9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Drive this one home tonight!,
This review is from: Move Like This (Audio CD)
Nearly a quarter of a century after their last studio album, The Cars are back. 1987's Door To Door was given a poor reception, both critically and commercially, and it signalled the end for one of the New Wave era's most indentifiable bands. They split in 1988, the same year as Talking Heads, and we'll never know if they could have thrived in the early 90s as their peers The B-52s and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (who also had disappointing albums released in 1987) managed to do.
Still, here they are now, sadly minus one founding member (bass player Benjamin Orr, also the voice of their biggest worldwide hit "Drive", who passed away in 2000) but remarkably sounding as fresh, taut and energised as they did on their debut set in 1978.
Ric Ocasek's vocals have not changed one iota, and his lyrics are as clipped yet distinctive as ever. He is backed up by some typically tight arrangements, played without fuss or embellishment but always melodic and always driving (if you'll excuse the pun) the song along.
The 10 tracks are equally split, production-wise, between the group and Jacknife Lee; the latter's input brings a subtly contemporary sheen to the album's standout "Sad Song", a shimmering electro-tinged slice of pure pop with shades of Xenomania's early work with Girls Aloud, of all things. "Too Late" is an obvious single-in-waiting, while "Keep On Knocking" and "Drag On Forever" lean more towards guitar-heavy rock without losing the Cars' trademark bite. The ballads - "Soon" and "Take Another Look" - do their best to evoke the spirit of Drive and I'm Not The One, but perhaps miss Orr's presence on vocals.
So, ten songs, 37 minutes, no fuss no frills. It sounds exactly like the best Cars records used to sound, and given the often fraught and anti-climactic results of other long-awaited returns (dare we say the word comeback?), this is about as good as could have ever been expected.
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Initial post: 29 Jan 2012 22:25:31 GMT
Totally agree, this could have been a disaster after all those years but this is highly enjoyable, especially when driving.
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