We are on the last review in the Cheap Trick Collection Series and it is their twentieth studio album called ‘In Another World’. The album was originally supposed to be released in 2018 and the first single “Summer Looks Good On You” came out on May 18, 2018, but no release came. Then over a year later on Black Friday Record Store Day on November 29, 2019 a second single, “Gimme Some Truth”, was released which we reviewed a couple weeks back. Still no album. The band finally finished it in 2020, but then Covid hit. So finally on April 9, 2021 the album was released.
The band was still original members Robin Zander, Rick Nielsen and Tom Petersson. However, there were additional musicians on the album. Daxx Nielsen, Rick’s son, handled the drums and that wasn’t all. Jimmy Hall, lead singer for Wet Willie, actually contributed with the harmonica and former Sex Pistols guitarists, Steve Jones, contributed guitar work on the song “Gimme Some Truth”. The producer on the album was Julian Raymond which I believe is his fourth in a row with the band. He also contributed songwriting along with Daxx as all five were credited with the songs with some minor exceptions which we will talk about later.
One thing to note, while on tour for this album in 2021, Tom Petersson had to have open heart surgery and was sidelined from the tour. As a result, Robin’s son, Robin Taylor Zander, stepped in on bass. Tom is still a full member of the band, thankfully. I still find it interesting that when two of the original members had to leave, Robin and Rick made sure to keep it in the family. Okay, now back to the music.
“The Summer Looks Good On You” was the first single and released back in 2018 as the first single. The album opener picks up right where the last one left off. It is a feel good anthem that is extremely radio friendly, warm and welcoming. Robin Zander’s vocals never age and he sounds as good today as he did 45 years ago when they debuted. The song has great riffs, drum fills and a driving bass beat that makes you want to go outside and soak up the Summer sun.
And if that first song didn’t put you in a good mood, then “Quit Waking Me Up” will do just that. It is bouncy and bubbly and a vibrant song that is pretty damn catchy as hell. Daxx’s drumming and Petersson’s bass are the dynamic duo of the beat. There is a great horns section plus Rick lays down some more gritty riffs and Robin shines as usual. The joy I felt with the album ‘We’re All Alright!” is transferred in to these first two opening tracks. Pure Pop Bliss!! One interesting note is Kristian Bush from Sugarland had a co-write on the song.
The title track “Another World” is sombre with a hint of melancholy. The acoustic melodies wrapped around some serious lyrics and a killer electric guitar solo talk about the troubled world we have been dealing with over the last couple years. It is nice seeing the band get a little more serious. A pleasant change of pace.
Then with “Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll” we get a psychedelic rocker that takes you back to Cheap Trick of the 70’s. A fun-filled, energy packed, straight ahead rocker with a punky edge. Sometimes that is all you need. “The Party” is a power-packed ball of energy that is both a happy fun-filled good time and it is a boogie-filled rocker. It is…well…its a party!
Then they go all bluesy with “Final Days” and when the get to the chorus, all join in for the singing fun as it layered with a ton of vocals. There is a grittiness to it that gives it a harder edge and style. With “So It Goes”, the band goes back to their Beatles roots and bring us a song that feels like “Strawberry Fields Forever” and Paul singing, but it is just Cheap Trick wearing their influences on their sleeves. It shows, they can be fun and they can be serious.
With some massive guitar distortion, Cheap Trick brings back the heavy with “Light Up the Fire”. Robin attacks the lyrics with some cocky bravado and Rick’s guitar playing on this one is stellar as he lets loose. The Daxx & Tom combo are key to the vibe as their rhythm section is driving hard and fast. A beast of a track.
Back to the 60’s Psychedelia we go with “Passing Through”. A mid-tempo track that feels like it is soaring and you are floating through space, but a space filled with some wild guitar work by Mr. Nielsen. Robin’s vocals add to that effect as his delivery is focused and deliberate with a tenderness that is spacey and airy.
“Here’s Looking At You” is another nostalgic Cheap Trick song which could’ve easily been on ‘Heaven Tonight’ or ‘Dream Police’. An upbeat rocker which has some cool bass work by Tom. The great Linda Perry had a co-write on the song which I thought was cool.
“Another World Reprise” at first you think…why do we need to “reprise” the song. Well, they take it from an acoustic track to a pop-filled bundle of joy with a harder edge. You’d never know it is basically the same song. It takes away from the seriousness of the original as the focus is off the lyrics and on to the energy and vibe of the song. Which isn’t a bad thing…just different.
They slow things down with a ballad called “I’ll See You Again” which is a completely unexpected and welcomed acoustic song that is short but oh so sweet. Another psychedelic vibe and Beatlesque feel to it. It is tender and precious in its delivery and I think one of the coolest pieces they’ve done in awhile. Perfection!
The album ends with a cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth”. It isn’t as punked out as I would’ve liked but there is a punk edge to it. It feels restrained and like they were holding back. I would’ve liked to have seen them turn it on its side, ramp up the energy and tempo and go for it. Otherwise, we just have an okay cover of a decent track. So, I will admit I’m not blown away by it at all.
- The Summer Looks Good On You – Keeper
- Quit Waking Me Up – Keeper
- Another World – Keeper
- Boys & Girls & Rock N Roll – Keeper
- The Party – Keeper
- Final Days – Keeper
- So It Goes – Keeper
- Light Up The Fire – Keeper
- Passing Through – Keeper
- Here’s Looking At You – Keeper (1/2 Point)
- Another World (Reprise) – Keeper (1/2 Point)
- I’ll See You Again – Keeper
- Gimme Some Truth – Delete
The Track Score is 11 out of 13 Tracks or 84%. Now, how many bands can be 20 albums in to their career and still produce magic like this? I don’t think you can name many, if any at all. Cheap Trick over the last few albums, with Julian Raymond behind the boards, have tapped in to their roots and have been delivering consistent and pure Cheap Trick albums. Their influences are right there where we want them to be, front & center. Cheap Trick still feels fresh, new and comfortable in their skin. They know what works and what doesn’t. ‘In Another World’ delivers on all fronts with only a could missteps. If they would’ve cut it down a few songs, we’d be at perfect but we are not. My Overalls Score is a 4.0 out of 5.0 Stars which a band 44 years in to their career at this point…that is pretty damn awesome!!
UP NEXT: THE ALBUMS RANKED WORST TO FIRST
The Cheap Trick Collection Series:
- Cheap Trick (1977)
- In Color (1977)
- Heaven Tonight (1978)
- Cheap Trick at Budokan (1978)
- Dream Police (1979)
- Found All The Parts (1980)
- All Shook Up (1980)
- One On One (1982)
- Next Position Please (1983)
- Standing on the Edge (1985)
- “Tonight It’s You” (1985) – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- “Mighty Wings” (1986) – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- The Doctor (1986)
- Lap Of Luxury (1988)
- “The Flame” (1988) – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- “Ghost Town” (1988) – CD Single Promo (Bonus Edition)
- Busted (1990)
- Woke Up With A Monster (1994)
- Sex, America, Cheap Trick (1996) – Box Set
- “I Want You To Want Me” (Alternate Version) (1996) – 7″ Single (Bonus Edition)
- Cheap Trick (1997)
- Cheap Trick at Budokan: The Complete Concert (1998)
- Music For Hangovers (1999)
- Special One (2003)
- Rockford (2006)
- The Latest (2009)
- The Epic Archive, Vol. 1 (1975-1979) (2015)
- The Epic Archive, Vol. 2 (1980-1983) (2015)
- The Epic Archive, Vol. 3 (1984-1990) (2015)
- Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello (2016)
- We’re All Alright! (2017)
- Christmas Christmas (2017)
- Are You Ready? Live 12/31/1979 (2019)
- “Gimme Some Truth” (RSD Black Friday 2019)
- Out To Get You! Live 1977 (2020)
- In Another World (2021)