Nobody really wants or needs a new Cheap Trick album; their run from 1977 to 1980 had enough thrilling melodies, dynamic leaps and wipe-out guitar riffs to last us till the next ice age. But while they've made comeback albums before, the just-released Rockford sounds fresher, sharper and more spry than any dinosaur rockers have a right to be. Reuniting with their original hit-making producer, Jack Douglas, the bandmates don't just get their rocks off; they aim straight for the heart of power-pop and find that its heavy beat and fuzz-tone buzz is unstoppable. Robin Zander can't hit the vertiginous notes of his youth, but nobody else is trying. Plus, no other band past or present manages to make pure rock & roll formula sound less formulaic or more purely fun.
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