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The Cars' "Candy-O (1979)"


(Written with assistance of ChatGPT)


When it comes to the late 1970s and early 1980s rock scene, few bands left as indelible a mark as The Cars. Their 1978 self-titled debut album was a sensation, blending new wave, punk, and pop with a dash of the avant-garde. It was a game-changer that set the stage for their 1979 follow-up, "Candy-O." With its sleek sound and unforgettable cover art, "Candy-O" remains a classic album that has stood the test of time.


From the opening track, "Let's Go," it's clear that "Candy-O" is a relentless, high-energy ride. This song perfectly encapsulates the band's signature blend of new wave and rock, with its driving guitar riffs and the charismatic vocals of Ben Orr. The catchy chorus is infectious, and it's no wonder this track became one of the band's biggest hits.


The album's title track, "Candy-O," takes the listener on a sultry, seductive journey. It's a testament to The Cars' ability to create mood and atmosphere, with its moody synthesizers and David Robinson's hypnotic drumming. Ocasek's lyrics are enigmatic, painting a vivid picture of desire and obsession. It's a song that lingers in the mind long after the music has faded.


One of the standout tracks on the album is "Since I Held You." Here, Benjamin Orr takes the lead vocals and delivers a heartfelt performance. The song's bittersweet lyrics and Orr's emotive singing make it a poignant moment on an otherwise upbeat album. The harmonies between Ocasek and Orr are a highlight throughout "Candy-O," adding depth and richness to the band's sound.


As the album progresses, The Cars continue to showcase their versatility. "It's All I Can Do" is a pop gem with a melody that's impossible to shake. The band's tight musicianship is on full display here, with Elliot Easton's guitar work shining brightly. "Double Life" and "Night Spots" bring a darker edge to the album, with lyrics that delve into the complexities of human relationships.


The Cars' ability to seamlessly blend rock and new wave elements is evident in tracks like "Shoo Be Doo" and "Dangerous Type." The former features Greg Hawkes’ playful synthesizer interplay, while the latter exudes a raw, edgy energy that brings the album to a riveting climax.


"Candy-O" stands as a testament to The Cars' ability to craft timeless and unforgettable songs. It's an album that captures the essence of the late 1970s music scene while still feeling fresh and relevant today. The band's innovative use of synthesizers, catchy hooks, and poetic lyrics make "Candy-O" a must-listen for fans of rock, new wave, and pop alike.


In conclusion, "Candy-O" is a sweet treat that has aged like fine wine. The Cars' second album is a testament to their enduring musical legacy, and it continues to be a source of inspiration for countless artists across genres. Whether you're a longtime fan or discovering their music for the first time, "Candy-O" is an album that deserves a special place in your music collection. It's a classic that will keep you coming back for more, just like your favorite piece of candy.


Shannon McDowell and ChatGPT

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