Legendary US rockers Cheap Trick are back with their latest release – In Another World. That isn’t to say that they haven’t been busy over recent years, since 2016 they have put out four (including this) studio albums and got inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. After the tricky departure of drummer Bun E Carlos in 2010, guitarist Rick Nielsen enlisted his son Daxx to play as a touring drummer and he’s been a permanent fixture ever since. Julian Raymond has again twiddled the knobs on the album and the band now consider him the ‘fifth member’ of Cheap Trick. The production on the album is fantastic and really helps to propel the songs to another level.

The bands back catalogue is immense with tracks like ‘California Man’, ‘Surrender’, ‘I Want You to Want Me’, ‘He’s a Whore’ and the massive hit ‘The Flame’ being part of so many record collections around the world. This doesn’t seem to stop the seemingly endless amount of quality songs that Cheap Trick keep springing on their countless fans. Raymond’s influence on their sound is obvious and he really helps to make the songs on ‘In Another World’ shine brightly.

The album opens with poptastic ‘The Summer Looks Good on You’, a fantastic song with more hooks than Captain Quint aboard the Orca. This should be blasting on every radio station from now until September! ‘Quit Waking Me Up’ is another feel good track with a horn section paving the way into the verses. ‘Another World’ has an almost Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers feel to the song with some fantastic lead work from Rick Nielsen.

Vocalist Robin Zander sounds great throughout the album, his delivery a vital part of their sound. ‘Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll’ is another catchy, pop-rock slab of loveliness that will sound great live. ‘The Party’ grooves like a bastard, with a beautiful feel from drummer Daxx Nielsen. ‘Final Days’ has a bluesy, greasy feel and shuffles along nicely. ‘So It Goes’ has elements of classic Beatles with a haunting feel and lots of flute! More brilliant vocal lines from Zander makes this track a highlight of the album for me.

Light Up the Fire’ has yet another sing-along chorus. This is what Cheap Trick does best in my opinion, hard rock and pop combined brilliantly. ‘Passing Through’ has a dreamy feel with layer after layer of sublime vocals and guitars. ‘Here’s Looking at You’ is an up-tempo blast with a Sex Pistols influenced riff done in the inimitable Cheap Trick style. There’s not a track over four minutes long on the album, it’s a short, sharp shock to the system and makes the album an easy and pleasurable listen.

The final track is a cover of John Lennon’s ‘Gimme Some Truth’ this was originally released for Record Store Day Black Friday 2019 and features the instantly recognisable guitar work of Steve Jones from the aforementioned Sex Pistols.  Overall, Cheap Trick has delivered the goods yet again. It’s nice to know that even in these most uncertain of times we can all rely on bands like Cheap Trick to put a smile on our faces. They have the zest and vigour of a band that is just out on their musical journey but with the experience and quality of song writing that comes with the many years that Cheap Trick has been around. Long may it continue!

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Author: Kenny Kendrick