Wednesday, June 15, 2005

"Dream Police"

Cheap Trick may not have invented "power pop" but by God they define it. There's such a fine line between power pop and proper rock that you blink and you've gone from Cheap Trick to Boston. Cheap Trick's art was to know how to ride that line. Sure, they played rock too, but they knew how to keep it under control. And you just couldn't take seriously someone who played a six-neck guitar. Rick Nielson couldn't write a duff song if he tried (but don't test me on that), he just ladles on the gorgeous hooks, aching harmonies, steamhammer beats and rabble-rousing choruses and cooks up fantastic tunes. "Dream Police" was probably their last truly great album, jam-packed with hummable songs, arena-sized singalongs that you could play just about anywhere.

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