To decide if Move Like This was an album I even wanted to listen to, I first read the A.V. Club’s review of it this morning. Because of that, my impression of the record has probably been colored by reviewer Steven Hyden’s opinion. That said, I pretty much agree with him and I want to draw attention to three major points in his review.
1. Move Like This sounds incredibly fresh and modern. The Cars benefit significantly from this record’s sharp production, which brings peppy beats and sharp guitars to the forefront and mostly eschews the over-synthesized balladry that brought down some of their later efforts in the ’80s.
2. Move Like This does’t feel like a bunch of aging rock stars going through the motions. Nothing about it is compulsory. The Cars haven’t released an album in 24 years; it’s not as though a record company was breathing down their backs. We’re not looking at old men trying to fulfill a contract; the four remaining original members of The Cars wanted to make this album, and that seems to be the major reason it exists.
3. Most importantly, Move Like This sounds exactly like The Cars. From the first synth hits of opening track “Blue Tip,” there can be no question about The Cars’ goal. They’re not trying to be unduly edgy or hip or to appeal to a whole new audience; they’re doing what they do best.
Those elements combine to form an incredibly solid collection of songs. There are only two snoozers here, “Soon” and “Take Another Look,” and those are the two ballads which most recall the Cars tracks I least want to remember (think “I’m Not the One”). Other than that, these tunes instantly make themselves welcome in the Cars’ catalog. Standouts include the super-pop of “Sad Song” and the synthy, rocking “It’s Only.”
The Cars may not make many new fans with Move Like This. However, old fans shouldn’t have any problems picking up right where they left off with this quartet of power-pop icons.
My Best of 2012 Playlist by Eric Garneau
After being inspired by some friends, for the past few years I’ve been really into documenting my musical exploration with year-end mixes. I realize this is not a particularly novel thing to do, but hey, who has original ideas any more? Anyway, this has gotten even easier to do thanks to new technology like Spotify. read more