Style: new wave
Label: Hear Music
Members: Ric Ocasek ~ vocals/guitar/keyboards
Elliot Easton ~ guitar/b. vocals
Greg Hawkes ~ guitar/bass/keyboards/b. vocals
David Robinson ~ drums/b. vocals
If you like the Cars you'll probably like their new album. If you don't then you probably won't be converted to their quirckly new wave stylings by a release which stays safe by playing the music that we know the Cars for & not trying to reinvent anything with an updated sound. That's pretty much all that needs to be said about Move Like This, their first album in over two decades years. If it's a comeback or just a brief hello it's too soon to say. It's actually a compliment to the gang that they didn't bow to peer pressure & try to become something they're not as so many resurrected bands have done with mixed unpredictable results. When a band reunites, whoever they are or whatever the style, there's a lot of expectations facing them & the Cars particularly feel this being away so long & with a sound that has long been out of style & just waiting for its comeback. It will comeback. Everything has at some point. A few bands have taken the easy way out by recording not new music but either doing a live album or re-recordings of classic songs & tacking on a couple new pieces, knowing that new material might not sell very well in a changed environment. The Yardbirds, Girlschool, Twisted Sister & Yes come to mind. Move Like This might have a mobile title, though one assumes it refers to dancing not time moving, but time has apparently not been mobile with the band as they fall right back into the mindset of their earlier days to truly be the Cars one more time & not an offshoot or band in name only with all new faces. If this had been released during their heyday it probably would have gone down as one of their best albums. As it is their fanbase has gotten older & moved on while its questionable if new fans are appearing or will come running, so who knows if anyone is still keeping score. Some new fans might criticise the quirkiness of the music, but that's more a reflection of the current trends in music than the band & how one has gotten used to not hearing a style. Yes, at times it does indeed sound as alien on the contemporary scene as if Jim Croce or Bobby Vee recorded albums today. Though, it's no more quirky than a lot of the electronica on the scene, which could make this album of interest for DJ's out there ... who will of course declare as usual, unaware of music history behind their lifetimes, that they are responsible for re-discovered the Cars, a band that nobody listened to until a DJ mixed it. Yes, honestly, it is at times a difficult album to listen to ... Ric Orcasek isn't the greatest singer & this is not music for guitar soloists, unless one turns to Men At Work's Cargo for guitar inspiration & the lyrics are sometimes too corny for their own good. But, the Cars, if you get beyond a couple hits, were never the easiest band to listen to. In many ways I'm reminded of the Devo, who also made a comeback album over the past year. Actually, this sounds a lot like the Devo comeback though might be the more difficult of the two as Devo has crafted new songs that are a lot more upbeat & radio friendly that grab you immediately while one has to sink into Move Like This before the moving starts. The Cars aren't necessarily trying to wrap you in with the first note. This is music that's all about layers. That being said ... "Too Late" & "Soon" might be two of the best ballads they've ever recorded.