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Cake & Pie

4.4 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 26, 2002
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Editorial Reviews


It could be argued that people forgive singers like Whitney Houston and Celine Dion their syrupy song choices because their voices are so magnificent. Almost exactly the opposite is true of coffeehouse cutie Lisa Loeb. While her voice is pleasant enough, it lacks the range, vibrato, and immediacy to rank as a compelling instrument. But set against Loeb's fizzy folk-pop, it becomes an ideal vehicle for her conversational lyrics. That's especially true on Cake and Pie, which bears the confessional stamp of a songwriter who's been around the block enough times to know that life comes stacked with some pretty heinous surprises. Hence subject matter ranging from relationships in decay ("Kick Start") to teenage anorexia ("She's Falling Apart"). There's brightness, too, in tracks like the relatively slamming "We Could Still Belong Together"--originally heard in the film Legally Blonde--and the cheeky, finger-wagging "You Don't Know Me." While Randy Scruggs, Dweezil Zappa, and superstar producer Glen Ballard (Alanis Morissette) appear as co-songwriters, Cake and Pie owes its chief debt to Loeb and her willingness to throw open the diary, real or imagined, and start dishing. --Kim Hughes

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Way It Really Is
  2. Bring Me Up
  3. Underdog
  4. Everyday
  5. Someone You Should Know
  6. Drops Me Down
  7. We Could Still Belong Together
  8. Kick Start
  9. You Don't Know Me
  10. Payback
  11. Too Fast Driving
  12. She's Falling Apart

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 26, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000060OZ9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,344 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Lisa Loeb Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Lisa Loeb has always made good records, not great ones. Until now. Since she burst onto the music scene with her massively successful song "Stay," Loeb has been achieving only moderate success, both artistically and commercially ("I Do" and "Do You Sleep?" being her only other Top 40 hits). Her first two CDs featured many terrific performances, but the overall effects of the albums were weighed down by down-tempo songs that never seemed to tell the listener much that really stuck. Still, Loeb possesses an enjoyable voice and terrific phrasing abilities, and she certainly has a talent for writing a catchy song. All her talents shine brightly on her third album, "Cake and Pie." True to its title, the CD offers twelve delicious songs...all made with the familiar but refreshed Loeb recipe. The artist delivers her most brilliant moments on up-tempo numbers like the current single "Someone You Should Know," the energetic "You Don't Know Me" and the soaring "We Could Still Belong Together," but she also achieves new maturity and excellence with the CD's slower songs, like "Payback" and the wonderful "She's Falling Apart." Loeb's new lyrics are sophisticated without being contrived or stilted, and surprisingly honest, insightful and interesting. (Strangely enough, I purchased this CD the same day I bought Alanis Morrissette's "Under Rug Swept," thinking Morrissette's effort would be the intriguing, edgy one and Loeb's being the lightweight of the two titles. Needless to say, I was quite shocked to discover that quite the opposite was true!) So, yes, boys and girls, this is a wonderful new Lisa Loeb. And I have a feeling she is just getting started. I highly recommend this album. If you have only one Lisa Loeb CD in your collection, this one should be it.
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Format: Audio CD
When an artist we think we know takes a dramatic turn off her established path, it's a touchy thing for fans. Newbies come to the party with a different frame of reference (like folks who first heard U2 after Zooropa), but for long-time listeners, such a departure can usher feelings both of elation and betrayal. I admit vacillating between the two before concluding that Cake And Pie is a tasty disc indeed, more consistent in theme, yet more musically diverse than Lisa Loeb's two previous releases.
The elements that define her body of work thankfully remain intact: intelligent personal lyrics, courageous bare vocals, exquisite guitar playing, and infectious pop arrangements - but there's a broadened level of musical experimentation that takes us outside the familiar turf of Tails and Firecracker.
Lyrically, the songs delve into the mysteries of human incompatibility; of how, whether in a relationship or not, we fail to see plain truth before our eyes; and finally why we crave impossible ideals that inevitably disappoint. As is often the case with Loeb's compositions, her solid pop sensibilities make the songs easy to swallow and belie the depth of longing within.
With this new recording, her first for A&M, Lisa has expanded her level of collaboration to include such heavyweights as Glen Ballard and Randy Scruggs. Dweezil Zappa adds a crispy electrified influence to several tracks. The result is a richly textured stew, full of nuance and spice, but at a cost. It's a difficult to define subtlety, part recording and part performance, that I would call intimacy. Make no mistake - this is real, honest songwriting, but this album is a larger production than Lisa's earlier one-on-one sessions with producer Juan Patino, and as such, the flavor is different.
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Format: Audio CD
I don't care how good you sound, how well your lyrics are written, or how well you can play an instrument....if your album is weakly produced, it will shatter everything you have tried to create and propel you from potential listeners and fans you once had. This scenario is pretty much what can make or break a singer/songwriter's potential and album progressions. Or sometimes, you can have good lyrics and good production, but the vocals lack an overpowering effect. All of this drama initially applies to Loeb's latest album, 'Cake & Pie'. But after a few more complete album listens, the music is worthwhile.
Lisa Loeb's previous two albums were tremedously good, which made me become a fan of her music. For this third album, it seems that Dwezel Zappa has enhanced, and yet, slightly also screwed up Loeb's musical sensibility. Loeb can't make up her mind on what she's trying to present here. Is she siren folkie, a pop wannabe gyrator, or a loose college rock rehasher? Don't get me wrong...you can input a myriad of musical stylings into an album. But, if it's not tied well together, the results are more than likely unbearable. Also, Lisa Loeb's voice is lacking in its overall usual tone and quality.....on some tracks.
Because of all this, 'Cake & Pie' takes a couple of listens to get used to Loeb's updated arrangements. So, once that issue has been rectified, most of the tracks on this album do in fact reveal their listening staying power (in fact, all but two songs: "Everyday" and "The Way It Really Is").
The best songs, by far, are "Underdog" and "Kick Start"!
So by comparing this album to her two previous ones, you'll be slightly put off at first, but you'll eventually be smiling after a few more thorough listens.
It's good to see that Lisa Loeb continues her nice musical journey, while some of her other fellow female contemporaries are putting out lame tracks.
Enjoy :-)
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