Customer Reviews: Prolonging the Magic
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on June 13, 1999
I'm dismayed by the number of reviewers who seem baffled by the lyric's in this CD (and the other Cake CD's too.) Many songs take lines directly from the Bible, believe it or not! On this album, "Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell" is something Jesus said to his disciples. Throughout Cake's music, there is evidence that at least one of their writers is familiar with other scriptures. ("You part the waters".... and *I'm not fit to touch the hem of your garment* also come to mind.)
As for the lyrics being dumb, anyone who has studied Surrealism (Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte) know that two seemingly unrelated ideas juxtaposed often result in a deeper truth... and humour. That's why I listen all the time to Cake's three albums. They have holding power because they are deep as well as funky. They're my favorite group.
Incidentally, I'm a high school teacher in her 50's. My son who lives in CA. gave me my first Cake CD.
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on January 5, 2006
Don't bother with the comings and goings of various band members over the years. Cake has only gotten better with age, and where they started wasn't bad to begin with. Their first album (Motorcade of Generosity) was good. Fashion Nugget was very good. Prolonging the Magic is also very good, possibly even better. Don't listen to those who claim the magic faded after Fashion Nugget.

These guys are masters at blending various musical stylings into a style that is nearly impossible to pin down. There's just not anybody out there doing anything like what Cake does. It's been said that the genius of Eric Clapton doesn't lie in the notes that he plays, but in the notes he doesn't play. This is entirely true of Cake as well. You won't find complicated arrangements or sophisticated lyrics. This is music from the soul played with feeling. They're not out to impress you with how many incredible riffs they can pull off or amazing drum solos.

You may have heard singles from them over the years such as The Distance, Never There (from this album), and Short Skirt Long Jacket. I did. I never thought much of them until Short Skirt. By that time I realized that Cake was something different. I figured it was time to really check them out. I've since bought every CD. They're all incredible.

If you're just getting into Cake, this album makes a fantastic introduction, as would Comfort Eagle. The others are good to great in their own right, but Prolonging and Comfort Eagle represent a peak of Cake creativity where every song resonates with the essence of this band. If you like one or both of these releases, you will no doubt want to indulge in the others.

P.S. If these guys ever come to your town to play, GO. There's nothing like a Cake show.
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on December 31, 1999
Buy this CD. Once it arrives, play it 4 times in a row. By the 4th time, it will be one of your favorites. Prolonging The Magic is really simple: every song is great, not just good. If you give it a chance you will love it. The only exception is if you don't really understand music.(if you listen to britney spears and boy bands) :)
The first time I played it I didn't think it was anything special. But the second time (when I was actually hearing the music, not just listening for the mood and the words), I started to like it, a lot. By the 3rd time I was hooked.
I listen to a wide variety of rock, a little rap, and classical music. I have a BUNCH of GREAT CDs. This CD is definately in my top 3. I listen to it all the time and think everyone else needs to hear it also. It is different from the first 2, but in my humble opinion, it's definately better.
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on August 31, 2001
The third Cake disk, cleverly titled "Prolonging the Magic", hits hard with thirteen amazing tracks.
The album starts off with "Satan Is My Motor", a song laced with parody and clever lyrics. Most feel the song is a direct refrence to the dark prince himself. Could it be?
A soothing rock song "Mexico" follows, creating an atmosphere worthy of a well lit night club.
Never There, one of the strongest tracks on the disk follows this, followed by "Guitar" and "You Turn The Screws".
A few happy-go-lucky songs come along. "Walk On By", and "Sheep Go To Heavan" have great beats, and clever lyrics once again.
The most creative track is "When You Sleep". A song about where people put their hands while in the act of sleeping could only be created by this sacrimento quartet.
"Hem Of Your Garment" is next, quoting the Bible, not referring to it. The Bass is heavy and the chorus is amazingly catchy.
"Alpha Beta Parking Lot" is calming, and chilling; creating a mood of joyous sorrow. The song leaves an impression long afterwards - much like the aftertaste of a pickle.
Afterwards is "Let Me Go", a love song that proves a point, while making you bob your head.
"Cool Blue Reason"'s lyrics are chilling, and mark your mind with footprints. The song instills something of a sad dilemna.
And finally, the disk comes to a close with "Where Would I Be". A touching Love song that, while being a love song, still packs some amazing bass and drums. The eerie sounding introduction makes you lift your head.
Beautiful music, Great Lyrics, Amazing C.D.
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on December 19, 1999
Let me say this: I love this album. I LOVE it. Cake have this "Background music to 'Scooby Doo'" sound to them. And the lyrics - let me tell you. I can't imagine the premise behind "Sheep go to Heaven, Goats go to Hell", but that's another story. If you're reading this and thinking about buying this album, BUY IT. You won't be disappointed. It's great. Really it is. Really. I'm serious. It's really good. Really.
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on September 3, 2004
I love all the cake cd's, but if you are just getting into the band, or even if you are a huge fan who for some reason doesnt have it, Prolonging The Magic is the BEST. Every single song on this album is wondeful, and represents cake at their best. If you buy this cd, it will be one of the best investments you have ever made. I still listen to it every day in my car. Good music to roll down the window to, and just sing along. The people that give this album bad reviews are not real cake fans. They are obviously ignorant and do not like the band. Any real cake fan will tell you that this cd is awesome, and some consider it their favorite. ALL their cd's are good, though. buy them all and enjoy yourself!!!!
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on July 7, 2000
This new album is amazing considering everything that went down prior to this cd. The sound is original and explosive. I have no idea how any one could say that the band lost their talent because of one amazing record. I have all 3 cds and this is by far my favorite; it has a great twang that makes it even more original. I hope anyone who reads this will buy this cd! It's one of the best albums I own.
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VINE VOICEon October 26, 2008
Having been a long time Cake listener on the West Coast and also having seen them numerous times in concert, I believe that 'Prolonging The Magic' is quite probably their best effort.

'You Turn The Screws' is up there to the top of my favourite songs by Cake. This album delivers from the first moment to the very last without a seconds hesitation.

Cake is infectious and highly listenable, they also don't seem to have a quality that fades or makes them sound like a flash in the pan or dated as many other bands do. It's hard to produce good music that stands the test of time and that also sounds incredible in concert.

I've been to hundreds of shows over the years in probably just as many genres, but seeing Cake preform in a very small club in Hollywood for roughly 50 people, has to be best show I've ever seen, bar none. No, I didn't get to see Bowie during the Heathen tour going through the Five Burroughs, either. That show was probably the best show ever done for modern man, and the buzz on it was tremendous - but alas, I missed it.

So, back to Cake ...

Where are they now?

Still touring ... at least for now. I would suggest getting out there and seeing them while you still can. They always play the hits and the large crowds always seem to know all the lyrics. John McCrea has stated that he's probably nearing the end of his run as a performance musician and wants to 'return to the earth ... and farm'.

Cake and their reception ...

Unfortunately, John McCrea seems to have taken a lot of the criticism the band received over the years and internalized it deeply. Maybe too deep. I'm not speculating here either, as it's been much talked about amongst Cake fans and in the media. I guess it's hard not to though when some of the mainstream reviewers were pretty harsh and very dismissive.

The good thing about Cake though, is that history will remember them well and hold them a coveted spot in the small group of musicians that had a strong and lasting impact on the modern music scene without completely selling out or imploding all over themselves.

... ...
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on October 12, 2004
Pretty damn good effort by Cake, with the best track being "Sheep Go To Heaven". That song is what brought me a slice of the cake in the first place, and it is still my favorite Cake track. Song ratings:

1. Satan Is My Motor - 8/10: I didn't like this song at first, but after a couple of listens, it grew on me. The song's a bit slow at times, but steady -- very, steady.

2. Mexico - 7/10: Pretty sad and slightly depressing. Good song to listen to if you're feeling down. Me? I tend to skip it.

3. Never There - 10/10: One of the most catchy songs ever. An essential listen if you're into the band.

4. Guitar - 10/10: As the name might imply, this song is mostly John McCrea, a guitar, and some drums. The song also has a slight Mexican accent to it, which makes it all that better. It's a great tune to listen to if you're feeling down or if you just want something playing in the background.

5. You Turn The Screws - 9/10: Good song. Confrontational. Demanding. Catchy hook. Something to listen to if you're feeling angry. The piano pieces also fit very well, and gives the song that extra spice.

6. Walk On By - 9/10: Sad, slightly depressing. Awesome music.

7. Sheep Go To Heaven - 10/10: This song is what I define Cake by. It's goofy. It's catchy. He's singing about goats. What more do you want?

8. When You Sleep - 8/10: Slow, yet somewhat uplifting. Great music. Interesting lyrics.

9. Hem of Your Garment - 10/10: Good hook, catchy music; definitely something you'll bounce to.

10. Alpha Beta Parking Lot - 7.5/10: I didn't like it the first time I heard the song, and it hasn't really grown on me yet. It's not a bad song, but there are much more better ones in the pool.

11. Let Me Go - 10/10: Very good music; I think I've heard it before I got into the band, but I'm not sure. It's very familiar, with a hint of Country and old fashion Rock. Lyrics are slightly depressing, but you'll find yourself singing the three words in the title.

12. Cool Blue Reason - 8/10: Similar to "Alpha Beta Parking Lot", but a bit more upbeat. I also didn't like this song right away, but it's grown on me.

13. Where Would I Be? - 7/10: Slow, confrontational, and depressing. One of my least favorite Cake songs.
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on December 18, 1998
Was "Fashion Nugget" a fluke? This formulaic, food-processed followup sure makes it seem that way. What's more irritating than the mind-numbing repetitiveness of standard Cake ingredients (that thundering bass, that echoey voice, those edgy staccato guitar riffs--all of which worked so well on past albums) are the obnoxious "Oh-Nos!" and "He'yahs!" that punctuate the trumpet solos on each song except for the third. It's like sticking Twinkies in the middle of a Ho-Ho: redundant and tasteless. This album is Cake extruded into a Dixie Cup, to make a mock cupCake. What recipe were they following? How many cavities will they cause? At least one--in my wallet. I wish I'd read my review before I bought the album.
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