By Gillian Gaar
The Cars, "Move Like This"
Hear Music (HRM32872-02)
From the first track (“Blue Tip”), it’s unmistakable — that distinctive synth, those keening vocals — it can’t be anybody else but The Cars. It’s their first album since 1987’s “Door To Door” (minus bassist Ben Orr, who died in 2000), but from the sound of things, it’s like they’ve never been away.
If you’re a Cars fan, you’ll quickly be able to slip back into the groove; the sharp, pointed new wave affectations are all present and accounted for. The band’s at their best when lead vocalist Ric Ocasek is at his most sardonic which is why “Sad Song” was a good choice for the first single, though “Blue Tip” would’ve worked well too; these two songs, along with “Keep On Knocking” are the strongest cuts on the album.
It’s also why a more serious love song like “Soon,” fails to take off, and in fact drags a little, Ocasek’s voice isn’t suited to the material. A laid-back feel also mars the second half of the album; tracks like “Take Another Look” and “It’s Only” sound like they could use an additional boost of energy. At under 40 minutes, the album’s also on the short side. But if all you’re looking for is another dose of that old new wave, “Move Like This” will be just what you needed.