Cheap Trick, “The Latest” may just very well be the album that proves this band has elevated themselves beyond the Rock Legends status. It is in my Metal opinion, Cheap Trick has become deserving of being called – Music Legends. Once again, Cheap Trick has not tried to reinvent themselves, instead they have created thirteen new songs that justifies their Rock and Roll existence and legendary status. What Cheap Trick has proven to me, with “The Latest”, is that I can marvel at this band and also learn a valuable lesson about life… the lesson of never giving into complacency. The last three Cheap Trick studio albums including “The Latest” is as strong a Rock Music achievement as I could ever hear. This band is just knocking out some of the greatest albums of their career, this decade alone.
The mindset to create a complete album of memorable songs, has not seemed to wane, from the Cheap Trick – bag of Rock Music tricks. “The Latest” begins with the song “Sleep Forever”, at 1:37 long. This song with it’s limited and heartfelt lyrics, coupled with a somber musical atmosphere and mood, took me off guard upon my first listen. My interpretation of this song, is saying goodbye to a loved one, someone that is cherished, after this loved one passes away. My beautiful Mother, someone I always and forever will cherish and love in my heart, passed away on July 10, 2009. I first listened to this album and “Sleep Forever” on July 21, 2009… I felt as if everything around me went still while my thoughts and feelings instantly gravitated towards my late Mother. The timing of my hearing this song for the first time, so close to the day my Mother passed away, became an emotional moment that I never anticipated from “The Latest” Cheap Trick album. I will say this… Cheap Trick has made one beautiful little song with “Sleep Forever”, a remarkable testament to this bands articulate musical diversity.
“Sleep Forever” is perfect being the first song on this album, for the remaining twelve songs are balanced with upbeat, Rock, Hard Rock and many dashes and dollops of that vintage Cheap Trick sound. In my Metal opinion, if this song was to be the last track to hear, instead of it being the first, well, it would be ending this great album on a sad note. This is a song that is perfect where it is, as song number one, let the emotions flow… then it is time to Rock the rest of the way through “The Latest”. Let it be known from me, that the remaining twelve songs on this album are as Rock inspiring as one could ever wish for. “California Girl” is classic Cheap Trick, with the Rock pace and lyrics resembling the roots of this prolific band. “Miracle” and “Times Of Our Lives” are two songs that signify the essence of how Cheap Trick taps into humanity as subject matter - all the while, in an uplifting, Rock spirit kind of way.
Fans of Cheap Trick are going to buy or already have this album. It is the casual Cheap Trick fan, the fan of Classic Rock and/or Hard Rock that I really recommend this album to. Cheap Trick, for me, have not lost their Rock edge, they have gained an edge with this new album. “The Latest” may have given me an emotional start with “Sleep Forever” at the onset, yet I thank Cheap Trick for that. This is a prime example of just how a song can keep me grounded, then the remaining album carries me off into Cheap Trick’s land of addicting Rock and Roll cool.
Cheap Trick: Rick Nielsen on guitars, background vocals & keyboards, Robin Zander on vocals, guitar & keyboards, Tom Petersson on bass, background vocals & guitar and Bun E. Carlos on drums & background vocals