ON THIS DATE (1 YEAR AGO)
May 10, 2011 – The Cars: Move Like This is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 4/5
# allmusic 4/5
Move Like This is the seventh album by The Cars, released on May 10, 2011. The album is their first since 1987’s Door to Door and features all of the original band members except for bassist and vocalist Benjamin Orr, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2000. The album reached the top ten of the Billboard 200 and peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart; a single from the album, “Sad Song”, reached number 33 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart. Following the release of the album, the band launched an eleven-city tour of North America.
Move Like This is the first reunion of The Cars to feature vocalist Ric Ocasek since their 1988 split. In 1997, Ocasek told a journalist that the band would never reunite: “I’m saying never and you can count on that.” A partial reunion of the band occurred in 2005 when keyboardist Greg Hawkes and lead guitarist Elliot Easton toured with singer Todd Rundgren, drummer Prairie Prince and bassist Kasim Sulton as “The New Cars”; neither Ocasek nor Cars drummer David Robinson participated, and the Rundgren lineup split following two years of touring.
According to Paste magazine, Ocasek said that he was “amazed at how we clicked when we got back together.” Exclaim! has noted that The Cars’ Facebook page featured a picture of producer Jacknife Lee, “which suggests that he will be producing the new album.” According to Rolling Stone, Lee produced five of the songs from the album; The Cars themselves produced the others.
The Cars did not add a new bassist to the lineup to replace Orr; instead, the album’s bass parts were programmed or performed by Hawkes and Lee, with Hawkes playing a bass once owned by Orr. While Ocasek and Orr split vocal duties on past albums, Ocasek sings lead on all the tracks from Move Like This. In a Rolling Stone interview, Ocasek said, “I was aware that on half of the new songs, Ben would have done better than I did. But we never wanted anybody from the outside.” Orr was given special thanks in the liner notes: “Ben, your spirit was with us on this one.”
According to Billboard, the album was recorded in engineer Paul Orofino’s home studio in Millbrook, New York. Additional recording sessions were held in Los Angeles. The title of the album comes from a line in the song “Too Late”; one of the working titles for the album was Sharp Subtle Flavor. Ocasek decided to title the album Move Like This as a reference to the band’s reputation for not moving around very much onstage.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic
The Cars’ disbandment wasn’t necessarily fractious but their afterlife sure was, with the band itching to reunite while their lead voice and face, Ric Ocasek, opted out. Bassist Benjamin Orr died of pancreatic cancer in 2000, but that didn’t slow the desire for a reunion. Guitarist Elliot Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes took matters into their own hands in 2005, joining forces with Todd Rundgren and associates for the not-bad-at-all New Cars, and that seemed to be the end of the story until 2010, when all surviving members — Ocasek, Easton, Hawkes, and drummer David Robinson — headed into the studio with producer Jacknife Lee, who also pinch-hit on bass, to cut Move Like This, an album that defies all odds by sounding exactly like a classic Cars album. Certainly, Move Like This contains more of the sleek assurance of their prime than their 1987 farewell, Door to Door, and this is surely a deliberate move; the Cars take no liberties with their patented steely, stylish throb, weaving in allusions to past glories with Easton’s tightly wound riffs and Hawkes’ echoed keyboards. The remarkable thing is, for as proudly new wave as Move Like This is, it doesn’t feel desperate or cautious: it’s as bright, infectious, and tuneful as the Cars at their prime. Of course, even the best Cars albums (with the notable exception of their eponymous 1978 debut) provide slightly bumpy rides, slowing down on the ballads and sometimes meandering in the middle, and while this 2011 comeback falls prey to this curse, the band rights itself quickly, continuing to deliver pieces of prime pop like “Sad Song,” “Hits Me,” “Keep on Knocking,” and “Too Late” — and especially “Blue Tip,” the best song here, which would be among the best songs on any of their other albums.
All songs written and composed by Ric Ocasek.
1 Blue Tip 3:13
2 Too Late 4:01
3 Keep On Knocking 3:52
4 Soon 4:23
5 Sad Song 3:38
6 Free 3:17
7 Drag On Forever 3:37
8 Take Another Look 4:46
9 It’s Only 3:01
10 Hits Me 3:51