Cake

Cake

Comfort Eagle

Columbia

Cake are one of the few bands that mange to be both popular and instantly recognizable these days. Their distinctive sardonic quality comes through on everything they do, owing equally to frontman John McCrea•s world-weary voice, Vince DiFiore•s punctuating trumpet blasts, and the band•s trademark marriage of guitars and keys. Simply put, there•s no way that you can hear a Cake song and mistake it for anyone else, and such is the case for the whole of the band•s fourth album (and first for new label Columbia), Comfort Eagle. Speaking personally, this was one of the most anticipated albums of the year for me (up there with They Might Be Giants• forthcoming Mink Car), and I•m so pleased to be able to report that Cake do not disappoint. While nothing here is a big departure from previous efforts, when you stop to consider that Cake has pretty much already perfected that thing they do, you realize that they really don•t need to depart. Songs like •Opera Singer,• •Short Skirt/Long Jacket,• and •Shadow Stabbing• are instantly familiar and instantly classic, their infectious grooves working their way into your head faster than that space bug Khan used on Chekov in Star Trek II. Other highlights include the wistful •Meanwhile, Rick James…,• the smirking, driving title track, the deliciously dark •Long Line of Cars,• and the melancholy •World Of Two.• If you didn•t like Cake in the past, Comfort Eagle is unlikely to change your mind, but for their many fans, this is another quiet triumph.

Columbia Records, 550 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10222-3211; http://www.columbiarecords.com, http://www.cakemusic.com

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