The Cars – Shake It Up / 1981

Shake It Up is the fourth studio album by American Rock band The Cars, released in 1981. It was the last album by the Cars to be produced by Roy Thomas Baker. A much more pop-oriented album than its predecessor, it spawned, in its title track, their first Billboard top ten hit.

A little more light-hearted this time around, a year after the darker textures of Panorama. Shake It Up is a wonderful album that’s sometimes forgotten, stuck between their “commercial disappointment album” and their “commercial smash album”. It all starts out with one of the band’s most memorable tunes, ‘Since You’re Gone’, with Ric Ocasek’s charming rhymes and Elliot Easton’s faux E-Bow solo. A true classic. The title track is also a true classic, featuring a neo-doo-wop groove that remains the Cars’ most danceable tune. ‘I’m Not The One’ is a simply incredible ballad, one of their best. It wasn’t released as a single until 1986, as a remixed version from the Greatest Hits album. The original is better, with yet another wonderful synth solo by the band’s secret weapon, Greg Hawkes. It sounds downright gothic. ‘Victim Of Love’ is a more light-hearted ditty. I love Hawkes’ giddy synth touches on this one. ‘Cruiser’ is an awesome rocker, a perfect cruising song, naturally. I haven’t owned this album for very long, and ‘Cruiser’ has already become one of my favorite Cars songs, along with the next song, ‘A Dream Away’. This song is astounding; a great mood created by a driving synth line and synthesized drums, coupled with Ric’s moody voice and lyrics. Probably my favorite song on the album. ‘This Could Be Love’ is another moody ballad, and a great one at that. Could’ve made a good single, too. ‘Think It Over’ has a bit different sound for the Cars. Despite the synths, it feels a little more rockabilly than usual. Ben Orr’s vocal, as usual, make this song jump from good to great. “Everytime you run around, it makes me wanna pop”. Also would’ve made a great single. ‘Maybe Baby’ is a driving Ric Ocasek rocker with some pretty slick percussion. And that’s the end of this short but sweet Cars album, their one and only album cut at their own custom studio, Syncro Sound in Boston. I wonder whatever happened to that place? Anyway, Shake It Up remains one of the Cars’ more light, enjoyable albums and I never tire of it.

I’m Not the One – Download



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