Jason Stein | San Diego, CA United States | 03/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been a long time Cars fan and Ric Ocasek solo fan. Of Ric's solo cds, Beatitude (1983), This Side Of Paradise (1986), Fireball Zone (1991), Quick Change World (1993) and Troublizing (1997), Troublizing is his hardest, most cutting edge disc. Working with Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins helped materialize this great album. The guitars crunch and yet the music is still Ric. Like the previous reviewer said, it would be how the Cars would sound in the 90's. Great songs like "Next Right Moment", "Hang On Tight", "Crashland Consequence", "Not Shocked", "Here We Go" and "Asia Minor" make up the best Ric Ocasek cd to date. This is definitely a must have for any Cars fan and any rock collector."
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 08/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was a big fan of the Cars and I decided to see how Ric Ocasek had transitioned to a solo career by purchasing this album. The first time I listened to this CD was unimpressed. With time the CD has grown on me, but my assessment is that the album is weak.
There are moments on the album when Ric has a sound that is vaguely reminiscent of the Cars, but for much of the album he sounds as though he is going through the motions. The addition of Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins has added a grunge edge that sometimes sounds like Ric is attempting to sing Smashing Pumpkins music. Fortunately there are points on this CD that keep it from being just another run of the mill album.
"The Next Right Moment" starts the CD off. While the song has moments where you can hear a Cars sound, the song is harder as though Cars were trying to do hard rock. The result is disconcerting on the first hearing. While the song has grown on me with time, it is still weaker than much of Ric and the Cars' portfolio.
Unfortunately, I am even less impressed with the next song. "Hang on Tight" has an annoying series of musical chords and the song sounds like an 80s leftover. The song is not all that bad; it is just not all that good.
"Crashland Consequence" is somewhat derivative, but I admit to a strong liking to this song that benefits from an injection of outside influences. The song does sound like an edgier version of some of the Cars' music, but perhaps that is a good thing.
The title track is a very strange and somehow interesting song. The lyrics are almost silly, but I enjoyed the 60s influences in combination with 80s and 90s influences. The result is a bit bizarre, but enjoyable. "Troublizing's" harder edge is a good fit for this song.
"Not Shocked" is yet another song that sounds like an alternative song left over from the 80s. As with many other songs from this CD, this song is okay, but is too derivative and seems to struggle to gain interest.
I suppose derivative could also be applied to "Situation," but I like this song. There is something about the harmonies and the crunchy lead guitar along with Ric's vocal style that clicks for me. When "Situation" first starts out the song reminds me of Alice Cooper. Of course, that possibility is dispelled when Ric starts to sing, but here is a song that shows a harder edge to Ric's music and is one of the better tracks on this CD. Yet another song that drives hard and has some charm is "Fix on You," which is more strongly reminiscent of some of the Cars music from their album "The Cars."
In a totally different, and good, vein, is "People We Know." The song combines aspects of grunge with a smattering of other styles and is somber and a little surreal. There is a lot of keyboard work on this song that provide the haunting background with the eerie vocals to make this song memorable for me.
There is a very good bass rhythm to "Here We Go." I found the organ in the background a trifle annoying, but when I overlook that slight annoyance I found this song to be interesting and fun. This is another of the better songs on this CD.
Ric then switches back to another surreal piece with "Society Trance." The words to this song are spoken rather than sung. The music picks up and becomes raucous and crashing before settling back down. This song probably could be somewhat progressive. This song has some of the best lyrics on this CD, and the music at the refrains is startling and nicely contrasted with the rest of the music. I like this song.
The CD finishes with "Asia Minor." Billy Corgan wrote this song, and it shares similarity with "People We Know" in that the style is very different from the other songs on this CD. The combination of styles, grunge and alternative, is nicely done and finishes this CD with an artistic bang.
After listening to hundreds of albums you start to expect to find something new and different, particularly when the artist is someone like Ric Ocasek. This album has some good material on it. However, the Ric seems to be musically stuck in the alternative 80s, and he seems to find it difficult to break out. That is unfortunate because Ric Ocasek was one of the most creative artists in the 80s. If you like Ric Ocasek, I recommend you buy this album because it is more of the same. However, expect to find, hmmm, more of the same. "
Troublizing - Roc Ocasek
Paul H. | S. Korea | 03/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have all his solo releases and this is easily the best by Ocasek. His usual odd phrasing with a bit heavier rock sound is a great mix. There's only one dud - the last song. I don't remember the title, but Asian something. You won't regret the purchase."
jason m. carzon | 07/15/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I saw Ric Ocasek live in Washington DC when he was promoting this album. It is the first time I had seen anybody yawn on stage before. Was it because it was past his bedtime? Or was it because he was bored- possibly thinking 'I don't belong up here with all these so-called alternative guys'. This is Ric's least 'Cars' sounding album, and I can dig his doing different stuff. His solo albums are often more experimental than his Cars formula, but this album is pretty much formula alternative rock. Here Ric has rallied an 'alternative' band from pieces of Hole, Smashing Pumpkins and Bad Religion. His attempt at a cutting edge modern rock sound unfortunately comes off as merely more Nine Inch Nails/Pearl Jam crunching, therefore reaffirming to me just how cutting edge the Cars really were and just how bland most of the 'alternative' scene really is. This album will no doubt sink into obscurity while the Cars and some of Ric's other solo albums will still be appreciated in the years to come. Again, doing new things and trying new sounds is good, but hopefully Ric does do another album soon and hopefully it doesn't try to sound too close to the alternative mainstream. There are some good songs on here, but all that squealing guitar rackett and abrasive production take away from the end product. This isn't really as cutting edge as they would have liked it to be. But it's still Ric underneath all that angry techno noise, and 'The Next Right Moment', 'Hang On Tight' and 'Not Shocked' are all winners. His beat poetry stuff(Society Trance) is always a good listen(try finding his 'Getchertktz' album for more of his spoken voice). Ric's 'Quick Change World' was a more successful 90's album(musically), try that one first if you can find it. It's got both the Cars sound as well as flirtations with the 'alternative'(still the mainstream to me). Good but troubling- the sooner we're all out of the alternative haze and get on to something more melodic the better."
Mark Sacher | Roswell, GA USA | 07/10/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"If this work is any indication, Ric may be fading away into obscurity. There are some good cuts from this CD (Hang on Tight, Not Schocked, Society Trance and The Next Right Moment), but after listening to this CD a few times, most will grow old and tired, especially the title cut. Rarely do I listen to a CD of an artist I like and find that I enjoy it less when I listen to it more... this is one of them. If you're interested in some better solo projects by Ocasek, go for This Side of Paradise or Quick Change World... those are his two best. Some would argue that Beatitude was his best, and though I like that one too, it wasn't as solid musically as Paradise or Quick Change. Quick Change is out of print, so you'll need to peruse used CD stores or find it on eBay."