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Thursday, October 19, 2017
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Cake: 'Showroom of Compassion' — 3 out of 5 stars

Tags: Music Reviews

Imagine you haven’t eaten cake since 2004. Now suddenly you have cake again. That sugary metaphor refers to the release of Cake’s new album Showroom of Compassion.

For those who’ve had Cake before, taking a bite after a seven-year absence will bring back all the delicious flavors you know and love; not much has changed. For those who’ve never tried Cake – you’re in for a treat.

This 2011 concoction features a tasty variety of different sounds, including raunchy guitar riffs, creamy grooving bass lines, sweetly harmonized vocals, cheesy yet inspired horn lines, a delicious drumbeat foundation and a sprinkle of politically satirical lyrics – courtesy of band leader John McCrea.

Let’s keep baking this pastry comparison and take Showroom of Compassion’s 11 tracks as 11 different layers of the charming confection from which the band takes its name.

“What’s Now is Now” is a thin layer of cookie cake with a pink bubble-gum filling, featuring acoustic guitar chords reminiscent of a California sunset. “The Winter” is a light layer of vanilla cream, complete with piano and bells. “Teenage Preganancy,” a mock rock-ballad instrumental, is the odd one out – the fruitcake. The most delicious flavor, and the catchiest track, is “Mustache Man,” a slab of rich peanut butter pie with hints of funky keyboards.

There is a bad aftertaste with Showroom of Compassion, however; just like the sugary treat, too much of it is a bad thing. Like Cake, Showroom of Compassion is light, fluffy, and unfulfilling. Each of the tracks go nowhere. You can get the entire flavor from the first bite and eating more is just kind of unhealthy.

However your sweet tooth will doubtlessly want a taste every now and then. When you get that craving for sugar, don’t deny it. Showroom of Compassion is worth more than a bite. Or two. Or a slice. Heck, just take the cake.

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