Sunday, December 30, 2012
Ric Ocasek - Beatitude
Side one begins with "Jimmy Jimmy". As the second single, it peaked at number 25 on the US Mainstream Rock charts; it also crossed over to the US Billboard Dance charts where it peaked at number 60. My first impression of this song about a troubled teen, thanks to the synthesizers and the electronic backing harmonies, was that it sounded a lot like Kraftwerk.
"Something to Grab For", the first single, went to number 47 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 5 on the US Mainstream Rock charts. The guitars are more prominent here with a track that comes straight out of the Cars’ catalog.
"Prove" again jumps back to that Euro-synth sound but it also mixes in a rather funky bass line and a saxophone solo to boot. It definitely proves to be an intriguing combination musically.
"I Can't Wait" is a perky pop song about anticipating being with the one you love.
"Connect Up to Me" also proved popular on the US Billboard Dance charts, reaching number 37. The seven-and-a-half minute album version has plenty of space to work out the rapid rhythms and steady beats to bop to.
Side two opens with "A Quick One", a song about being cautious about jumping too deep into a relationship too soon. I like how the synths have an anxious edge to them that fits very well.
"Out of Control" has a very mechanical feel to it, moving along like a well-oiled machine. Combined with Ocasek’s vocal style, the whole thing is very much in control and that makes it all the more stimulating of a track.
"Take a Walk" has a very European new-wave sound to it, with the keyboards most prominent over all other instruments. I get a real strong Flash and the Pan feel from this one.
"Sneak Attack" has a number of musical layers and hooks that kept my attention riveted to it.
The album ends with the explosive threat of "Time Bomb". Once more, we are exposed to a moody musical piece that has the listener on the edge of their seat for the first two minutes. Then the pace changes a bit and things get really intense.
I cannot recall if I heard many of the tracks from Beatitude back in 1982 or not. As a fan of the Cars, this album by Ric Ocasek was definitely something I would have liked during my final year of high school. I certainly enjoyed listening to it today, thirty years later, for this review. It has been added to my list for potential download in the near future.