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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cheap Trick

The Latest (Cheap Trick Unlimited)

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Cheap Trick has been around forever, or so it seems. Actually, it's been 35 years since the four lads from Rockford, Ill., formed the band that would become a cornerstone of power-pop, and 20 million albums later-some much better than others-the band is still going strong with The Latest, a cleverly titled follow-up to 2006's consistently effective Rockford.

Weighing in with 13 songs spanning only 41 minutes, The Latest (also available in limited-edition vinyl and-whoa!-8-track via www.cheaptrick.com) finds the band pushing itself toward healthy experimentation. But Robin Zander's modulated vocals and the sweeping but unexpected orchestral effects don't detract from Cheap Trick's signature, often-imitated sound. If anything, the arty and ethereal "Sleep Forever" and the contemporary "Times of Our Lives" complement "When the Lights Are Out," a neat nugget recorded all the way back in 1976 but never included on an album until now.

Here's hoping The Latest won't be the last.

Cheap Trick will perform with Def Leppard and Poison at the Marcus Amphitheater on July 18.