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Articles Home » 2006 Articles » New Cars (The) - 2006 It's Alive
New Cars (The) - 2006 It's Alive

ARTIST: New Cars (The)
ALBUM: It's Alive
LABEL: Eleven Seven Records
YEAR: 2006


LINEUP: Todd Rundgren - vocals, guitars * Elliott Easton - guitars * Kasim Sulton - bass, vocals * Greg Hawkes - keyboards * Prairie Prince - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Just What I Needed * 02 Lets Go * 03 Candy O * 04 You Might Think * 05 My Best Friends Girl * 06 I Saw The Light * 07 You've All I've Got Tonight * 08 Not Tonight * 09 Drive * 10 Moving In Stereo * 11 Shake It Up * 12 Dangerous Type * 13 Bye Bye Love * 14 Open My Eyes * 15 Let The Good Times Roll


WEBLINKS: New Cars Discogs Entry

Back in February 1988, Boston based band The Cars announced their breakup after ten highly successful years in the business. Superb albums like their 1978 debut, and 1984's 'Heartbreak City' propelled this band into the charts, though their mix of AOR and new wave missed the mark on occasion as well. However, when they did get it right, the results were impressive. Despite the passing of singer/bassist Benjamin Orr and the departure of mainman Ric Ocasek and drummer David Robinson, two of the ex members Elliott Easton and Greg Hawkes made plans to resurrect the band toward the end of 2005, with iconic rocker Todd Rundgren and fellow Utopia band member Kasim Sulton, along with ex Tubes drummer Prairie Prince. The members decided to change the moniker to The New Cars to change the identity, preserve the past, and not upset any of the previous hierarchy (mgmt, labels, ex members etc). The first offering was a new CD with just about an entire set of rehashed songs from The Cars set list. The verdict?

The Songs
Damn good actually. I've always enjoyed Rundgren in a live setting, and I have a few of his albums from the 70's. He surely knows how to spark a performance, and nothing has changed in 2006. Hearing the album you'll come to understand very early on that the keyboard mix is pushed back quite a bit. Rundgren's vocals also sound understated, but you get the general idea. The faithful renditions are kept as close to the mark as possible, and Todd passes the test with flying colours. Having to sing both Ben and Ric's vocal parts is not for the faint-hearted. A plethora of past greats is given the new 2006 treatment admirably. A couple of Rundgren/The Nazz tracks are thrown in for good measure ('I Saw The Light' and 'Open My Eyes'), while the new tracks 'Not Tonight' plus 'Warm' and 'More' demonstrate that the New Cars are the old and original Cars with a new chassis and a flash new paint job!

In Summary
Apparently the band have gone into hiatus due to an injury suffered to guitarist Elliot Easton - a tour bus accident. So serious it curtailed the bands tour aspirations during mid 2006. However, they will be back on the road in Sept 2006, so all will be good. Anyway, I see and hear enough to keep my interest levels up for a good crack at a second album of NEW stuff. Certainly the addition of Rundgren and Sulton to the mix is a bonus, bringing their collective Utopia styled AOR to the table. A good introduction, albeit a cheesy way of doing so, and I'm sure the world did not need a Cars Greatest Hits rehash - live. But considering the new lineup and it's been nearly eighteen years since they broke up, then I'll forgive them ever so slightly.

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