|Cake — Prolonging The Magic (1998)|
Cake — Prolonging The Magic
¦ "Supposedly their attempt to make a smugness- and irony-free album, Cake's third release does hold back the barbs a bit more than usual. And the strain shows. In these guys' hands, love songs without smirks and pop tunes straight up come out forced." — Michael Gallucci, Allmusic
Location: Sacramento, California
Album release: October 6, 1998
Record label: Capricorn/Zomba
01. Satan Is My Motor (3:12)
02. Mexico (3:26)
03. Never There (2:44)
04. Guitar (3:41)
05. You Turn The Screws (4:01)
06. Walk On By (3:46)
07. Sheep Go To Heaven (3:48)
08. When You Sleep (3:58)
09. Hem Of Your Garment (3:36)
10. Alpha Beta Parking Lot (3:30)
11. Let Me Go (3:30)
12. Cool Blue Reason (3:28)
13. Where Would I Be? (3:53)
Japan bonus tracks:
14. "Satan Is My Motor (Karaoke Version)" 3:14
15. "Never There (Karaoke Version)" 2:46
16. "Sheep Go to Heaven (Karaoke Version)" 4:49
17. "When You Sleep (Karaoke Version)" 3:59
¦ All songs written and composed by John McCrea, except where noted.
¦ Song 01: McCrea, Gabriel Nelson, and Tyler Pope
¦ Song 10: Vincent DiFiore and McCrea
¦ Song 11: Jim Campilongo and McCrea
¦ Song 13: McCrea, Nelson, and Joe Snook
¦ John McCrea – organ, ac. +el. guitars, vocals, Moog synthesizer, producing, and design
¦ Xan McCurdy – electric guitar
¦ Rusty Miller – electric guitar
¦ Tyler Pope – arranging and electric guitar
¦ Chuck Prophet - arranging and electric guitar
¦ Jim Campilongo - arranging and electric guitar
¦ Ben Morss - arranging and piano
¦ David Palmer - keyboards
¦ Vince DiFiore - trumpet, and background vocals
¦ Gabe Nelson - bass guitar, mandolin, electric guitar, and piano
¦ Greg Vincent - pedal steel guitar
¦ Mark Needham - percussion, engineering, and mixing
¦ Todd Roper - percussion, drums, and background vocals
¦ Jay Bowman Engineer
¦ Greg Brown Arranger
¦ Cake Arranger, Primary Artist
¦ Jim Campilongo Arranger, Composer, Guest Artist, Guitar (Electric)
¦ Vince Di Fiore Trumpet
¦ Keara Fallon Design
¦ Joe Johnston Engineer
¦ Craig Long Engineer, Mixing
¦ John McCrea Comp., Design, Guitars (Ac. + El.), Moog Synthesizer, Organ, Prod., Vocals
¦ Xan McCurdy Guitar (Electric)
¦ Rusty Miller Guitar (Electric)
¦ Mark Needham Engineer, Mixing, Percussion
¦ Gabriel Nelson Composer, Guitar (Bass), Guitar (Electric), Mandolin, Piano
¦ David Palmer Keyboards
¦ Tyler Pope Arranger, Composer, Guitar (Electric)
¦ Chuck Prophet Arranger, Guest Artist, Guitar (Electric)
¦ Scott Reams Engineer
¦ Todd Roper Drums, Percussion, Vocals (Background)
¦ Rafael Serrano Engineer
¦ Kirt Shearer Engineer, Mixing
¦ Gabriel Shepard Engineer
¦ Don C. Tyler Mastering
¦ Greg Vincent Pedal Steel
¦ Prolonging the Magic is the third studio album by American alternative rock band Cake. It was released on 6 October 1998 on Capricorn Records. It contains the sole single "Never There". It was recorded after the departure of guitarist Greg Brown and features a rotating lineup of musicians to replace him. One of them, Xan McCurdy, became his full-time replacement. On its opening week, Prolonging the Magic sold about 44,000 copies, debuting at No. 33 on the Billboard 200 chart. On 28 September 1999 the album was certified platinum by the RIAA for shipments of one million copies.
The album was given a parental advisory sticker, although the lyrics contain no profanity. Some copies do not feature a sticker, with the only difference being that the song "Satan Is My Motor" has been retitled "Motor".
¦ The song 'Hem of Your Garment' was featured in the film Me, Myself & Irene.
¦ La part de gâteau du jour... Comme les deux précédents, ça s'écoute toujours aussi bien.
¦ "Every now and then, a band with actual personality sneaks onto the modern rock radio playlist". — Washington Times
Review by Michael Gallucci (Editor rating: **½)
¦ Supposedly their attempt to make a smugness- and irony-free album, Cake's third release does hold back the barbs a bit more than usual. And the strain shows. In these guys' hands, love songs without smirks and pop tunes straight up come out forced. So, they often fall back into familiar territory: postmodern takes on postmodern life. Flipping between earnest alt-rock rhythms and jittery, funky jazz that somehow manages to whitewash both styles, Prolonging the Magic works best when Cake lay on the irony extra heavy, or when they make their sober ambitions mesh slightly with the type of smart-ass pop they've based a career on (like the formulaic "Never There"). At least they seem to realize their place in the alt-rock universe as a novelty band with chops, counteracting the genre's overwhelming seriousness with a light dose of heavy-handed yuks.
Album moods: -Cynical/Sarcastic-Snide-Ironic-Literate-Wry-Cerebral-Stylish-Acerbic-Humorous-Irreverent-Playful-Quirky-Witty-Angst-Ridden
Biography by Steve Huey
¦ Best-known for their ubiquitous hit "The Distance," Cake epitomized the postmodern, irony-drenched aesthetic of ‘90s geek rock. Their sound freely mixed and matched pastiches of widely varying genres -- white-boy funk, hip-hop, country, new wave pop, jazz, college rock, and guitar rock -- with a particular delight in the clashes that resulted. Their songs were filled with lyrical non-sequiturs, pop culture references, and smirky satire, all delivered with bone-dry detachment by speak/singing frontman John McCrea. Cake's music most frequently earned comparisons to Soul Coughing and King Missile, but lacked the downtown New York artiness of those two predecessors; instead, Cake cultivated an image of average guys with no illusions and pretensions about their role as entertainers. At the same time, critics lambasted what they saw as a smugly superior attitude behind the band's habitual sarcasm. Perhaps there was something in Cake's doggedly spare, low-key presentation that amplified their ironic detachment even when they didn't intend it, but most reviewers pegged them as one-hit wonders after the success of "The Distance." Nonetheless, Cake managed a few more alternative radio hits in the years that followed, while largely retaining the same approach.
¦ Cake was formed in Sacramento, California in 1992 by vocalist/songwriter John McCrea, who'd recently returned home after spending a few years in Los Angeles, unsuccessfully trying to break into the music business. The original lineup of Cake also featured guitarist Greg Brown, trumpeter Vince DiFiore, bassist Sean McFessel, and drummer Frank French; McFessel soon left to attend college, and was replaced by Gabe Nelson. In 1993, the band released their debut single, "Rock ‘n' Roll Lifestyle," on a local basis, and followed it with a self-produced, self-released, self-distributed album, Motorcade of Generosity. Motorcade found its way to the revived Capricorn label, which released the album nationally after Cake signed a contract with them. With the prospect of extensive national touring, both Gabe Nelson and Frank French left the band, and were replaced by bassist Victor Damiani and drummer Todd Roper. Re-released by Capricorn, "Rock ‘n' Roll Lifestyle" caught on at college radio in 1995, and was followed by two more singles, "Ruby Sees All," and "Jolene" (not the Dolly Parton song).
¦ Cake's second album, Fashion Nugget, was released in 1996 and spawned a breakout smash in the Greg Brown-penned "The Distance," which dominated alternative radio that fall, and even turned into an unlikely sporting-event anthem. Mostly on the strength of "The Distance," Fashion Nugget charted in the Top 40 and sold over a million copies. It also spun off a somewhat controversial follow-up single in a cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive"; although the band professed its sincere admiration for the song, some critics and listeners took it as a smarmy putdown, in part because of McCrea's deadpan vocals. In 1997, Greg Brown and Victor Damiani both left Cake and formed a new group, the new wave-influenced Deathray, which eventually released its debut album on Capricorn in 2000. Meanwhile, McCrea briefly considered putting Cake to rest, but brought original bassist Gabe Nelson back to replace Damiani instead. For Cake's next album, McCrea used a tag-team procession of guitarists -- five in all -- on different tracks; the result, Prolonging the Magic, was released in 1998. True to its sardonic title, it defied critical opinion to produce another big, alternative radio hit in "Never There," plus decently successful follow-ups in "Sheep Go to Heaven" and "Let Go."
¦ Prolonging the Magic sold nearly as well as Fashion Nugget, and was also certified platinum. For the supporting tour, one of the album's guitarists, Xan McCurdy, officially joined Cake full-time. In the spring of 2000, the band signed a new deal with Columbia, and debuted in 2001 with their fourth overall album, Comfort Eagle, which became their highest-charting yet (at number 13). The lead single, "Short Skirt/Long Jacket," was a hit on alternative radio, and even earned some MTV airplay -- no longer an easy task for any artist -- with a video that featured reactions to the song by randomly selected people on the street. Following the completion of the album, drummer Todd Roper left the group to spend more time with his children, and was replaced on the supporting tour by Pete McNeal. Pressure Chief appeared in 2004. Redefining the meaning of independent -- the band was by then recording in a studio powered entirely by solar energy, and free of the corporate involvement of even so much as a utility bill -- released Showroom of Compassion some six years later in 2011.
1998 The Billboard 200 #33
• "Never There" Adult Top 40 #29 / Modern Rock Tracks #1 / The Billboard Hot 100 #78
• "Let Me Go" Modern Rock Tracks #28
• "Never There" Mainstream Rock Tracks #40
• "Sheep Go to Heaven" Modern Rock Tracks #16
PIERO SCARUFFI: http://www.scaruffi.com/vol5/cake.html
ROBERT CHRISTGAU: http://robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?name=Cake
MATT DIEHL: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,285175,00.html
PAUL GREIN: http://music.yahoo.com/blogs/chart-watch/week-ending-jan-16-2011-albums-even-lower.html
© John McCrea (born c. 1965) performing with Cake in Atlanta, Georgia in 2006. Notable instruments: Vibraslap / Vocal style: McCrea's voice has a very distinctive "rough-around-the-edges" quality, which is especially evident when he sings in the lower part of his vocal range. He is also known for half-singing, half-speaking lyrics in many of his songs, sometimes in a kind of energetic monotone, such as the hits "The Distance" and "Never There." He is also known for stuttering some of his words as he does in their cover "I Will Survive" off Fashion Nugget. McCrea also commonly sings with off-beat rhythms and emphasizes the consonants in words instead of the vowels. The single "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps," is a good example of this.
|Cake — Prolonging The Magic (1998)|