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Pressure Chief


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Audio CD, October 5, 2004
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Wheels (Album Version) 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. No Phone (Album Version) 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Take It All Away (Album Version) 3:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Dime (Album Version) 3:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Carbon Monoxide (Album Version) 3:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. The Guitar Man (Album Version) 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Waiting (Album Version) 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. She'll Hang The Baskets 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. End Of The Movie 1:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Palm Of Your Hand 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Tougher Than It Is (Album Version) 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 

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As they approach their twentieth anniversary, CAKE’s adherence to their original guiding principles has only grown stronger. Since first setting out, their democratic processes, defiant self-reliance, and lucid yet ever-inventive music has made them a nation-state unto themselves, with no obvious peers, belonging to no school. Now, in addition to writing, arranging, producing, and ... Read more in Amazon's Cake Store

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Pressure Chief + Showroom Of Compassion + Comfort Eagle
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 5, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0002SPNQQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,685 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sacramento, CA -- Cake, creators of "a modern pop that is both mechanized and organic... highly developed and virtually unique," (Rolling Stone) have finished work on their new album 'Pressure Chief',' slated for release October 5th on Columbia. Marked by the band's trademark minimalism and frontman John McCrea's unexpected, often sardonic, turns of phrase, the album's 11 songs also represent the band's tightest, most musically urgent work to date.

Amazon.com

While artists like Beck and Radiohead see every new album as an opportunity for reinvention from the ground up, Cake has no such hang-ups. From the uniformly rustic cover art, the jerky rhythms and wobbly trumpet solos, each of Sacramento band's albums is reassuringly interchangeable. But on its fifth, the group's most distinguishing characteristic--John McCrea's deadpan, detached vocals--seems to have been given a makeover. On songs such as "No Phone" and "Tougher Than It Is" for the first time the singer seems, well, like he's actually trying to sing. It's nothing dramatic--the music will still sound immediately familiar to those who even in passing have heard hits such as "Short Skirt/Long Jacket" and "The Distance"--but with certain bands a little goes a long way. --Aidin Vaziri

Customer Reviews

The first time I listen to a Cake album I think, "Eh."
Scott Patterson
The very first thing I noticed when I put this CD on in my car on the way to work was how different it sounded from what they've done before.
Brian Seiler
The lyrics are both brilliant and funny, and catchy in every song.
Emma A

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Brian Seiler on October 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
First off, I'd just like to point out that there's something deeply and unspeakably disturbing about a band named Cake covering a song by a band named Bread. Somewhere in France, most of Marie Antoinette must be spinning in her grave. And for those of you who weren't around when the first version came out, the Bread song on the album is The Guitar Man. But, I digress...

You know, it may just be me, but I have no idea what the people who say that this album sounds like the other four Cake albums are talking about. They must not be listening to the same CD that I am. The very first thing I noticed when I put this CD on in my car on the way to work was how different it sounded from what they've done before. For one thing, you're not going to find any country inspired music--unless you preordered it and got the bonus CD with Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town. The music on this CD has a much more urban sounds, with a lot more keyboard and synthesizer. The drums frequently sound as though they're coming from a drum machine, which I suppose they very well could be, given the band's recent turnover in the drumming department. All the same, dedicated Cake fans should immediately notice a difference.

This is not an album with a lot of solid radio tracks, so if you're looking for those, you probably ought to look elsewhere. Wheels and No Phone are both capable, and The Guitar Man has already been there and done that, but outside of those, there aren't really any standouts that will catch your ear the first time you hear them (except for The End of the Movie, and that's more because it has two fewer instruments involved than the rest of the album). While the album is terriffic, it is not swimming in memorable and catchy tunes--consider yourself warned.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Greg Brady on May 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I remember my initial reaction to this album was "Cake has finally made a bad album". While I no longer think of it as bad, it's definitely only average and one that takes longer to settle in than many of their other efforts.

Probably the biggest change here on this CD from COMFORT EAGLE is the prominence of synthesizers, especially on "Carbon Monoxide", the band's cover of 70s soft rock band Bread's "The Guitar Man", and the near theremin sounding synth on the sole hit from this album "No Phone". Others have mentioned singer John McCrea is trying to do more conventional singing on this album but I don't hear that much of a change from his typical talk/sing style (like an alternative Neil Diamond).

HIGHLIGHTS:
"Wheels" probably SHOULD have been the single. It's upbeat, and its "Wheeeeels..keep on spinnin' round/spinnin' round/spinnin' round" chorus is almost immediately sing-a-long worthy. "No Phone" has a similarly catchy hook but the insistent moog tends to grate a bit with repeated airings. "Dime" is a clever lament from the point of view of the tiny tender, much like Schoolhouse Rock's "I'm Just a Bill (On Capitol Hill)". ("I'm silver-plated/I'm underrated/You won't even pick me up because I'm not enough for a local phone call")

LOWS:
"She'll Hang the Baskets" is a return of more country tinged material from the band but it's not as compelling as past fare has been. "Carbon Monoxide" comes off like grating older B-52s (apt comparison whoever first made it)

BOTTOM LINE:
If you had asked me the first week we had this album for my rating, I'd have said 1 1/2 stars. After some time to live with it, the tracks I initially disliked (mostly) have grown on me and I now give it 3 stars. It's still probably their weakest effort thus far but far from unlistenable. Longtime Cake fans will probably like it, but I'd check out the sound samples first. If you're new to Cake, don't start here..get FASHION NUGGET, then COMFORT EAGLE.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel J. Harvey II on December 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Let's be real here, folks. Good CD? Yes, definitely. Great? Ehh, you're pushin' it there. Let's be real here, this new face of Cake with the new synth layer, just isn't exactly the Cake of old. There are a couple of songs where the old Cake shines through with its funky but fresh bass lines, and a few of those good ol' shaky trumpet solos. In this CD, the vocalist keeps his nonchalant and sometimes monotone voice, yet he tries to mix it up and appears to actually try and sing in songs such as "No Phone." Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that's a bad thing, but it's not what us long-time Cake fans were expecting from this new unveiling. Granted, I am only 17, but I still remember the first CD I ever received was Cake's Fashion Nugget. From then on I have kept up to date with every new single and CD. If you aren't a long time fan, take it from me, this is a good CD, but it doesn't have that certain shine that their others have had.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jason Stein VINE VOICE on November 3, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
One could argue that Cake are one big inside joke. I mean look at how their five album covers are all the same artist and slightly different from one another. Listen to the music--in ten years the band has turned out five almost similiar albums. They're like a car that has small adjustments made from year to year to improve its quality while retaining that same dependable quality you've come to rely on.

However, this is the first album that feels tired and out of musical ideas. Yes, the lyrics are still interesting and amusing and even quite clever ("Dime"), but the melodies, compositions and arrangements vary little from one another or from their previous four albums. "Pressure Chief" is a short (under 40 minutes) unsatisfying snack. It feels as if Columbia record execs have sucked the band dry.

Nevertheless, there are some salvageable songs like "No Phone", "Dime", "The Guitar Man", "End Of The Movie", "Palm Of Your Hand" and "Tougher Than It Is". But, you know, I made my own compilation of songs I like from each album onto one disc and it all sounded the same! I think Cake need a shot of musical inspiration at this point, or are they planning to release five more albums over the next ten years of the same thing? I'd hate to see them turn out like Chicago, Journey, REO Speedwagon or Styx did. These guys are my favorite band from Sacramento besides Bourgeois Tagg (who?).

If you're a Cake fan, I'm sure you already own this, but to casual fans you might was to try "Comfort Eagle", "Prolonging The Magic" or "Fashion Nugget" to start--or better yet, wait for a best of Cake!
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