And now, The Cars sounds better than it has in any previous incarnation. Mastered from the original analog tapes, Mobile Fidelity's numbered-edition LP allows the music's oscillating rhythms, futuristic keyboard passages, panned stereo images, and rippling textures to be experienced like never before. The songs take on a surreal quality, the Cars manipulating the vibrant music at will to mesmerize the listeners' senses and hold them at bay. Mobile Fidelity's pressing epitomizes the sensation of "moving in stereo."
Led by Ric Ocasek and Benjamin Orr, the Cars managed to unite then-disparate styles: bubblegum pop melodies, angular art rock, progressive arrangements, and terse minimalism. Orr's low, understated singing and Ocasek's cool, detached vocals lend shades of doubt and double meaning to the lyrics, which are further counterbalanced by orchestral keyboard flourishes and electronic beats. The brilliant arrangements also benefit from a laidback cool and understated irony that remain uncommon in the over-the-top world of mainstream music. Obsessed with incorporating the latest technologies and sounds into its palette, the band spiced its tunes with delightfully quirky accents — country-tinged guitar fills, echoing Syndrums, reggae splashes, hard-rock tones, robotic pulses.
The results are the sounds of a creative landmark. At once accessible and eccentric, edgy and catchy, The Cars explodes with emotion, energy, and hooks. It's impossible not to get caught up humming and singing along to every song, an appeal that comes courtesy of Roy Thomas Baker's stellar production. The legendary producer, best known for his work with Queen, ensured that the record seamlessly packed a smooth midrange, spacious imaging, and call-and-answer choruses in one tight package. Baker's trademark touches with harmony vocals abound.
"The MoFi disc is much better than the original in every way. It's more dynamic, much more natural on top, and all three dimensions have a lot bigger space. This disc is great from start to finish, but "Moving in Stereo" will blow you away on a great system in a big room."
—Jeff Dorgay, TONEAudio