Posted in Album Reviews

The Cars – Panorama (1980)

Following up their classic debut was always going to be difficult but The Cars pulled that off extremely well with Candy-O.  A year after their sophomore album came Panorama. Even though the album hit the US top 5 and went platinum, none of the three singles made much of a dent in the charts.  Scraping into the top 40 was “Touch and Go”.  The track starts off with minimal synth/drums combo before a guitar adds in warmth, with a galloping rhythm that recalls songs from the 50s.

“Gimme Some Slack” also rides a galloping guitar on this upbeat track.  “Misfit Kid” has a plinky-plonky keyboard that then mellows out in the chorus.  Rick Okasec sings “I’m the American misfit kid/still wonderin’ what I did” on the should have been single. “Up and Down” hits a bit harder with a chiming guitar.

With Panorama, The Cars still show in several places that their new wave chops are still there. What lets it down is a few unmemorable songs and even worse, a few dreadful ones including the Benjamin Orr sung “Don’t Tell Me No” that is more whiney than forceful.  Many of the tracks sound like B-sides, more experimental than past releases but lacking better songs.

6.5/10

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