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Review - New Cheap Trick Album/CD - "The Latest"


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After 2 listenings, I really love this new one so far....which is kind of surprising, as I generally tend to go for their more balls-out, harder rocking efforts, and the highlights of this one are the slower, lushly orchestrated ballads. They're in a lot more of an ELO/later Beatles mode than an early Beatles/The Move one.

The opener, "Sleep Forever" is gorgeous, but only a minute and a half long. I believe I'll always think of Michael Jackson from now on when I hear this playing. I was listening to it on headphones while some sort of lengthy tribute to Jacko was on the telly. Very appropriate. A lot of the songs on this blend/segue into each other...the opener is followed by a killer cover of "When The Lights Are Out," one of my all-time favorite Slade songs and one of their poppier ones to boot. This is one of CT's best-ever covers, right up their with "Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Piece" (Terry Reid) or "California Man" (The Move). Third tune, "Miss Tomorrow" is a very hooky ballad. This album seems to favor keyboards and orchestration/synths over over loud guitars....many of them played by Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. (brains behind Jellyfish, solo artiste). Jason Falkner (yet another from Jellyfish) and Wayne Kramer (MC5) also play on this CD.

There are several decent rockers, notably "Sick Man of Europe", "California Girl", and "Alive". To me, though, the real highlights are the incredibly melodic ballads, including the aforementioned "Miss Tomorrow", "Times Of Our Lives", and "Closer, The Ballad of Burt and Linda". The band is really writing some great tunes nowadays, with all 4 sharing writing credits, and co-producer Julian Raymond (also co-produced "Rockford" for the band, plus the recent "Meet Glen Campbell" album) also pitching in on 6-7 songs.

All in all, it's another excellent album for them....not quite up to par with their first 3-4, but considerably better than most if not all of their middle-period (mid-80's to mid-90's)releases.

Looking forward to seeing the band in Las Vegas this September at the Las Vegas Hilton for their Sgt. Peppers shows......

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Joe(Elliott) was telling me last nite he felt bad, because CT got a late start, because of all the lightning, and with the triple billing, they HAD to end on time. Rick Nielsen's vocal mic wasnt working either.As it was, Poison(yawn)was LATE going ON because of the stage change-over.Def Leppard is going to switch around the bill, throughout the tour(to bad it wasnt last nite, I really wanted to see C.T..

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