Cake
Showroom Of Compassion


3.5
great

Review

by David Foster Wallace USER (72 Reviews)
January 11th, 2011 | 39 replies | 10,900 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cake release a different yet same-y record that is plagued by a few problems but in the end, it ends up like cake, delectable and filling.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Cake, excuse the pun, are quite simply delicious. From their massive pop appeal to their outstanding ability to write songs in a variety of styles, Cake has become massive. They aren’t just a slice of the world’s musical cake anymore. They’ve practically engulfed most of it. Even then, Cake fell off into some sort of obscurity, having been hiding in the shadows for 7 years. It took them time to pull together songs and get in the recording studio. Hey, let’s be glad this did happen instead of Cake becoming a thing of the past. Well they’ve returned, and bigger and (almost) better than ever.Showroom of Compassion is Cake’s triumphant return, and they’re just as tasty as they ever were.

Showroom of Compassion is a fairly varied record. A variety of sounds all encased under the Cake banner are displayed throughout. Soaring, melancholic ballads collide with poppier numbers and grandiose Alt-Rock. The opening track, Federal Funding , is a depressive number with a slinky bass line. It, along with the next 3 tracks, are dark, slightly depressing songs with a variety of elements. Trumpets, Piano, Guitar, Bass, Percussion and all sorts of other instruments get treated to this type of songwriting, leaving a weird feeling in the listener’s brain. Throughout the album, I could feel myself getting slightly more emotional as I recognized the signature sounds of Cake. There are some happy numbers here, but those are few and far between. Mustache Man(Wasted) and Sick of You are probably the best songs encasing this element of happiness, blending upbeat guitar melodies with catchy vocal lines and bouncy trumpets. The mix between sad and happy songs is interesting, as it seems that some of the darker numbers just don’t fit Cake.

As always, the traditional Cake sound is there. The loud, slightly fuzzy bass lines, the crashing, explosive guitar playing, the “nerdy” monotone vocals, and all the bells and whistles of additional instrumentation are all present. It’s as if Cake never left music for those seven years. However, some extra changes have been made. The Previously mentioned Federal Funding rocks some 70’s Folk influences while Easy to Crash boasts synth lines reminiscent of Electronica. Even modern Alternative music has been taken in, ranging from the sounds of Sufjan Stevens and Coldplay to even Radiohead. Cake took in a bunch of modern influences, and wisely chose to incorporate it into their sound. Hell, even Bound Away is the closest they’ve come to a sad, beer-guzzling Country song. A lot of things have been kept the same and a lot of things have changed, but in the end it’s all Cake.

The lack of variation in song styles is one of the few visible faults here. The first 4 songs all sound similar, being more like a darker sort of ballad-pop. Also, the lack of memorable songs (save two or three) really hurt this record’s chance of being big. It’s as if Cake didn’t want their previous success they had on earlier records. Still, it’s Cake and it is enjoyable.

Showroom of Compassion is definitely a great record released this early in the year. Not many bands can say they still sound this good after a long hiatus. Some better promotion and a memorable single might’ve helped. Still, just like actual cake, Cake is delicious and should be savored all the way into the end. Stuffing, sure, but you always want more of it. Showroom of Compassion is a pretty good release so far in 2011, and should remain that way for a long time.



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user ratings (86)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
Urinetrouble
January 11th 2011



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

review can't be deleted since it has officially been out for 3 minutes now

Defeater
January 11th 2011



5782 Comments


They're the KMFDM of alt.

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 11th 2011



7983 Comments


Fashion Nugget ruled

Urinetrouble
January 11th 2011



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol never listened to KMFDM

omnipanzer
January 11th 2011



21442 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"They're the KMFDM of alt."

WTF are you talking about Defeater? In what way are they the KMFDM of alt?

Irving
Staff Reviewer
January 11th 2011



7177 Comments


Cake, excuse the pun, are quite simply delicious.


POS.

Hahah, but seriously, good review urinetrouble. It was well-described, decently-weighted, and well-justified. Good job.

One minor niggle though:

The loud, slightly fuzzy bass lines, the crashing, explosive guitar playing, the “nerdy” monotone vocals, and all the bells and whistles of additional instrumentation are all present.

Reading that line gets a bit awkward; consider dropping one of the "all"'s?

Cheers!

Digging: Ty Segall - Manipulator

IleftyspankedU
January 11th 2011



691 Comments


kmfdm of alt ... all their album covers look really similar maybe?

Urinetrouble
January 11th 2011



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ugh you guys need to hear this

Hep Kat
January 11th 2011



15352 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this is really boring. youre right about it all sounding the same, but this is just fucking drab comfort zone cake. i'm pretty disappointed

Digging: Botany Boyz - Forever Botany

Defeater
January 11th 2011



5782 Comments


kmfdm of alt ... all their album covers look really similar maybe?


look somebody with a brain

Urinetrouble
January 11th 2011



5760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Defeater, there's such a thing as good and bad posts. yours was the latter. learm to be a good poster

Defeater
January 11th 2011



5782 Comments


ill wok on et

thatoneguy726
January 13th 2011



1632 Comments


If I get just one: This or new Cage the Elephant?

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
January 13th 2011



10070 Comments


This album, thatoneguy726. in my personal opinion. ;)

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Jethro42
January 13th 2011



12402 Comments


I still have to listen to this.

shaolinmonk
January 13th 2011



36 Comments


lol @ defeater. Perfect.

Plank
January 14th 2011



217 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cake reviews make me hungry, this is sounding like a decent return from the first playthrough.

Meatplow
January 14th 2011



5524 Comments


fun album

which one is their best?

omnipanzer
January 14th 2011



21442 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Depends on who you ask meat. I personally love all of them but "Pressure chief" just a tad more for "End Of The Movie".
Fashion nugget is probably the best as an introduction to there catalog.

Meatplow
January 14th 2011



5524 Comments


always loved songs like The Distance, Long Skirt, Short Jacket and Sheep Go To Heaven

hoping they aren't just a singles band i'm better off getting a best of by



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