Classic: The Cars, Heartbeat City, 1984

the cars - heartbeat cityIt is reasonably fair to assume that an awful lot of people know the track Drive from this album. Yet I also tend to think that those people hardly realize the genius that was (or actually is, they reunited) The Cars.
Led by the talent of Ric Ocasek on song-writing, vocals and guitar, The Cars are a band that manages to combine pop and rock and put in some new wave sounds for good measure. And be highly accessible at the same time! Every track on this CD is proof of that.

From more rocking tunes like Hello Again, You Might Think or Magic, to more mellow songs like Looking For Love, Drive (sung by the late Ben Orr) or Why Can´t I Have you, this is class all over. Also the often witty lyrics of Ocasek deserve to be mentioned. Again Drive or You Might Think being examples.
Other qualities are the vocal harmonies, the clever arrangements and songs that take you places without sounding like something you have heard a million times before.

Also older albums are very much worth your time, the new one I have yet to buy. Timeless!

The Cars, Door To Door, 1987

The Cars - Door To DoorJust recently I found out this record existed. And thanks to the internet I was able to pick up a copy really quick (a CD, no download of course!). Considering myself kind of a fan, I never heard of this before, strange. Naturally I was curious to find out how this album would stand against previous work like Heartbeat City or Panorama.

For anyone not familiar with The Cars (is that possible?) I like them because of their clever combination of pop melodic sensibilities with a kind of new wave use of keyboards, on a rock platform. Their song Drive was a big hit, but in my humble opinion they deserved much greater success.

The moment the first song starts I am already back on familiar ground. Unmistakeably The Cars here. After a couple of songs I was delighted to hear that famous quality all around. Maybe the rock component is a little stronger here, but that suits the band really well and only adds to the impact of the as usual catchy songs. And a couple of guitar solo’s don’t hurt either. More laid back tunes are also present, no worries.

So here you go, Ric Ocasek still is the song writing genius and the band have again put together a strong album that should have had a couple of million more owners.  Yes, it is that catchy.

Personal play tips: Leave Or Stay, Double Trouble, Strap Me In.

Oh, there are some rumours going round that they might reform (maybe sparked by the success of The New Cars with Todd Rundgren on board?). Something to watch out for.