Cake – Showroom of Compassion
Doing song by song on this one:
1. Federal Funding: Gritty guitar beginning, slow tempo. With the opening line “You receive the federal funding/ you can add another wing” ..this is going to be a bumpy, sarcastic, but oh so true, bitter Cake!This is pretty dark stuff for a Cake song. Very minimal in lyrics. Like the addition of the horns.
2. Long Time: Unexpected lyrics such as “It’s been a long time/since you wore your pillbox hat”. So-so song. Once again, the energy in this song is on the low side. Horns make appearance.
3. Got To Move: Immediately thought of the song “Groovy Kind Of Love” (one of the more successful versions are by The Mindbenders in 1965 and Phil Collins in 1988, I prefer the Mindbenders version personally. Sorry Phil, suck it!) Still at the point of this album, energy is low and not as playful as Cake has been in the past.
4. What’s Now Is Now: Speaking of groovy, the guitar beginning in this one is kind of groovy. (Sigh) where is the catchy Cake I know and love? Oh where oh where are you….??? This song has a better energy than the first 3 songs…but still not quite where I like my Cake to be…
5. Mustache Man (Wasted): Finally, a Cake song that I might like! Guitar grooving’, horns are fun, picked up pace lyrically. Favorite lyric: “He’s a king dust demon with an icepick smile/ his music fills your feathers as you feel his passions fly”
6. Teenage Pregnancy: Piano begins the song then heavy drum and guitar into odd sounding keyboard sound. Beck-like. No singing, music only song. Like the title. One can only guess what possessed them to call the song “Teenage Pregnancy”.
7. Sick of You: This was the first single off the album. You can easily understand why this was the lead single cause it is undeniably Cake. Catchy and sarcastic. Harmonies strong. Also has the signature talk/sing section.
8. Easy To Crash: Odd keyboard sounds again. Energy comes back down again. Yawn…
9. Bound Away: Acoustic song; country feel to this one. Traveling along kind of song. Not a horrible song but with the energy of the album, will you make it to this song? Will you make it through without pressing “forward” or the arrow symbol or however you skip songs on whatever device you may be playing this on?
10. The Winter: AH, nothing like sleigh bells in the background of a non-xmas song…Oh wait..they do mention xmas in this song…so I guess it fits to have the sleigh bells…This is just downright depressing….sigh, oh cake, oh cake..where have you gone…? Is this because they turned 40???? I’m 38 and it can’t be this depressing to turn 40..????? Is it???
11. Italian Guy: I like this tune. Maybe because it’s Beatles-esque in nature. But too late ….doesn’t make the album any better.
Overall, this record is lethargic. It lacks the fun and grit of previous Cake ventures. If I were driving to this album, I would fall asleep and wreck. If this is how they plan on doing future albums, I suggest breaking up. Will always have many memories of past Cake songs and the fun they invoked, but this album leaves me bored and tired.
- New Cake disc is dry and crumbly – the way fans like it (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Review of the week: The Decemberists: The King Is Dead (weareinxanadu.wordpress.com)