Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Never, Never Gonna Give You Up

Song: Never, Never Gonna Give You Up
Artist: Cake
Album: B-Sides & Rarities

I reluctantly got into Cake in college. I don’t really know why at first… when “The Distance” was getting popular I just was turned off, a little too goofy and self-knowing. I don’t know… I felt this way about Weezer at first, and like Weezer, with Cake I got over my hipster bullshit and began to like the band. It helped that my reasonably cool step-brother-in-law (does that exist?) and his wife gave me their third album “Prolonging the Magic” and raved about it. I still think it’s their best, and made me become a fan.

The follow up to “Magic,” 2001’s “Comfort Eagle” is pretty good in retrospect. Hard to love at first because it’s not as song-for-song good at “Magic” but has a lot of great moments, and a few key Cake tracks. I was disappointed with 2004’s “Pressure Chief,” maybe my least favorite of their records I know straight through, but it’s not a total disaster, and they have built up the good will in me to let them slide.

They continue to slide… maybe ‘coast’ is the more correct word with the release of “B-Sides & Rarities” next month. It’s a collection of… b-sides and rarities, mostly covers, and a fun nugget for big fans. It’s far from essential, as most are just Cake-variations on a group of songs, which they already did their best with “I Will Survive,” found on the sophomore album (and breakthrough) “Fashion Nugget.” Don’t get me wrong; this is a great collection for fans, and not without its merits.

My favorites on the record include their covers of Barry White’s “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” and Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.” They sound like they come from the soundtrack of some out-of-nowhere lounge… their fun in a knowing wink-wink way. Which can be, depending on who you are, incredibly annoying as well.

I believe their cover of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” is the first single.


Here are some random Cake videos:

I Will Survive

Never There

Short Skirt/Long Jacket

(One of my favorite videos, great concept)

No Phone

And here they rip off themselves. Disappointment follows.

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