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CD Reviews:  Cake: Comfort Eagle

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The originality and sheer brilliance of Cake's second and third releases, 1996's Fashion Nugget and 1998's Prolonging the Magic, was not going to be easily matched. On their latest effort, Comfort Eagle, Cake manages to drizzle their fun, carefree lyrics over tasty layers of jumpy guitars and punchy beats. Though the result is neither quite as fresh or groundbreaking as their previous records, it doesn't really need to be.

"Shadow Stabbing" is a blast, with John McCrea's monotone storytelling woven between playful guitar riffs and subtle trumpet parts (a Cake trademark!). The first single, "Short Skirt/Long Jacket," will stick with you all day after hearing it for just the first time. "I want a girl with shoes that cut / And eyes that burn like cigarettes," McCrea announces as he leads the band into a groovy 3 1/2 minute jam which even imitates Velvet Underground's "Sweet Jane" at one point. "Love You Madly" is the closest thing Cake will offer to a love ballad, and it works. Not slow and sentimental, this ballad flutters and dances about like most other Cake tunes, but manages to tell a loving story along the way.

Cake has quietly become one of the most uniquely creative and yet unknown bands of the last few years. To see them perform live is a treat, and their studio recordings are just plain fun. While Comfort Eagle does not rival other Cake discs as their finest work, it does provide just enough listening pleasure and musical wit for us to flip the calendar and keep longing for future releases. These guys have a real niche, and most would be wise to indulge in the beauty that is Cake! 

~Red Rocker
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