The Cars - 2011 Move Like This

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited November 2020 in year-2011

ARTIST: The Cars
ALBUM: Move Like This
LABEL: Hear Music
SERIAL: HRM-32872-02
YEAR: 2011

LINEUP: Ric Ocasek - rhythm guitar, lead vocals * Elliot Easton - lead guitar, background vocals * Greg Hawkes - keyboards, bass, background vocals * David Robinson - drums

Additional Musicians: Jacknife Lee - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Blue Tip * 02 Too Late * 03 Keep On Knocking * 04 Soon * 05 Sad Song * 06 Free * 07 Drag On Forever * 08 Take Another Look * 09 It's Only * 10 Hits Me

RATING: image


It was always on the cards that Bostonian faves The Cars would return to their reserved parking space held for them since their industrious days of the 80's. Their brand new 2011 outing 'Move Like This' is the bands first proper studio album since 1987's disappointing 'Door To Door'.

We can't really count 2006's 'It's Alive' under the monicker The New Cars and with Todd Rundgren being part of the line-up. As much as it heralded a kick-start for Ocasek and co, The New Cars just couldn't get out of the parking lot and into fourth gear.

This reunion however carries more traction and is a genuine attempt at rediscovering their 70's-80's success, even if it is without talismanic co-lead singer and bassist Benjamin Orr who passed away in 2000 of pancreatic cancer.

The bass duties have been picked up Greg Hawkes and Jacknife Lee who some of you might remember from his production work with the likes of U2, Weezer, R.E.M, Snow Patrol and The Hives.

The 24 years away from the public eye have enabled the band to return with a fresh perspective, and a vintage sound that harks back to the first three albums of The Cars back-catalogue, more so than the MTV laden 'Heartbeat City'.

The Songs

Leading off, 'Blue Tip' features the zany mono-synthesizer trademark of David Robinson, a quirky rocker that gallops away like a runaway racehorse on the chorus. Some tip huh? Swirly synths are the entree for 'Too Late', a track which has radio potential and is encased in 70's memorabilia.

'Keep On Knockin' phases through the speakers with a demanding attitude. We get that familiar pre-chorus that we heard on a song like 'You're All I've Got Tonight', with its double note snare drum work giving us a reference point to that debut album.

'Soon' evokes a wonderful sense of serenity, a lulling peaceful tune that cruises the Sounds Cape. Elliot Easton's strutting guitar lines are again so familiar on 'Sad Song', so too the handclaps. Aah this is a trip down memory lane for sure.

I enjoyed the retro vibe of 'Free', which sees the band finding their feet in the 21st century. 'Drag On Forever' slows the pace fractionally, with a hari-krisha tambourine banging away in the background, the song is probably the weakest on the album.

Moving on, 'Take Another Look' meanders upon a keyboard layer and percussion with little in the way of real drums. It's a ballad in the vein of Michael Learns To Rock but not as appealing. 'It's Only' is a straight-ahead rocker while 'Hits Me' is a mixed bag though does have a quirky side and a sharp edges to it.

In Summary

It wouldn't surprise me to know if some of these songs were written eons ago, because they do flow ever so easily as if they were outtakes from their 1978 debut.

Being a long time away from the action, The Cars have decided to return to the sound from the 70's, and even though Roy Thomas Baker is not involved, sonically, Ric Ocasek has returned them to the era where their songs were fun and interesting.

A couple of tracks bring the rating down slightly ('Drag On Forever' and 'Take Another Look'). Despite that, it looks as if 'Move Like This' could be on my playlist for a wee while to come.
For those of you who enjoyed their debut and to a lesser extent 'Candy-O' and 'Panorama', you will love this return to form! Recommended.

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