went away, there would be no point then, would there?”

 

The press release notes that the album “further showcases Cheap Trick at their most eclectic, touching on … distinct sounds and song approaches, from the swampy Chicago blues number “Final Days” (featuring fiery harmonica from Grammy Award-nominated singer and Wet Willie frontman Jimmy Hall) to a timely rendition of John Lennon’s still-relevant “Gimme Some Truth,” originally released for Record Store Day Black Friday 2019 and featuring the instantly recognizable guitar sound of erstwhile Sex Pistol Steve Jones. As irresistible and immediate as anything in their already awesome catalogue, “In Another World” is Cheap Trick at their irrepressible best, infinitely entertaining and utterly unstoppable.

The band also announced some new tour dates, starting with U.K. appearances in April and followed by North American dates from April to October, some of which are rescheduled from last year.

The statement notes that the coronavirus lockdown had forced Cheap Trick off the “endless highway” for the longest period of their career and that they intended to return “as soon as they can.”

“This band is held together by music,” singer Robin Zander said. “It’s the super glue that keeps us writing and putting records out. The reason we started the band in the first place was to tour and write songs and put records out. If all that went away, there would be no point then, would there?”

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