Ric Ocasek 

Nexterday

Sting, Joe Strummer, and David Gilmour are only three characters in a narrative as old as time: Guy leaves mega-successful band, goes solo, and releases increasingly mediocre material fans tolerate at shows only in hopes of hearing the more memorable and infinitely superior group hits. But former Cars frontman Ric Ocasek is an exception, rewriting history with Nexterday, his brilliant seventh solo effort, crossing various moods and genres - from the riff-driven opener "Crackpot" to the beat-heavy relationship sabotage ode "Don't Lose Me" to the reggae-infused "In a Little Bit." But this record is hardly a downer, balanced by the more hopeful and optimistic tunes and the occasional new wave synth. The good times roll on.

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