Music News

Various Artists

The Cars' Ric Ocasek is a pop genius. His songwriting skills enabled the Boston-based band to become an indisputable rock-radio success story and resulted in a cavalcade of simple, catchy tunes, as Substitution Mass Confusion: A Tribute to the Cars displays. With the exception of Butch Walker, who takes the liberty of combining "My Best Friend's Girl" and "Magic" and turns it into a melodic, acoustic-filled union titled "My Best Friend's Magic Girlfriend," great care has been given to staying true to the spirit of Ocasek's tunes, with most embellishments and changes doing more good than harm. Jason Falkner, of Jellyfish fame, shows his perfectionist side with his flawless "Touch And Go," almost perfectly duplicating the original. The Argument's rendition of "Hello Again" is an item of beauty, replacing most of the analog-keyboard sounds with heavy-hitting guitars. Looks like the good times are indeed still rolling.
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Chris Callaway