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No Chocolate Cake

4.1 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 28, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Pop rock hit-makers, the Gin Blossoms, return with the release of their highly anticipated new album, NO CHOCOLATE CAKE, featuring the single, Miss Disarray. Known for creating indelibly melodic, Grammy-nominated Top Ten singles and Platinum-selling albums, Gin Blossoms - Robin Wilson, Jesse Valenzuela, Scott Johnson and Bill Leen, are back and in peak form. The eleven new tracks were written, produced and performed by the band with the help of John Richardson (drums) and Danny Wilde on keyboards and additional production (of The Rembrandts).

Four years after the critically acclaimed Major Lodge Victory, Gin Blossoms have put together a seamless musical confection. The band continues to benefit from an innate chemistry and inspiration, a dynamic that helped catapult songs such as Hey Jealousy, Found Out About You, Till I Hear From You and Follow You Down into the collective musical consciousness and helped define an era.

Says Wilson, There's just something about the way we play and sound together. It's those songs and the sound we make that add up to something indefinable.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: 429 Records
  • ASIN: B003VL3UVQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,802 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
The record is simply awesome, I will never been able to understand why Gin Blossoms have not been a huge success past their 92-94 MTV peak. In my opinion, no fillers on this album (maybe just Dead or Alive on the 405 if we are too harsh). Classic yet somehow updated Gin Blossoms' formula of catchy melodies, superb interaction and complement between Jesse and Scott's guitars, resourceful bass lines by Bill, great drumming (despite being difficult to replace Phil) and, last but not least, Robin Wilson with his trademark vocals. A couple of tracks vaguely reminded me of the sound of another band I love (Toad the Wet Sprocket), without this being something bad (quite on the contrary). This is the kind of record you can leave on and casually realize you have listened to it entirely two or three times (e.g. road trip) without getting remotely bored. Congrats GBs, you outdid it! Catch a live performance if you can (I did in a casino/race track). It is beyond my comprehension why they don't get booked in more appealing types of venues while far less talented musicians are.
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Just as a quick fair notice - I am a huge Gin Blossoms fan. I felt they've been largely overlooked and had some really great songs (though not nearly enough if you asked me). I found this album recently and it wasn't a question of whether or not I would buy it, I'm a bit of a completionist in that regard.

That out of the way, I found myself feeling really dissapointed by this album. I don't think it's a bad album really, but I don't think it's very good either. It sure sounds like old-school Gin Blossoms, but it feels like Gin Blossoms without a heart. I felt the lyrics were very mild and missing that clever turn of phrase that I usually associate with GB. Not only that, I just didn't feel like anything on the album really struck me or jumped out. As I said, this doesn't make it a bad album, but I felt really apathetic about the whole experience. It was tough, because with Major Lodge Victory I felt they made an album that was uneven (some really good stuff, some pretty dull), and I was hoping this one was more even. Unfortunately, I think it's a bit too even.

I'm sure I'll find a song or two that I like alright over time, but all in all it was hard not to feel dissapointed here. When I think Gin Blossoms, I want catchy, poppy, clever tunes. I don't feel like they delivered here.
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Format: MP3 Music
All I know is this is not quite what I was expecting...It's better!

No Chocolate Cake has the same Gin Blossoms sound we all love, but with a completely modern feel. Catchy, melodic, guitar driven, singalongable, radio friendly music...that's what we've come to know from Gin Blossoms and NCC doesn't disappoint. The sound and feel of this mix and master is nothing short of perfect to fit on todays radio. The mix and master of NCC makes Gin Blossoms relevant again and that is exciting for all us fans. The quality and maturity in songwriting is completely superb to the last GB album, Major Lodge Victory. There are numerous songs on here that can be instant radio gems or become soundtrack hits like, Til I Hear it From You did in Empire Records. Yes, we all love Hey Jealousy and New Miserable Experience but this new album surely gives it a run for its money.
Being completely inspired by this band to pick up a guitar and become a musician 15 years ago all I can say is thank you guys and BRAVO! on No Chocolate Cake.

***Exceptional Tracks***

-I Don't Want to Lose You Now
-Don't Change For Me
-Wave Bye Bye
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
While I loved the little publicized "Major Lodge Victory", "No Chocolate Cake" is the best effort by the Gins since their catchy jangly pop-rock hit the scene in the early 90's. If anything can get these guys back into the mainstream with a hit single it'll be off of this amazing grouping of fun and relevant tunes. "Don't Change for Me" sets the tone, "Miss Disarray" is a hit, but the rest hold their own as, I believe, the band's best body of work. Enjoy! Gin Blossoms are back!!
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The Gin Blossoms have always been on the top of my list, and I understand a number of fans like myself came to be with the outstanding success of 'New Miserable Experience'. And if that wasn't enough, 'Congratulations I'm Sorry' was a strong follow-up that managed to prove the band worthy, even without the lyrical, hard rocking inspiration of the late and highly talented Doug Hopkins. Their third record: 'Major Lodge Victory', blew me away around the time I first heard it at college, and I could classify that one as my favorite album. Which now finally leaves us to their latest entry, No Chocolate Cake.

Cutting to the chase here, 'No Chocolate Cake' has a handful of gems, but it somehow doesn't fully match up to the excellence of their last three albums. It has the kind of track-listing that starts with the best songs and ends with the weaker, and I had to get through it at my second listen by putting the album on shuffle.

One thing that puzzles me the most is why they decided to have only 11 songs instead of the usual 12. The outtakes "Lost and Found" or "Please Don't Ask Me" could have easily filled that gap. Another mystery is the absence of their excellent producer, John Hampton. His work on the last 3 albums (including the Gas Giants 'From Beyond The Back Burner') was great, and I wouldn't have hesitated to buy this one if he had produced it.

Despite the flaws, the album is still worth giving a listen now and then. It should grow on you after several tries. But be sure to keep your other Gin Blossoms records on hand while you're at it.
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