I am a latecomer to Cheap Trick. I got into them on August 4, 2007. Why do I remember the exact date that I finally appreciated a band that I had heard on the radio for decades? Because that is the day that I first saw Cheap Trick live. All it took was an abbreviated set at Baltimore’s Virgin Fest to convert me. After seeing them live, I was excited to listen to their records which had seldom seen the turntable since I bought them (probably used and cheap in the early 90’s). So, for me, I think of Cheap Trick in terms of being a live band more than anything else.
As just a studio album, In Another World, their 20th, is not particularly new. As expected, the record is full of power pop that wears the band’s love of the Beatles on its sleeve. It is the sound that made them and that they made popular over 40 years ago. Some hard rock is in the mix for extra punch and occasional tinges of psychedelia and the requisite ballads find their place as well. There are no real surprises. What makes the record a cut above late career releases like this by other bands is that I can imagine these songs being played live and Cheap Trick does not phone in their shows. They still play like a hungry, young band. In that context, much of the record works.
In Another World won’t bring new fans into the fold and will probably feel a little flat to anyone who has never seen Cheap Trick play live. For those of us who have though, these songs should sound pretty good on tour (if and when that can happen).
Released: April 9, 2021