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‘The Cars’ reunite with the energetic ‘Move Like This,’ their first album in 24 years

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Ric Ocasek  insisted for years that his old band The Cars would never reunite.Ric Ocasek  insisted for years that his old band The Cars would never reunite. But now things have changed. Photo: www.q961fm.com Then he factored in the death of the group’s co-lead singer and bassist Ben Orr in 2000 and it was almost 99.9 percent certain that they would never take the stage again.

After nearly a decade however, Ocasek has had a change of heart. After writing some songs last year, Ocasek thought he’d reach out to his surviving former bandmates (drummer David Robinson, guitarist Elliot Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes- who split bass duties on the album with producer Gareth "Jacknife" Lee) to see if they were interested in helping bring his compositions to life.

Reportedly, the band clicked from the start, and the result is “Move Like This,” the band’s first effort since 1987’s “Door to Door.”

If you’re reading this wondering how a band like The Cars, who thrived in the 1980’s, could make an effective transition to the new millennium, don’t worry. It is evident from the opening seconds of “Blue Tip” that this will not be an issue. It’s almost as if the band picked up where they left off a quarter century ago, but modernized things just enough to where the album sounds fresh and not outdated.

From Ocasek's quirky vocals to their signature hand claps, to Robinson’s tom fills (think “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight”) and Easton’s riffs, all the characteristics of the classic Cars sound is here with a solid bunch of songs to match. Ocasek had a hunch that these guys could pull it off, and he was right.

You’ll find yourself easily nodding your head to the lead single “Sad Song” and “Free,” while rockers “Keep On Knocking” and “Drag On Forever” are most likely the two heaviest songs the band has recorded.

 

I must admit, it was odd not hearing Orr sing two or three songs on the album. In fact, ballads “Soon” and “Take Another Look” sound like they were almost tailor-made for him. To Ocasek’s credit however, he effectively pulls off all ten songs on his own while aided by the band’s trademark harmonies and Hawkes’ familiar synth lines. If you close your eyes for a split second, you almost feel like it’s 1982 again, and it’s not a bad thing.

How long The Cars will stay around after “Move Like This” this remains to be seen. With a short tour starting Tuesday, you can catch the band in Philadelphia May 22nd at The Electric Factory.

“Move Like This” hits stores on Tuesday, May 10th. And the fact that you can buy it on CD as well as vinyl is just as cool as having The Cars back. If only just for a little while.

Contact Joe Vallee at jvallee@philly2philly.com

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Special thanks to Chris Robinson at Big Hassle Media

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Article photo: http://q961fm.com