November 22, 2019

Music News – Remembering the Cars’ Ric Ocasek, Who Knew the Past But Saw the Future

Music News – Remembering the Cars’ Ric Ocasek, Who Knew the Past But Saw the Future

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Like all the best rock stars, Ric Ocasek seemed to be transported to our Earth from another dimension, the one with smoother and sexier sounds and a better sense of fashion. His so-called alien movements, his slender profile and his laconic pulling made him a hero of the New Wave, but from the moment the Cars deliver their first eponymous title in 1978, the Boston band finds a house in traditional rock. Burnouts in the Midwest embraced Cars as enthusiastically as urban hipsters, with the two seemingly opposing camps finding common ground in Ocasek’s classic pop songs. As strange and threatening as the band may seem, they have always relied on strong melodies – a focus that has transformed “Just What I Needed”, “Shake It Up”, “Moving in Stereo”, “Good Times Roll” and “Drive” In modern standards and changed the definition of pop power in the coming years. Ocasek died this week at the age of 75.

The singer’s thing is that he reverses the art-pop equation. He cut the flat vocal style of Lou Reed, but where the Velvet Underground firmly anchored in the world of high art, the Cars deliberately worked in a pop form. The hooks and harmonies are the engines of their greatest hits and their deepest cuts, but these songs are distinguished by ideas that existed on the periphery of the general public. Airless, tight rhythms, stained synths, shards of guitar, monotonous parliaments: everyone was pioneering in the underground and introduced into the …

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