For their third album, 1980's Panorama, the Cars decided to challenge their fans with an album unlike its predecessors. Whereas The Cars and Candy-O were both comprised of instantly catchy and distinctly tuneful songs, Panorama was much darker and not as obvious -- an attempt at breaking away from the expected winning formula. Still, the album was embraced by their fans and hit number five on the charts, although it was the only Cars release not to spawn a true hit single (the closest thing to a hit was "Touch and Go," which peaked at number 37). Standouts included the swirling title track that opens the album, as well as the aforementioned "Touch and Go," which merges off-time keyboard flourishes with some great textural guitar work by Elliot Easton. "Gimme Some Slack" proved to be a fierce rocker, as did the underrated album closer, "Up and Down," while their softer side was represented by "You Wear Those Eyes." Many would consider such tracks as "Down Boys," "Misfit Kid," and "Getting Through" throwaways, but others are strong, just not as well known as some of the other material ("Don't Tell Me No," "Running to You"). It may not be as instantly rewarding as other Cars albums, but Panorama improves with each listen.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato