"Many bands of the eighties had obscure albums released, but I've heard none quite like this one. When I first saw the cover to the album, I figured it will be different from your average Cars album, for it didn't have a picture of a woman on it. The electronics dominate the atmosphere of the album, with great textural guitar parts in the background. The album has really three types of music in it. Hard Edged guitar rockers (Gimme Some Slack, Down Boys, Running to You, Up and Down)the electronic songs (Misfit Kid, You Wear Those Eyes, Getting Through) and album defining new wave type songs (Panorama, Touch and Go, Don't Tell Me No). In my opinion, the best Cars album, and probably their hardest rocking album. Definitly worth buying."
Panorama worth many listens
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Panorama is indeed an under rated album. Some 20+ years after its release, it still sounds as forward and inventive as the day it was released. Having been in my early teens when this album was released, my first exposure to The Cars was with a series of Candy-O songs I'd heard on the radio. I was instantly hooked on the Candy-O title track. Then came Panorama and CITI FM played Gimme Some Slack, Touch and Go and Up and Down. All 3 of these songs really resonated with me then as they do today. Songs like You Wear Those Eyes, Panorama, Getting Through, etc. seem similar in that they all fall within the supposed "Dark" mood of the album, and yet they cover the spectrum of emotions, including quite humourous lyrics.It seems that some like to criticize Ric Ocasek for much of his mainstream work although he can hardly be blamed for wanting to actually make a living selling music; one would really need to listen to the man's full body of work, including his solo work and rethink the mainstream label. Still, few musical composers could claim to have a musical style so unique that it is almost instantly recognizable, within a few notes, as sounding like nobody else. The fact that most songs on their other releases are catchy and likeable should be no source of shame...it's not like it sounds great because it's a repackage of someone else's material as is a common practice in the current mainstream scene. Ric Ocasek has performed in many musical genres, including his first major label release with an early 70's folk bank called Milkwood. A complete listen to the Cars library should greatly impress new listeners with the large collection of great songs, and Panorama proves the Cars to be a band that was willing to break out of the mainstream at the risk of losing the mainstream ear. For one album they almost joined the likes of Wall of Voodoo's Dark Continent album which is as clever as it is "unaccessable". Let's not forget the music scene that bands like the Cars rescued us from in the late 70's. Thank you Cars for 23 years of great listening with Panorama."
I'm Still Listening 26 Years Later!
Shane K. Bernard | New Iberia, LA USA | 08/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I began listening to rock music as a 13-year-old in 1980, when "Panorama" was featured on my local (and now sadly defunct) album rock station. This was my introduction to The Cars. I bought the album back then having heard only "Touch And Go" on the radio. I was amazed by the tracks: All were keepers, in my opinion, with the exception of "Down Boys" and "Running To You." In other words, "Panorama," "Touch And Go," "Gimme Some Slack," "Don't Tell Me No," "Misfit Kid," and "You Wear Those Eyes" all impressed me as solid rock 'n' roll outings . . . and 26 years later I still listen to these tracks and marvel at them. Underrated? Damn right. Frankly, I can't listen anymore to the mindless "party music" on some of the other Cars albums -- the tracks that are now in unending rotation on corporate rock stations. Panorama isn't heard on those stations today because Panorama is anything but bland and predictable. It remains revolutionary in its intricate weave of hard rock guitar and cutting-edge techno pop synthesizers; and don't overlook Ocasek's heavy lyrics, which to me represent his best writing. Some lyrics, such as those on "Panorama" and "Gimme Some Slack," are downright poetic in their own right:
The rooftops strung with frauleins The pastel pinned up sails The eighteen color roses Against your face so pale . . . . I wanna float like Euripides All visions intact I'm alright with Fellini fiends A trippin' over the track
With lyrics like this, the result is infinitely more profound and substantive than what's found on, say, "My Best Friend's Girl" or "Let's Go." "You Wear Those Eyes" is downright erotic (something I don't see other reviewers mentioning, but I've always found it so), and "Touch and Go" offers one of rock's most suggestive and memorable lyrics: "In your headlock on the floor / Who could ever ask for more?" The title track is a masterpiece of intricate guitar and synth work, a veritable rock magnus opus, with layer upon layer of virtuoso musicianship.
I agree with others who call this album "ahead of its time" because it predicts the alternative movement in its use of heavy guitars, gloomy lyrics, and rejection of the slick and commercial. As a result, I regard bands like The Strokes and Smashing Pumpkins, for example, as drawing heavily on The Cars sound as heard in Panorama. "
Billy Krake | Leesburg, GA USA | 10/10/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While this isn't my favorite Cars album, it is easily their riskiest and most under-rated. It was the The Car's new-wave masterpeice and after it's lackluster reception, it was all down hill artistically for the band. While subsequent releases did sell more copies (Shake It Up and the monster album Heartbeat City), the band seems to have lost a bit of it's edge and went total pop afterwards. All though it's hard to argue with top 10 hits, I'll take the songs like Panorama, Misfit Kid, or Touch and Go over Shake It Up, You Might Think or Tonight She Comes anyday."