Cake was never a band that I was a fan of. However, their cult following went mainstream when I was younger and the alternative rock radio stations I tuned in to played them religiously. Therefore, whether I like it or not, Cake has deposited their sound into my memory banks and have the ability to transport me from time to time. I decided to give their 2011 album “Showroom of Compassion” a listen to see where it might take me.
The best songs on “Showroom Of Compassion are: “Bound Away,” “The Winter,” Easy To Crash,” and “Federal Funding.” Quirky to some, but this is just my opinion as I tend to want to lean away from the Cake songs that are more easily backed by radio play.
Here are my thoughts on all of the songs from the album:
“Federal Funding”: Ha ha. “Federal Funding” seems like a tongue in cheek comedy bit meets Schoolhouse Rock. It is very listenable though and fun to just mellow out too. Or you could crank it and try to annoy people with the long droning sounds the singer makes ala “the world’s most annoying sound” ala Jim Carey in “Dumb and Dumber.” Cute, fun little ditty.
“Long Time”: Another track that made me feel pleasantly mellow, yet it is straight up classic Cake material and if you’ve heard one you’ve heard them all might apply for the nay-sayers., who might consider it watered down.
“Got To Move”: Cake takes another look in at the rat race and gives us some melodic commentary. This almost feels like it should be sung at the side of a crib to a sleeping, or perhaps trying to sleep baby. It doesn’t hurt the ears, but I probably would not put it into my I-pod if I owned an I-pod.
“What’s Now Is Now”: This is a cover of a Frank Sinatra song. They have indeed taken it and made it there own in terms of it now sounds like a Cake song, which is good or bad depending on your view of Cake. Bored me.
“Mustache Man (Wasted)”: The song makes you want to tap your foot along to it, then it goes along and talks about how the singer has “wasted so much time” and you contemplate whether or not listening to this song is a waste of time. Good lyrics, decent music with Cake’s trademarks in place, the vocals are not the easiest sound in the ears though, but the fun chorus should appease.
“Teenage Pregnancy”: I guess this is what it is like to get knocked up at band camp, or to be raped during a piano recital by horns perhaps. This piece is an instrumental.
“Sick Of You”: This is the Cake single that has been getting the radio play in my neck of the Southern California woods. All that Cake is with a little bit of icing, but Cake is more in line with being “pot” alternative rock, not enough umph for me.
“Easy To Crash”: The electronic beep-o-beep-boo-boo sounds laced into the music are fun, even with the slower, moodier lyrics and vocals. I like this song, taking the mellow and adding in a little more emotion for you to pull from.
“Bound Away”: Hey, now they’ve almost gone full country music with this song. I like it, getting deeper into an album and getting variety instead of the same generic sound is a nice treat. “Bound Away” takes the best song on the album title away from “Easy To Crash” in my opinion.
“The Winter”: This song kicks in and the vocals blend in too much with the sound of “Bound Away” and if one were lazy listening they might not at first realize that a new song began. Another good song though, I would have to swap it back and forth with “Bound Away” a few times to decide which is the better; really depends on mood as to which theme hits the spot. This one is kind of loungey though when he da-das along with the horns.
“Italian Guy”: It’s like the lead singer is people watching and singing what he sees and you can either enjoy the commentary or not. Most should, it’s kind of fun, like a “serious” Weird Al vibe or something as opposed to parody. Mostly you get some music play here though and not a lot of lyrical content. Hope you enjoy horns and such, not blaring though, this album goes out on a good vibe.
Their songs get old to me pretty quickly and that still has not changed, but good-times music mellows you into the latter part of the album where Cake kicks it up a notch artistically in my opinion.