Cake have been around since 1994, when they released there debut "Motorcade of Genorosity." This is Cake's fourth album and my personal favorite. Cake is one of my favorite bands, but "Comfort Eagle" just makes me smile everytime I listen to it. Cake is an alt/rock band that combines rock, funk, pop, and even some expiremental jazz into there music. "Short Skirt Long Jacket" is probably there most well known song, and even though it is excellent nothing else on "Comfort Eagle" sounds like it. This album is expiremental, and no two songs sound alike. Running at approxamently 37 minutes this album is short and sweet. Cake doesn't do anything mind blowing, they just create fun, easy going rock music mixed in with a slue of other genres.
I've heard people say that "All of Cake's songs sound exactly the same." This is completely false, especially on "Comfort Eagle." "Meanwhile Rick James" is a very laid back summer song. It's so easy to sing along to and it is a song that a define Cake by, laid back and fun. "Love You Madly" is another funk-pop love song that could actually have you dancing. "Shadow Stabbing" is a plain out rocker with no fancy horns or effects. Of course the popular radio hit "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" is a funk/jazz/rock tune that will get you singing along and dancing. My personal favorite "Commisioning A Symphony In C" is a beautiful, thoughtfull, melodic masterpice. All of these songs are influenced by funk or jazz, which makes this album so unique. Cake combines regular rock music with a hint of jazz, new-wave pop, and funk. This album doesn't get old just because Cake mixes it up so much. Try to look past the hit single "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" and this album will be a very pleasent surprise.
Cake is well known for the monotone vocals John McCrea uses. His vocal delivery is very laid back and soothing. "Opera Singer" and "Commissioning A Symphony In C" are his typical laid back monotone delivery, but on a couple of these songs McCrea comes out of his comfort zone. "Long Line Of Cars" features McCrea almost mumbling in an angry voice, then he actually sings the chorus. In "Comfort Eagle" McCrea shows a lot of intensity and focus, his vocals are very sharp. Overall the monotone, laid back vocals gives this music a unique edge, and it makes everything feel care free. When McCrea sings everything is smooth and it fits very well with the funk rock that Cake plays. The interesting thing about Cake is that although McCrea's vocals are laid back, the music can be strong and intense. "Long Line Of Cars" is a perfect example, although McCrea's vocals remain monotone for most of the song, the trumpet and guitar tie everything together and make the music have a strong rock edge.
There is a vairety of instruments used in "Comfort Eagle." This album mostly consists of a guitar, drums, and bass. Cake doesn't stop there. The trumpet is a key instrument in a lot of these songs and the moog even sneaks in "Pretty Pink Ribbon" and "Commissioning A Symphony In C." Cake does not have a hard rock edge. All of these instruments mix to make melodic, rock tunes. The trumpet gives the music a jazzy, funk feel while the moog makes this album feel more expiremental and care free. Now the guitar is probably the main instrument. "Shadow Stabbing" and the very well done instrumental "Arco Arena" are both guitar driven and the riffs and melodies are wonderful. The instruments are definately a strength, and there are few flaws when it comes to musicianship.
The lyrics are also a very main key to the album. "Comfort Eagle" is a compelling and intense song, but the lyrics always make me chuckle. The lyrics are pointing fun at commercialism and are sort of making fun of it. "Opera Singer" is quite ironic with a few oddball statements "I stand on painted tape, it tells me were I'm going and were to throw my cake." Although some of these lyrics may sound weird and odd, about 80% of the time these lyrics are witty, fun, and care free. McCrea usually doesn't show too much emotion when he sings, but the lyrics do that for him. Even though I don't really look deep into the lyrics, they arn't very hard to decipher.
This album never gets old. There are enough catchy melodies and hooks to keeep you coming back for more while there are a few heavier tunes that tie the album together. "Arco Arena" and "Comfort Eagle" are two songs that are intense, and compelling. Cake threw these two songs back to back, with "Long Line of Cars" following these two tracks this is the best part of the album. Threwout the two different styles Cake has, they arn't drastically different so you probably won't dislike the laid back tracks or the heavier ones. While Cake doesn't change things up a whole lot, they mix things up enough to keep "Comfort Eagle" interesting and fun every time you listen to it.
I've listed everything except for the cons. There are few flaws, but enough of them to make this album perfect. "World Of Two" is a soothing pop tune that is dull and uninspired, there just isn't any energy and the track comes out as boring and dull. "Opera Singer" has the same problem. Although I enjoy this track sometimes it gets boring and dull. Other than those two tracks there really isn't much more wrong with "Comfort Eagle." If you are a casual lisener to Cake you may find that this music does sound all the same, but this only happens if you really arn't paying attention. My friend once said that Cake would sound a lot better if the singer actually was singing instead of "talking." IMO this is a ridiculous statement, but everyone has there opinion.
Overall this album is a lot of fun. This is my personal favorite Cake album and it is probably there most popular do to there hit single "Short Skirt/Long Jacket." Cake throws in some different instruments to make there music sound unique, and fun. This is an interesting album just because Cake tries so many different things. Wheather it is jazz, funk, pop, or new-wave they usually come out successful and make it work. This is a very laid back album, if you want something easy to listen to then this album is definately for you. The lyrics are clever and humorouse, sometimes even ironic. You won't find another band like Cake because the vocals are laid back and easy going while the music is funky and jazzy. If you want to get into Cake this is the perfect album to start with. This is an album everyone should give a listen, if you look past the hit single and it's catchiness, you will find out that this album is excellent in many aspects.
Overall Rating : 4.5/5
Album Art : http://img.epinions.com/images/opti/6a/fc/426095-music-resized200.JPG
"World Of Two"
Monotone vocals can get tedious
Recommended Tracks :
"Meanwhile, Rick James..."
"Short Skirt/Long Jacket"
"Commissioning A Symphony In C"