The Cars: Move Like This

The Cars: Move Like This
In 1978, The Cars released their self-titled debut album. The album produced one of the Cars most memorable singles, “Just What I Needed.” The band produced other hit singles like “Shake It Up” and “Drive” throughout the 80s. But as the 80s waned, so did the Cars and they broke up in the winter of 1988. Lead singer/guitarist, Ric Ocasek became one of the most popular producers of the 90s producing albums for Weezer, Hole, and Nada Surf. After a 22 year hiatus, last year the Cars announced a reunion. Move Like This is the band’s first album of new material since 1987’s Door to Door.
Move Like This seems to pick up perfectly when Door to Door left off. It is debatable whether or not that is a positive or a negative. On the positive side, The Cars have not missed a step; they are still able to churn out new wave-inspired garage rock with the best of them. On the negative side, “the best of them” all retired about two decades ago.
That is not to say that I believe there is no market for The Cars. The album’s lead single and opening track, “Blue Tip” brings the new wave sound into a little bit more modern dance punk territory. The track sounds like a dream collaboration between LCD Soundsystem with Ocasek on vocals.
Unfortunately most songs are not that modern sounding. “Sad Song” sounds like the perfect companion piece to “Shake It Up” which might not be such a bad thing. “Free” really shows how the Cars were a direct predecessor to modern angular guitar bands like Arctic Monkeys and Bloc Party.
The key word there is “predecessor.” The band is not showing a whole lot of growth which I can see being the major complaint on Move Like This. The record straddles the fence between retro and passe but it manages to do it in a well-written and catchy manner which makes it all seem more forgivable.
Rating: 7.3/10
MP3: The Cars “Free”
Buy: iTunes or Amazon