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Special One (Bonus DVD)


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Audio CD, July 22, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

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Their studio output hampered by label turmoil for the better part of a decade, the veterans in Cheap Trick instead focused on burnishing their history and stellar live reputation with 1999's Music for Hangovers and 2001's Silver. But that back-to-the-future tack hardly heralded their descent into nostalgic act, as this warm surprise of a studio album reaffirms on virtually every track. Largely sidestepping the blistering pop thrash and hook-filled acoustic ballads that have long tempted stereotyping, the Trick has produced arguably the most texturally intriguing album of their long career, a forceful reminder of the true depth of their talents and breadth of eclectic influences. The opening single, "Scent of a Woman," goes from simmer to boil in record time, while "Too Much" and the title track give a Trick spins on late '60s UK psych-pop. From there, they seem to consciously tip their hats to the growing cadre of young pop and alt stars who claim them as inspirations, with the help of Chris Shaw and guest fellow producers Jack Douglas (Aerosmith and the first CT album) and Steve Albini (the sexed-up minimalism of "Low Life in High Heels" and encroaching darkness of "Sorry, Boy"). This is an album spawned by four lifelong love affairs with rock's disparate possibilities--and a special one, indeed. --Jerry McCulley

1. Scent Of A Woman
2. Too Much
3. Special One
4. Pop Drone
5. My Obsession
6. Words
7. Sorry Boy
8. Best Friend
9. If I Could
10. Low Life In High Heels
11. Hummer

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 22, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Big 3 Records (Ada)
  • ASIN: B00009V7TJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,634 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Billucy on July 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Once upon a time, Cheap Trick fired off cannon blasts of power pop with the reliability and precision of an ace artillery unit. "C'mon, C'mon," "Lookout," "He's a Whore," "Dream Police," "Surrender" -- the crafty bubblegum barrage seemed like it'd never end. And then it did. The band spent much of the '80s trying to re-capture the original magic. Its successes, however, were often overshadowed by a sense of confusion. And, to be fair, no younger band was able to catch and sustain the spark either -- though many tried.
In the '90s, Trick shed some of its old baggage and forged a new identity. The pop smarts remained, but the band ditched the hyperactive wisecracker persona. After all, they'd become middle-aged men. So while late-period classics such as "Say Goodbye" and "Hard to Tell" still boiled over with hooks, the songs were darker, more grounded than heyday haymakers like "Southern Girls" and "She's Tight."
"Special One" finds this great American institution mining fresh gold from this fairly new groove. While the opening track, "Scent of a Woman," demonstrates the band can still kick out the power chords, the lyrics are earnest -- even annoyingly so. Still, the song is saved by a joltingly energetic bridge and an infectious overall enthusiasm. From there, "Special One" simmers down to a medium boil with "My Obsession" and "Too Much" taking top prizes for melody and crackerjack performances. While earlier ballads like "If You Want My Love" often came across as winningly jokey, these two are straight-shooters and the better for it.
Trick has always had a psychotic streak and they don't hide it for long on "Special One." The back-to-back desperation of "Sorry Boy" and "Best Friend" may put off fans seduced by the album's warm-hearted open.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "dbg367" on October 11, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Cheap Trick came out with a good album in 1997. This album continues where the last one left off, except this one is better.
The band has taken a step beyond the power rock in the 1997 album. They've added a techno feel and some different rythms. More importantly, they have added this feel while still applying their signature. This is classic Cheap Trick with some new dimensions. This is exactly what you want from a band - Continuous evolution.
Lyrically speaking the album is their best. This is truly one of their best albums, and one of the best albums I've heard this year. If anyone has any suggestions of albums that are as good as this one, let me know.
I like this album for what it is: creative, different and classic Cheap Trick. I like it for what it isn't - 10 power pop love songs. Cheap trick is better than that and they've proved it on their last two albums.
Keep going guys, keep evloving and trying new things. You saved us from Disco once, now save us from 'nsync hell and John Mayer banality.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brian Borchers on July 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Cheap Trick is back in a big way! "Special One" is long overdue but worth the wait. It has about everything you could expect from Cheap Trick: catchy hooks, reckless hard rock, and a load of enjoyable tunes. The album admittedly has a gay title, one of their stupidest yet (I'm picturing the album riding the "short bus"). The music is great though, with each member giving a solid performance in every song. It's well recorded by the production "dream team" consisting of Cheap Trick, Chris Shaw, Jack Douglas, & Steve Albini. Here's a song-by-song description:
Scent of a Woman - Amazing! A truly amazing song, the best I've heard in years. It has a solid rhythm and a level of passion that is all but lost in today's rock. Sure it starts slow, but don't adjust the volume too much. This one will blow you away.
Too Much - A good rhythmic song with a classic Beatles-inspired Cheap Trick sound.
Special One - Continue's the band's love affair with Japan. An interesting listen because it's different sounding. You can find versions of this song that are actually sung in Japanese.
Pop Drone - A basic pop song, mildly interesting. Most people seem to like this one more than I do.
My Obsession - This is a nice rhythmic pop song with a good sound. I wouldn't be surprised to hear this on the radio.
Words - The album gets a bit slow at this point, but still good music. One reviewer described this song as "Double Fantasy"-era John Lennon. Perfect description.
Sorry Boy - A pounding rocker with a heavy, ominous sound. A nice break from the slow pop songs. Reminds me of "Anytime" from CT '97.
Best Friend - A musical journey into madness. Starts out safe enough, but builds into a screaming, thrashing monster. It'll make you sweat!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Hawkins on July 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
New disc from 70's legends Cheap Trick proves the band can still write a catchy tune. My Obsession, Pop Drone, Too Much, Special One, and Words are the strongest tracks. The classic Cheap Trick power-pop sound is very much alive on Special One with it's Beatle-ish melodies and grungy guitars. But just as they did in their early years, the boys aren't shy about exploring their quirky, experimental side either. Check out the songs Sorry Boy and Hummer to see what I mean. Overall, Special One is probably Cheap Trick's best record since 1985's Standing On The Edge. It's nice to hear them performing their own material after the dreary late-80's / early-90's period when their label forced them to bring in outside writers and it seemed the band had totally sold out in the pursuit of a hit. Whether or not Special One will spawn a radio hit and revive the band's career is anyone's guess. But if nothing else it proves that 25 years later Cheap Trick still rocks with the best of them.
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