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The Cars rev it up again!

It's been a while since we had a new album from the Cars. Can you believe it was 1987? When bassist and co-lead singer Benjamin Orr died in 2000, most fans had probably given up on the idea of a Cars reunion. In 2005, Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes teamed up with Todd Rundgren and some other musical veterans to form The New Cars, which performed some Cars' and Rundgren hits on tour, but could it really be the Cars without Rick Ocasek? Well Ocasek is back in the fold and their new record "Move Like This" sounds a LOT like the old Cars we knew and loved. It sounds so much like an old Cars record, that I bet if you played me some of the songs on it and said "those were from Side 2 of Candy-o" I probably would have believed you.  (I remember I only really listened to one side of that album back in the early days.) The first single, "Sad Song" starts with a riff and drum lick that's immediately identifiable as that Cars' sound. Despite the title, it's a fun upbeat song that would sound great cranked on the car stereo with the windows open in the summertime. I also liked "Soon," which has a  slow, dreamy quality that reminds me of the song "Drive," sung by Benjamin Orr on the 1984 "Heartbeat City" album. While "Move Like This" will probably impress the die-hard Cars' fan that's been waiting since the late '80's for something new, I don't think it really stands up that well when compared to their self-titled debut or Candy-O.  Ocasek goes a little too crazy on the keyboards, with a synthesized sound I don't really enjoy. For example, one song "Keep on Knocking" has a driving guitar sound that almost seems like a Neil Young thing going on, but then there's some keyboard overlay that just mucks it up. -Reviewed by Kitty Dunn

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05/11/2011 8:22AM
The Cars rev it up again!
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