Not many bands make it to 18 albums. It takes a combination of longevity and releasing albums consistently. Bands that have made this pinnacle include the Rolling Stones, KISS, Black Sabbath and Scorpions. But, many of your favorite bands haven’t reached it (and probably won’t) like Aerosmith, AC/DC and ZZ Top. Well, you can now add Cheap Trick to the 18-timers club with their latest CD, We’re All Alright!
If you’re going to name your CD after an iconic line from one of your most iconic songs, then you’d better deliver. And, they did, big time. Maybe they were inspired by their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction last year, or maybe Daxx Nielsen (Rick’s son) is infusing new life into the band with his second studio effort. Whatever it is, We’re All Alright! may be one of Cheap Trick’s best CDs ever.
The energy on this CD is contagious as everyone puts in a strong effort, but none more so than Robin Zander. As one of the most underrated singers in rock, he stands out on this CD. Using his voice as an instrument, Zander is able to use adjust to the song. From hard rock to a soft, airy tone that makes it sound like is floating in “Floating Down,” he adds just the right touch.
We’re All Alright! has everything you want from Cheap Trick. Straight up rockers kick off the CD with “You Got It Going On” and first single “Long Time Coming.” The punk-inspired “Nowhere” gives way to the more poppy “Radio Lover” (with Zander channeling his inner Johnny Cash) and the 80’s-tinged “Lolita.” “Brand New Name on An Old Tattoo” sounds like it might be cheesy due to its title, but it’s one of the strongest tracks on the album! The epic closer, “The Rest of My Life” is a moody, vibe-driven rocker in the vein of “Heaven Tonight.”
It wouldn’t be Cheap Trick without mentioning Rick Nielsen. His loose and heavy style are all over this CD from the heavy riffs to the signature fills in songs like “Lolita.” His 12-string guitar on “Floating Down” combines with Zander’s voice to bring the song to life.
It’s rare to get such a strong CD from a band this late in their career. But, then again, Cheap Trick rarely does anything the conventional way. The key to me is having songs that I’d want to hear it live, and that’s the case here. I’d love to see a full headlining tour (blows my mind that they continue to open for anyone…) to showcase this CD.
If you’re a Cheap Trick fan, you will love this album. If you’re just so-so on them, then this CD will get you hooked. Check it out as it’s easily one of the best CD’s of 2017 so far.