Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Quick Change World
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
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Painfully uninspired songwriting from Ocasek, as well as fla
Dave | United States | 06/03/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Released in 1993, "Quick Change World" finds Ric Ocasek running on empty, and it's hard to tell if he was even aware of it. On the one hand, he sprinkles in a couple of spoken voiceover pieces which could be seen as a way around having to come up with melodies. On the other hand, Ric originally conceived "Quick Change World" as a double CD that was also to contain a book of poetry, a collection of photographs, and more--in other words, a multi-media thing--and that's kind of incredible considering how weak this single disc distillation is.
The first 7 tracks on the CD are labelled the "Right Side", and apart from the opening spoken voiceover piece, these tracks, which were produced by Mike Shipley, find Ric trying to squeeze every last drop out of the Cars sound, and a majority of the time, he ends up sounding like a sad Cars imitation. Flavorless and annoyingly in-your-face production values weigh the proceedings down even more. "Hard Times" features a dull, overly-repeated, sludgy guitar riff, and his usual attempts at hip wordplay sound forced and annoying. "Don't Let Go" and "She's On" both suffer from painful predictability and a lack of hooks. "Feeling's Got To Stay" is an ultra-bland and pathetically predictable adult contemporary ballad--it sounds like Ric 'wrote' it in his sleep, both melodically and in terms of the chord changes which you can see coming a mile away. A couple of the tunes are a bit better--"A Little Closer" is at least respectably melodic and wistful, even though it's just a lesser rewrite of "Everything You Say" (with a sprinkling of "Steal the Night" and "Keep On Laughin'"); and "Riding Shotgun", though again sounding like he just cut-and-pasted a couple of his older songs together (featuring that damn I-VII-V-VI chord progression on the verses that he'd already used god knows how many times before), does have catchiness and a nicely contemplative feel, plus it rocks a little and has some nice effects.
The "left side", which Ric produced himself, is supposedly where he gets experimental; unfortunately, for the most part, that ends up meaning that Ric tries (and fails) to find various ways to distract you from his weak songwriting. It actually starts off nicely with the brief, dreamy "I Still Believe". But in almost no time Ric starts to fall back downhill, starting with "Come Alive", another fast-paced quasi-metallic blast, but unlike "Door To Door" which at least has an irresistible riff, "Come Alive" is exhausting and thin. The title track has sort of a funky groove, but wanders along aimlessly and features an annoyingly exagerrated Ocasek vocal. "What's On TV" sets a nice moody atmosphere, but again, there's no worthwhile development, and with Ric's artsy, repetitive, deliberately stoned-sounding spoken word vocals, it really becomes annoying. Tucked away at track number 12 lies the one truly excellent song on the album, the wonderfully exciting "Hopped Up"--it's a high-flying rocker with a great bass line, exhiliaringly silly lyrics, a great Ocasek vocal, and great tension created by the unpredictable transitions between just two chords.
With so many inexpensive copies of this CD floating around, Cars/ Ocasek fans will basically get their money's worth if they snap one up. Overall though, unless you're a really really 'easy-to-please' fan of The Cars/ Ric Ocasek, this album is a big-time disappointment. Ric, by and large, was running on empty (no pun intended)."
Best CD for Ocasek
P. Huffman | Seoul, Korea | 01/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those of us who enjoy Ocasek's lyric and musical style, then this CD is his best. There isn't a Top Ten hit on this release, but "Don't Let Go," "A Little Closer," and "She's On" may have had a chance for Top 40s during the Car's era. Personally, I like the title cut, "Quick Change World" best. A worthy purchase."
A Great Sequel To Fireball Zone
M. Tefer | MN, United States | 05/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Despite his diminished-come-cultish status by the early 90's, Ric Ocasek was one of the most powerful synth artists since David Bowie. He even went so far as to request Bowie's "Let's Dance" producer Nile Rodgers for 1991's Fireball Zone.
Thematically, Quick Change World is a politically charged album with only a few flaws in that it has a little too much variety. Most of the songs are a lot less new wave sounding than you'd think. While certain songs fall short . . . such as "the big picture" and "what's on tv?", QCW is a very welcome early 90's album that served as a continuation of massive creativity for Ric Ocasek.
My Four Favorities from Quick Change World are :
The atmospheric "Feelings Got To Stay"
The driving "She's On"
The beautifully ambient "I Still Believe"
The politically charged Title Track is a groovy and hypnotic