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Cheap Trick

Rockford | Big3
By JED GOTTLIEB  |  August 1, 2006
After a decade of trying to create (and capitalize) on a return to form, Cheap Trick have delivered. Named for the band’s Illinois home town, Rockford has all the Cheap Trick gimmicks: power-pop anthems, arena-rock ballads, oddball humor. And the band have recaptured that winning mix of Aerosmith grit, Beatles melodies, and Bay City Rollers whimsy. The first three tracks are irrelevant stabs at anemic Top 40, an even bigger disappointment when you consider the high-priced studio talent (engineers Steve Albini and Jack Douglas as well as producer/song doctor Linda Perry) involved. But then they segue into “Come On Come On Come On,” an amusing, and worthy, salute to Budokan’s “Come On, Come On.” Robin Zander does a stirring George Harrison impersonation on guitarist Rick Nielsen’s “O Claire,” and his Beatles homage continues — this time with an ELO twist — on Nielsen’s “This Time You Got It.” His voice has improved with age: he still hits the high, sweet notes with force, but now he has an equally impressive growl. Cheap Trick haven’t learned any new tricks, but they’re as skilled (and enthused) as they were two decades ago. If this were ’76, they’d have a smash on their hands.
  Topics: CD Reviews , Cheap Trick , Rick Nielsen , The Beatles ,  More more >
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