The Cars, ‘Move Like This’ – Album Review
Strap on your seat belts, kids! It’s been a long wait, but the Cars have started their engines again. With all of the original surviving members back in the fold, the band is out of the garage with ‘Move Like This,’ its first album in nearly a quarter century.
After breaking up in 1988 following the release of the previous year’s ‘Door to Door,’ the Cars’ bandmembers embarked on various rides before re-forming in 2010. In addition to releasing a slew of solo albums, frontman Ric Ocasek has enjoyed a successful run as a producer for acts such as Weezer and No Doubt.
In 2005, guitarist Elliot Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes revived the Cars’ music by forming the New Cars with singer Todd Rundgren. Meanwhile, drummer David Robinson laid low by running a restaurant and an art gallery. Tragically, singer-bassist Benjamin Orr passed away in 2000 from pancreatic cancer.
Despite so many years apart, there’s no mistaking the Cars’ signature sounds on ‘Move Like This.’ The disc is like a trip back to the future, as the band recaptures the pioneering new wave tones and power-pop vibe of their classic albums from the late ’70s and early ’80s.
From the opening bass line and synth effects of the disc’s first track, ‘Blue Tip,’ the Cars pick up right where they left off. The cut features Ocasek delivering staccato-like verses about the damaging influences of society and the media. Easton’s guitar then takes over to power the song’s rocking chorus. ‘Blue Tip’ is followed by another standout track, the melodic ‘Too Late.’
Elsewhere on the album, ‘Soon’ and ‘Take a Look’ are beautiful ballads that tell bittersweet stories of love. Like the group’s hit ‘Drive’ off 1984′s ‘Heartbeat City,’ they’re the type of tracks that Orr might have sung if he were still alive.
The album’s centerpiece, though, is its first single, ‘Sad Song.’ The track is classic Cars in every sense, and fits right in alongside past hits such as ‘Just What I Needed,’ ‘Good Times Roll’ and ‘Shake It Up.’
‘Move Like This’ may not find the Cars firing on all cylinders, but it is an exceptional comeback for a group that’s been sorely missed over the past two decades.
Watch the Cars’ ‘Blue Tip’ Video
Watch the Cars’ ‘Sad Song’ Video