New Cars — It's Alive!
(Eleven Eleven 7058312, 2006, CD)
by Jeff Melton, Published 2007-03-01
Reunion incantations of classic acts have been part of the rock and roll roadmap since the 50s. Only rarely does a group eclipse the live persona of its original instance. Todd Rundgren had been friends for quite a while with guitarist Eliot Easton since The Cars’ original inception. He has brought along Kasim Sultan (ex-Utopia) and Prairie Prince (ex-The Tubes) to patent a credible version of an early 80s hit machine that is as fun now as it was then. Todd is as natural as he is unlikely for the front man role left vacant by Ric Ocasek. His droll delivery across the disc on the band’s best known hits including “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight,” “Good Times Roll,” and “Let’s Go,” shows a careful respect for the their still radio friendly repertoire. It’s Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes who push this well-oiled machine into high gear on tracks such as “Candy-O” and “Bye Bye Love,” where it’s all riffs and serious hard rocking. The real bolt from the blue is Sultan’s lead vocal on Ben Orr’s signature piece “Drive” that carries all the sentimental weight of the original. New songs in the same vein include “Not Tonight,” “Warm,” and “More,” which hint at the spirit of the band which fortunately stops short of self parody. Considering Todd has stated he can pay his bills and have fun playing the hits live it’s no wonder the CD is a clever success.
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more