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The Latest

4.3 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Multi-platinum rock band Cheap Trick returns with The Latest, a self-released album and their first new studio album since 2006's Rockford. The Latest, produced by Julian Raymond & Howard Willing, continues Cheap Trick's reign as power-pop progenitors as they celebrate their 35th anniversary together. The album features the original line-up of Robin Zander - vocals and guitar, Rick Nielsen - guitar and backing vocals, Bun E. Carlos - drums and backing vocals & Tom Petersson - bass and backing vocals.

According to producer Julian Raymond, "Cheap Trick are fun to record because they are each a master of their craft, and there are so many great new songs on this record. But we also included an old one called 'When The Lights Are Out.' I couldn't believe it wasn't released in '76 when the band did it. I insisted they put it on the record just as it was."

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 23, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: June 23, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Cheap Trick
  • ASIN: B002BH4EZM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,855 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Let's start with the CD cover. The band is on the beach with metal detectors looking for buried treasure, and the lead guitarist himself, Rick Nielsen, is more than half buried in the sand. Is this a metaphor of "The Latest?" Should listeners go on a musical beachcombing expedition looking for buried treasure in the lyrics and melodies? After listening to the CD numerous times, I'd say abso-freakin-lutely YES!

"The Latest" is a diverse, well engineered array of songs from the slow, dirge-like opener "Sleep Forever," to the funky bass-driven rock scorcher "Sick Man of Europe." You can mine a great deal of gold in this CD, but it takes at least several listens in order to appreciate the lush orchestral arrangements in "Closer," "Everybody Knows," and "Times of Our Lives," all of which smack of The Beatles. Cheap Trick has always been highly influenced by the Fab Four, and in September 2009 they'll roll out nine performances of the Sgt. Pepper's album in Las Vegas. But no song on "The Latest" is as Beatle-esque as "Miracle." "Miracle" is reminiscent of John Lennon's "Imagine," and lead singer Robin Zander sounds eerily as if he's channeling the deceased Beatles singer/songwriter.

Speaking of the deceased, death doesn't take a holiday on several songs. "Sleep Forever" was inspired by the passing of a close friend of the band, and the haunting "Everybody Knows" implies the impending demise of a ship's crew. Even the rockin' chorus in "Alive" wails, "We're never gonna get out of this place alive. You know we'll never survive...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
THE LATEST IS THEIR GREATEST

Cheap Trick has outdone themselves on their latest recording "The Latest." At times criticized for being a "fun" band without substance, Cheap Trick proves to the critics and naysayers that they are capable of producing exceptional pieces of deep, meaningful music- while still rocking out as much if not better than the numerous younger bands they've influenced along the way. "The Latest" is certain to become a classic in the Cheap Trick canon, without a doubt one of the best things they've ever done.

Starting off like "Sleep Forever," a beautiful, almost too-short elegy, Robin Zander demonstrates that he is hands-down one of the greatest vocalists in rock and roll history. It's nothing like you've ever heard before from the Rockford gang, and just when you're captivated by this song, Bun E. Carlos kicks up a blast-from-the-past, ELO Kiddies-based drum march into...

"When The Lights Go Out," a cover version of the 70's song from Slade. Rick Nielsen's guitar work, as it is through much of the recording, is fluid and uplifting. The glam-rock feel, the soaring vocals, and the foot-tapping charm of this song hearken back to an era when music was about "the beauty of the melody," as Chuck Berry aptly described it.

"Miss Tomorrow" is power pop music as its best, the type of song that CT is best known for throughout their underappreciated career.

"Sick Man of Europe" is the type of song that makes you scratch your head and go, "How can these guys be rocking this hard at this stage in their career?" THIS IS EASILY ONE OF THE BEST SINGLES RELEASED SO FAR THIS YEAR. It is worth buying this CD for this song alone. Tom Petersson's bass work rivals John Entwistle on this one.

I could go on and on, but you get the point.
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Format: MP3 Music
The heroes on the Latest album from Cheap Trick are undoubtedly vocalist Robin Zander and producer Juilan Raymond. Zander has rarely sounded so convincing and played a major part in writing the material too. His voice is simply magnificent on this album. Raymond, on the other hand, has done a marvellous job in making a disparate collection of re-worked tunes and abandoned demos sound like classic Cheap Trick.

Song by song?

"Sleep Forever" is a brief but beautiful memorial piece dedicated to the band's old chum and merchandise overlord John Candas. It's a song guaranteed to be played at every fan's funeral from this point on!

"When The Light's Are Out" is on a different subject, thankfully, and is Cheap Trick's fusion of a seventies' Slade cover and their own debut album opener, "Elo Kiddies". Already familiar to most fans through its earlier exposure via this website, but hugely enjoyable nonetheless.

"Miss Tomorrow" was penned by Robin and Dave Stewart in the early nineties, but omitted from Zander's excellent solo album. It eventually surfaced as an extra track on the European "Show Me Heaven" CD single. The version here is quite similar and finally gives the song the exposure it deserves.

"Sick Man Of Europe" is described elsewhere as Cheap Trick meets The Hives, and it does somewhat epitomize the Scandinavians' pop-punk stylings. Tom Petersson's bass is to the fore here and it's a highly infectious number, albeit clocking in at a little over the two minute mark.

Indeed, one criticism that might be levelled at "The Latest" is the brevity of some of the songs, with half a dozen less than three minutes long.

"These Days" is an early contender for standout track.
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