Pop & Rock
VOICES Notes and news on Pop & Rock releases
10 MAY 11 DAVID VIENNA
Move Like This, the new album from The Cars picks up where the group left off years ago, delivering unshakably solid New Wave nuggets -- playfully effected and synthesized, all wrapped around singable melodies. But as the title suggests, the album doesn't sit stagnated in a bygone decade.
From the opening cut "Blue Tip," The Cars come out of the corner swinging with a song built on the hooks that made them a staple of the '80s. Ric Ocasek's cool, yet downtrodden vocals work perfectly with lyrics like "You stupefy the thinkers/You're hugging all the flakes/And all the things you think are true/Only mystify the fakes."
Missing from the lineup is bassist Benjamin Orr, who passed away in 2000. Though many things contributed to The Cars' long hiatus from recording (they played the occasional gig here and there), Orr's death proved a major factor in the band's reluctance to officially reunite. But recently, Ocasek finally decided to do something with the stockpile of songs he had.
Even the ballads "Soon" and "Take Another Look" hearken to the bands roots with heavy use of synthesizer, but this is no look back, thanks in large part to co-producer Jacknife Lee. He's worked with a number of young bands who've made a name mimicking The Cars' sound. Lee and The Cars successfully stayed true to the band's New Wave stylings while updating the production and techniques. The result is a collection of songs that show why The Cars were not just a phenomenon of the '80s, but a group whose music transcends the era.