ALBUM REVIEW: The Cars – “Move Like This”

The Cars Move Like This

Year of the Album — #024
The Cars – “Move Like This” (2011, Hear Music / Conchord)

It’s been 24 years since the last Cars record, and this 2011 effort finds them slipping right back into the New Wave groove they abandoned way back when. That’s great for fans of the Cars, who are going to get an album which is immediately accessable, like flashing back to the eighties without any musical jet-lag. But it’s hard to imagine the album converting any new fans — more than two decades after they ruled the airwaves, the band jumps headfirst into the 21st century music world, and it’s a very unfriendly place. Radio’s not going to play this, and once the retro kitsch of a new Cars record wears out, there’s really nothing here that suggests a long-term seller. But it’s great to hear a band craft a reunion record which doesn’t sound like a mere cash grab. And “Blue Tip” and “Keep On Rocking” are vintage Cars, perfect for keeping the converted rocking from dark til dawn. In the end, it’s hard to find fault with that.

The album doesn’t come out officially until May 10th, but you can hear a full album stream at Rolling Stone now.


3 thoughts on “ALBUM REVIEW: The Cars – “Move Like This”

  1. I have heard Sad Song on the radio. Great album, and with their Lollapalooza gig in August Move Like This will move copies all summer long.


  2. This album continues to amaze me. it’s both timely and timeless. There’s not trace of self-consciousness here and no attempt to “update” their sound. it’s “just” another Cars record and there is nothing wrong with that. That said, Jacknife Lee brings punches up the sound, fleshing it out without becoming busy or losing the band’s trademark sound. And unlike their lackluster “final” album, Door to Door, Move Like This has no glaring weaknesses or filler. The two ballads are typically melancholoy and (as they always have) offer some of Ocasek’s more traditional lyrics. But it’s the little nuances that make this album special – the retro synth that puncutates “Blue Tip” and the subtle guitar hitch by Elliot Easton; the metallic grind of “Keep On Knocking;” the hand-claps that underpin “Sad Song;” the slow, drowziness of “Drag on Forever.” Everything here works, either brilliantly or, at worst, just well. Ocasek delivers 10 songs (and thankfully resists the urge to give us 72 minutes of music just because the CD format will accommodate it) cloicking in at a brisk 39:00 or so minutes. An album you can put on, turn up, and not have to hit the “skip” button every second or third song.

  3. Pingback: THE RUNDOWN: Year of the Album 2011 « Hear! Hear!

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