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Comfort Eagle

258 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 24, 2001
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Comfort Eagle + Fashion Nugget + Prolonging the Magic
Price for all three: $18.97

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When two-fifths of Cake defected to form Deathray after the release of their sophomore album, Fashion Nugget, some wondered if Sacramento's answer to Camper Van Beethoven would disappear into the land of one-hit wonders--especially since Cake's lone hit, "The Distance," had been penned by departing guitarist Greg Brown. But true to bandleader John McCrea's deadpan cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive," Cake turned around and repeated their success with 1998's Prolonging the Magic and its infectious hit, "Never There." Now comes Comfort Eagle, and, with it, news of drummer Todd Roper's departure (which probably explains the addition of drum programming to McCrea's ever-expanding credits). Like Beck, McCrea's self-sufficiency is only matched by an overriding ironic sensibility. It serves him well on the title track where, above mock Middle Eastern drones, he takes on all poseurs ("Now his hat is on backwards, he can show you his tattoos / He's in the music business, he is calling you 'dude'"). By comparison, "Short Skirt/Long Jacket," a song that dates back to McCrae's coffeehouse years, sounds formulaic (which probably explains its selection as the album's first single). No matter, tracks like "Long Line of Cars" and "Meanwhile, Rick James..." are sufficiently intriguing to make up for it. Factor in the distinctive trumpet embellishments of Vincent DiFiore, the band's other original member, and Comfort Eagle seems guaranteed to ensure that, no matter what happens, Cake will survive. --Bill Forman

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 24, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00005MCW5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,905 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 18, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I purchased this CD after both my husband and my 12-year-old daughter agreed that "Short Skirt, Long Jacket" was a pretty jammin' tune. Trust me, they never agree on anything--which makes listening to music in the car an adventure in family trauma.
Imagine my surprise when we found that "SS, LJ" was merely the tip of the iceberg: probably the most mainstream (dare I say, "derivative"?) track in the package. Cake is a clever, hip, musically-friendly group with a style that's indefinable. Mix elements of country, jazz, disco, funk, salsa . . . hey, that's a TRUMPET in the background!
"Opera Singer" was hilarious in its self-deprecating, deadpan delivery. If you haven't heard Cake, you can't understand why McCrea intoning "I am an opera singer" is so funny. Just trust me. I laughed. "Shadow Stabbing" has a lovely melodic line, striking lyrics, and a bouncy rhythm that has me pushing that back button on the CD player. "Symphony in C" and "Long Line of Cars" have a melancholy feel, some great guitar, and again . . . love the lyrics.
Special mention must be made of "Comfort Eagle." Wry, rhythmic, off-beat, and . . . yes, everybody in the car was screaming out "Dude!" right along with McCrea. That's everybody--from my 50ish husband, to my 9-year-old daughter who usually listens to nothing but bubblegum pop. "Do you believe in the one big song?" This just may be it.
I didn't know much about Cake when I bought this CD, but I'm going out to buy the whole catalog.
Cake rocks.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By wellwellwell on May 14, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Although on the surface these songs might appear to possess that classically funny Cake allure, with their seemingly crazy titles, this just might be their most accomplished release yet. And smartest. Earlier smashes like "The Distance" and "Never There" seemed to carry the weight of their respective CDs, but on Comfort Eagle that doesn't quite hold true. "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" was greatly received by almost everyone who heard it; and the `Orange County' soundtrack song "Shadow Stabbing" also seemed to help boost this album's sales. But unlike their previous albums, Comfort Eagle does not have a song that can be considered bad. It's very solid all the way through. And to be perfectly honest, some of the lesser-known tracks here are actually better than the singles. Here's an overview of the 11 songs:
1. Opera Singer - 4/5 - the beats here are a little more pop-ish compared to most of Cake's previous work. But the lyrics and overall feel really get you pumped for the entire CD. Although I heard it a few times on the radio, I'm surprised it never hit it big(ger).
2. Meanwhile, Rick James... - 3/5 - this is actually my least favorite song, but still I agree with other reviewers in saying it's a very intriguing song. It's more reminiscent of a Motorcade Of Generosity song; which is hit-and-miss.
3. Shadow Stabbing - 4.5/5 - with a very similar approach to "Opera Singer", it might actually be slightly better. The background beat is something that portrays the many talents of singer John McCrea. Very catchy and very memorable.
4. Short Skirt/Long Jacket - 5/5 - it may be ill-advised to label this track the CD's best, but it's indisputably close.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Elgin Gregg on July 24, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Comfort Eagle can be seen as a return to Cake's roots. Gone are the overly catchy melodies and radio singles of Fashion Nugget; Cake keeps the music dry but never sparse. Guitar is used again for rhythmic ideas that complement the varied and interesting bass lines. The melody is once again brought to us by John McCrea and his unique style of speeksing (you try to catagorize it =) and harmonized with the occasional trumpet or keyboard line.
I will compare this album to Motorcade even though it introduces more of the electronic drum machine and sound effects found lightly in Prolonging the Magic. Don't worry, the drum machine is used very carefully and is only really prominent on the first track. The songs are traditional Cake fare with the metaphorical lyrics and syncopated rhythms fans expect. Again the rhythm of the lyrics is more akin to the first release and less like the almost randomness found in Fashion Nugget.
The CD has 11 tracks that include one instrumental (6 - Arco Arena). The tracks are of a decent length though the total album seems short comapred to previous releases.
To Cake fans and those who love the first album I recommend this new release.
If you love Cake for their radio tunes I would listen to the sample tracks before purchase.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Olly Buxton on April 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have come to Cake late, and circuitously: I wound up buying Comfort Eagle sound unheard, having stumbled across the lyrics to "Comfort Eagle" itself, which I thought justified an outlay of a fiver by themselves (except the actual reference to "living comfort eagle", which I can't fathom for the life of me - if anyone knows, do write and let me in on the secret).

The album is pretty much what I expected: It's neat, quirky stuff, crammed to the gills with that particular sort of uber-irony that afflicts all rock musicians who are given to social comment these days. Pop singers don't wear their hearts on their sleeves any more, and John McCrea is no exception: his lyrics are very clever, very wry, very arch, but they give nothing at all away: the irony is almost defensive in its refusal to admit to any real feeling: we know what McCrea thinks is silly but not what he *likes*. That would be much more revealing, but that, I suspect, would give the game away.

The instrumentation confirms this impression; long on chirpy horn lines, kooky keyboard hooks and cheeky little guitar riffs which come not from the class bully but from the scrawny kid who hangs out with him, wisecracking at everyone but never letting himself get caught alone, and fundamentally not putting anything on the line.

And the drum tracks are all either programmed or sampled - which strikes me as the height of laziness from guitar-pop band, to the point of being disrespectful to its audience: could Cake not be bothered to even hire a session drummer? With a running total of a shade under thirty seven minutes, it's a wonder they bothered to record the album at all.
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