Cake - Showroom Of Compassion

Album cover
Cake
Showroom Of Compassion
Cake - Showroom Of Compassion Review rating:
2.5
User rating:
Average: 2 (1 vote)

The iconic rock band Cake is back at it with their sixth album Showroom of Compassion. It has been about seven years since the release of last full-length (not including their Rarities), and it would please many to know that in the wake of dropping their major label affiliation, the game has not changed much for John McCrea and his band. And yet, Showroom is evidence that the band, even now, still has a few tricks up their sleeves.

With a sarcastic railing against bail outs in the opening track, everything we love about Cake is already present, but there are also subtle changes that a careful listener is sure to catch. The ever familiar talk-singing by McCrea is heard in most all of the tracks (with added reverb; in an interview, McCrea stated that he is “sure a lot of baby boomers will take us more seriously now that there is reverb on my voice”), but interesting harmonies and choral shout-outs make this release stand out quite a bit. In addition, the 60’s feel in “Got to Move” and peculiar instrumental track “Teenage Pregnancy” are a few curveballs of the album, but help to add a little class amidst the sardonic lyrical outbursts.

Despite these different elements and ingredients, there is definitely a lot of Cake “batter” to be found. The tired, western ballad “Bound Away” and the ending track “Italian Guy” will make long-time fans very much at home. The bass lines and guitar riffs throughout are identifiable, but forgettable, as the main focus continues to be the witty lyrical lines. The DIY burden seems to go almost completely unnoticed on the record, carrying the same luster as previous albums.

On the other hand, the record as a whole provides nothing stellar to the table that isn’t already present. Sure, the band is notorious for never releasing an album hastily and without care, but it seems that a lot of the songs testify to a band scraping for continued originality. Fortunately for them, their music is not the type that will bore long-time fans, but for people expecting more, Showroom of Compassion may appear to be nothing more than recycled Cake antics with some smoke and mirrors. In the end, it’s the same cake, just with different icing.

1. Federal Funding
2. Long Time
3. Got To Move
4. What's Now Is Now
5. Mustache Man (Wasted)
6. Teenage Pregnancy
7. Sick Of You
8. Easy To Crash
9. Bound Away
10. This Winter
11. Italian Guy
... read more

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