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Editors’ Notes

The Cars were among the most successful new-wave rock bands of the late ‘70s and ‘80s. Leader Ric Ocasek had always maintained the band would never reunite and after the death of bassist-vocalist Benjamin Orr, it sounded like a safe bet. But in the fall of 2009, Ocasek realized the best musicians to work on his latest set of songs would be his former bandmates. With Jacknife Lee (U2, REM, Weezer) co-producing, the Cars jump into the 21st century with an album that sounds like they’d never stopped. The first couple of previews from the album, “Sad Song” and “Blue Tip” reminded listeners of the old band, while tracks like “Keep On Knocking” and “Free” have the same drive and aggression of the band’s first few albums. “Soon” is a haunting ballad that would have been a natural for Orr. Rather than find a replacement for him, keyboardist Greg Hawkes handled the bass parts. The Cars were always ahead of their time: Elliot Easton’s guitar chords and Hawkes’ dreamy synths sound completely contemporary. This is one reunion that doesn’t sound like a reunion, but the next logical step.

Customer Reviews

Back in the Fast Lane

This is surprisingly good actually! One always tends to be be a bit suspicious of long defunct bands reforming after a substantial period of non-activity (in this case 24 years!) but the band have really excelled themselves with this polished collection of catchy songs. In fact after a few listens it sounds as if they've never been away. Everything that made The Cars so successful in the 80's is here, present and correct. I can almost guarantee that if you were a fan of the band in their heyday you will thoroughly enjoy this new collection of songs.

Horses for Courses

With so many bands on the comeback trail, the only surprise is how long it's taken The Cars to pull it all together and get back in the studio if not out on the road, even allowing for the tragic loss of Benjamin Orr. But here we are 24 years after the release of their last proper studio album and it really is like they've never been away! Now beware, like the latest revival of Blondie and the back-to-form reincarnations of Bryan Ferry and Elton John recently - among many, many others - sounding like you did in 1978 can be fine, but not necessarily to everyone's tastes. Fortunately Ric Ocasek has galvanised his band to produce their third best record ever; and when the first two are your eponymous debut and Heartbeat City, it's no bad thing! Opener Blue Tip could be Good Times Roll, Soon is a successor to Why Can't I have You, and Sad Song has all the full-throtle muscle of Just What I Needed or Shake it Up. Nothing else is bad - and let's face it, some Cars albums had a fair bit of filler - but apart from the forceful Keep on Knocking and the closer Hits Me, there isn't anything as consistently memorable as each track on those two earlier standout records either. The album fits together neatly enough and if you stick with it, you'll not be skipping much after three listens. The Cars emerged out of an era where - in the singles department at least - you had to be good if you were going to survive the competition around you. The reason why artists from that "golden" era are managing to churn out new, interesting and sometimes vibrant material like this - and far more as well as better recordings than their later compatriots - is because, as the old cliche goes, form is temporary while class is permanent.

Cars cars cars

This is a really good album every single track brilliant


Formed: 1976 in Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '00s, '10s

Blondie may have had a string of number one hits and Talking Heads may have won the hearts of the critics, but the Cars were the most successful American new wave band to emerge in the late '70s. With its sleek, mechanical pop/rock, the band racked up a string of platinum albums and Top 40 singles that made it one of the most popular American rock & roll bands of the late '70s and early '80s. While they were more commercially oriented than their New York peers, the Cars were nevertheless inspired...
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