There’s nothing on Cheap Trick’s new album but hard and happy rock & roll — oh, and drum eruptions, guitar fireworks, and enough irresistible hooks to last most other bands a lifetime.
Cheap Trick is a veteran heavy-metal band that, like Bad Company and Motley Crue, seems to have been revivified by the late-’80s hard-rock explosion. Its 1988 album, Lap of Luxury, sold better than anything it had recorded since 1980, and if there’s any justice in the world, Busted should be even more successful; not many records burst with this much strength and melody. The songs overflow with generosity, too. Where other metal bands might boast about living in the gutter or dominating women, Cheap Trick, in songs like ”If You Need Me,” promises faithful emotional support.
Other soon-to-be favorites might include ”You Drive, I’ll Steer,” a song about collaboration between lovers that hurtles from thrill to thrill, and ”Walk Away,” a raw-boned but touching ballad about the aftermath of a bad love affair (which, in a striking tribute from a very different kind of musician, features Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders singing backup vocals). This is one of those rare albums good enough to transcend its genre. All prejudices anyone might have about hard rock ought to be swept away by the sheer joy of the music. A