I have two friends who are devoted to Cheap Trick. So I have to be very careful while writing about this band. They love Cheap Trick. I like Cheap Trick very much. Like and love is close, but not the same thing. I have the first four Cheap Trick studio albums. "Dream Police" is my favorite. First to give credit is vocalist Robin Zander. Not only in the looks department but he clearly is a great singer. If not for Cheap Trick, he surely could get a career in the theater arts. It's not only his range, or tone of his voice, but his brilliant ability to capture the character in mostly Rick Nielsen's songs. Although many are co-written within the band.
The other aspect of Cheap Trick I like is that they are clearly guitar orientated rock band, but there is something orchestrational about their sonic landscape. I don't know if they listen to orchestrated classical music, or more likely it's a Beatle influence, but there is something more than just two guitars, bass, drummer and vocalist about them. And as I mentioned, their songs to me at least (I never read interviews with them) are fictional situations or characters.
This is a beautifully programmed one-song-blends-to-the other type of album. "Dream Police," the song is the full-on production that is candy-like in its pop intentions. For me, the two songs that I play over and over again are "Gonna Raise Hell," and the beautiful ballad "Voices." "Gonna Raise Hell" is nine minutes long, and it kind of reminds me of the intensity of the Beatles "She's So Heavy" on "Abbey Road." Zander does some effective Lennon like screams as the music goes upwards never losing its tension in its 9-minute length. "Voices" is a gorgeous melody made stronger by Robin's vocals, and the arrangements of the vocals alone is utterly superb.
The beauty of Cheap Trick is that if you see their graphics/album covers it seems like they're a 'rawk' band, but again, there is another element to their work that's brilliant. They may want to hide that aspect to their overall image, but I admire their subtle textures that run through their music. Especially on this album.