Magazine article The New Yorker

Cheap Thrills

Magazine article The New Yorker

Cheap Thrills

Article excerpt

Cheap Trick's latest album is one of its trickiest yet, from the winking title ("The Latest") on down. The first single, "When the Lights Are Out," is a cover of an old Slade song--an old cover of an old Slade song, actually, recorded in 1976 and rescued from the Cheap Trick vaults--that fits the original over the galloping drumbeat of the band's early hit "ELO Kiddies." Throughout, in fact, the group (still composed of the guitarist Rick Nielsen, the singer Robin Zander, the bassist Tom Petersson, and the drummer Bun E. Carlos) plays fast and loose with its own history. The sparkling "Miss Tomorrow" is a leftover from Zander's early-nineties solo career. "Everybody Knows," one of many songs in which the band, and particularly Zander, seems to be channelling John Lennon, makes a passing reference to the band's 1983 album, "Next Position Please." And the bruising "Sick Man of Europe" takes its name from the pre-Trick band that Rick Nielsen started in the early seventies. …

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