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The Cars - Move Like This

After 24 years, the band's approach still runs smoothly

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The Cars - Move Like This
Hear Music/Concord

It's always an iffy proposition for a legendary band to reunite after decades away, especially if a new album's involved. But the Cars always looked strange anyway; age has simply accentuated certain members' facial creakiness. And damn if their first album in 24 years doesn't sound just like ... well, the Cars. That Buddy Holly-meets-Roxy Music approach still works refreshingly well (Ric Ocasek never sounded more like Bryan Ferry than on "Drag on Forever"). First single "Sad Song," a nostalgic flash of new wave pop grandeur, even kicks off with that Telecaster riff from "My Best Friend's Girlfriend." Opener "Blue Tip" is a condemnation of American Teabaggers, political lyrics new to this band. The only total miss is "Soon," which tries hard, unsuccessfully, to re-create the mood of "Drive," sung by late bassist Ben Orr, the only original member missing. But every other has a melodic payoff. Not as wonderful as their debut, one of the best in pop history — but certainly in league with Heartbeat City, their MTV-driven biggest seller.

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