At Budokan unexpectedly made Cheap Trick stars, largely because "I Want You to Want Me" had a tougher sound than its original studio incarnation. Perversely -- and most things Cheap Trick have done are somehow perverse -- the band decided not to continue with the direct, stripped-down sound of At Budokan, which would have been a return to their debut. Instead, the group went for their biggest, most elaborate production to date, taking the synthesized flourishes of Heaven Tonight to extremes. While it kept the group in the charts, it lessened the impact of the music. Underneath the gloss, there are a number of songs that rank among Cheap Trick's finest, particularly the paranoid title track, the epic rocker "Gonna Raise Hell," the tough "I Know What I Want," the simple pop of "Voices," and the closer, "Need Your Love." Still, Dream Police feels like a letdown in comparison to its predecessors, even though it would later feel like one of the group's last high-water marks.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine