While so many rock bands try to reinvent themselves with every new album, Cake has made a name for itself by sticking to its brand of smirking funk-pop. Blending jazz, rockabilly, experimental rock, and a little less country than usual, Comfort Eagle, the band's first album since leaving Capricorn Records for Columbia, carries on the Cake tradition of offbeat humor and catchy melodies. While some fans may be waiting for its sound to evolve, singer/songwriter John McCrea and company seem content to reign over their quirky little corner of the popular music landscape. "Opera Singer" and the first single, "Short Skirt/Long Jacket," follow in the footsteps of Cake's previous hits, but are no less enjoyable because of it. "Shadow Stabbing" is one of the most straightforward rock songs the band has ever recorded, with McCrea forgoing his usual half-spoken vocals for an almost irony-free delivery. While it is still unmistakably Cake, it would sound right at home on a Cars album. The rest of the album is by the numbers Cake, which is comforting and slightly disappointing at the same time. The group has certainly perfected its sound, and one can understand why it would be hesitant to turn its back on its extremely distinctive style, but with Comfort Eagle Cake comes dangerously close to simply remaking its previous release, Prolonging the Magic. While new fans might enjoy Comfort Eagle on its own merits, Cake followers may feel as though they've bought the same album twice. However, both albums are strong enough that they probably won't mind.
Review by Mark Vanderhoff
|2||Meanwhile, Rick James...||3:57|
|4||Short Skirt/Long Jacket||3:24|
|5||Commissioning a Symphony in C||2:59|
|6||Arco Arena [Instrumental]||1:31|
|8||Long Line of Cars||3:23|
|9||Love You Madly||3:57|
|10||Pretty Pink Ribbon||3:08|
|11||World of Two||3:40|
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