Review: Cheap Trick – We’re All Alright! (Big Machine/Universal Music Canada)

In the 30-plus years since their debut effort, Cheap Trick has rightfully earned its place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sure, there has been the occasional misstep along the way – 1986’s The Doctor and 2003’s Special One come to mind – but more often than not, the group has been one of the more reliable bands in terms of the quality of their material.

We’re All Alright!, the group’s 18th studio album, arrives the year after their last studio effort, making this one of their most prolific periods since the release of their first three albums in 1977-78. Where last year’s Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello was a nice return to form for the band, Cheap Trick has completely surpassed all expectations with their latest album.

So what sets this album apart from others in their catalogue? The band sounds hungry again, as though they are out to prove that they aren’t some oldies act looking to capitalize on their history. The bulk of these songs can easily stand shoulder-to-shoulder with some of their best-known material, from rockers like “Listen To Me,” “Long Time Coming,” “Brand New Name On An Old Tattoo,” and “Radio Lover” to more pop-oriented tracks like their cover of The Move’s “Blackberry Way,” “She’s Alright,” and “Floating Down.”

We’re All Alright! is the kind of record that will satisfy both Cheap Trick faithful and those that may have (unwisely) given up on the band. Pick this up immediately.