"We're All Alright"

By Dark Starr

Cheap Trick hail from my hometown of Rockford, Illinois, so they have a special place in my heart, both because we share a lot of local cultural mindset and because I have at least some passing personal experience with some of the guys. So, I always look forward to a new CT album. This one is a pretty solid release. 

I will say that for the most part it rocks harder than a lot of the rest of their catalog. There are plenty of Trick trademarks here, making it recognizable. Yet, they also push the envelope. I'd say that it is perhaps a bit short, weighing in at less than 35 minutes in length.   

They waste no time, launching into a hard rocking jam titled " You Got It Going On" to start things off. It is fierce and fast paced rock and roll. Not quite as furious as the previous tune, "Long Time Coming" feels like something from the band's last album to me. It's catchy and has some hints of things like the Dream Police album. 

On "Nowhere" we get another edgy hard rocker. This one, though, is more along the lines of punk rock. It's still instantly recognizable as Cheap Trick. It just lands more in the rough around the edges territory. That said, the instrumental section even brings some ELO leanings to the table. 

Another straight ahead rock and roller, "Radio Lover" isn't as effective to me. It's not a bad song by any means. It just doesn't stand as tall as some of the rest here. It's not as catchy and just seems a bit less driven. 

Now, "Lolita" is a stronger cut for sure. It's hard rocking, but also catchy. I dig the guitar sound on this thing. There is a weird bit at the end of the song that, while interesting, sort of takes away from the oomph of the cut. Another catchy tune, "Brand New Name On An Old Tattoo" is also very hard rocking and tasty. 

"Floating Down" is a ballad that is pretty much trademark Cheap Trick. It makes me think of "The Flame" just a little bit, but while that song didn't feel like Trick at all, this has their brand all over it. It's like they decided to do a song that was like "The Flame," but the way they would write it. I like this one a lot. It both provides some serious variety and grounds the set in some ways. 
"She's Alright" comes next, and it is a melodic rocker is intriguing. It doesn't really sound at all like Cheap Trick to me, but it is catchy. Besides, bands should try to work out of their familiarity envelope from time to time. We're back into the hard rocking material with " Listen To Me." This is screaming hot, but has a classic Cheap Trick chorus, hook laden and nicely layered. Rick Nielsen gets some killer guitar soloing out on this screamer. 

Alternative rock, Beatles magic and some Cheap Trick trademarks all merge on the mid-tempo rocker called " The Rest Of My Life." There are bits of psychedelia here including a weird little post song section. All in all, this is particularly strong song. I'm just not sure if it was the best choice to close the set . I think maybe the album would have been stronger if they had switched the positions on the two final numbers.