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Runner

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 18, 2012
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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Sea and Cake deliver an album with the freshness and energy of a new band, and the ease and musicianship that can only come with experience. Runner began as the companion piece to 2011's The Moonlight Butterfly, and using that album's sonic experimentations as a starting point for a new process of writing and recording, became something completely new. Songs that began as synthesizer experiments in Sam Prekop's home studio were reimagined by the other members, and eventually recorded and mixed by John McEntire at Chicago's Soma Studios. The result is an album that feels like a private travelogue. Start listening at one place, and end up some place else. Cherishing the unexpected mysteries around every corner.

Review

one of the dreamiest, most comforting, and most awe-inspiringly mellow things that the Chicago band have
ever done. --Pitchfork

This group has remained relevant, inventive and damn good since 1994... Good music transcends throughout
time, and The Sea and Cake is one of few that do it right. --Filter

Easily their best record in a decade --NPR All Songs Considered

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Thrill Jockey
  • ASIN: B008RXE59E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,257 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I surely do not feel this is by any means a 5 star album or the sea and cake's best album at all, but it is still a all around solid record and accurately represents the sea and cake's wonderful craft at work.

The first 4 tracks of this album are my favorite on the album. On and On is a rock song(well a light sea and cake rocker anyway) which gets you moving in the morning when you wake up. Harps has a variety of lovely sounds with instruments that I am not sure what they are and Prekop's vocals sound great in this and has an overall happy tone to the song-sort of a dreamy tune and quite relaxing(then again very few sea and cake's songs are not relaxing)! The last minute or so of the song " A mere" is absolutely lovely-with its lovely guitar rifts, light orchestra, light drum beats made for a splendid way to end the song. The 4th song Invitations has semi haunting vocals from Prekop with very interesting lyrics as well. Between his haunting vocals and Prewitt on organ it makes for a very unique song, one of my favorites on the album for sure. The other song harbor bridges is a light airy chill acoustic song and I really enjoyed the sound and rythm of new patterns which was a lovely tune also.

Other than that I did not personally care much for the rest of the songs. They were not terrible, just kind of so so at best-relaxing anyway.

Unfortunately there were no tracks on here that were just instrumentals. Almost all of the previous SAC albums have at least 1 if not 2 instrumentals(sans lyrics) which are often fantastic and sometimes the best tracks on the album.

Anyway a must pick to add to your SAC collection of great albums. Solid B+
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Format: Audio CD
The Sea & Cake have continually proven themselves to be one of the most consistently pleasing bands in the American underground scene. They are equally experimental and accessible, melding elements of Kraut Rock, 70s Pop, Yacht Rock and Post-Rock. Runner, their tenth album on the Thrill Jockey label, sounds just as fresh as their self-titled 1994 debut. As the band has progressed over the last 20 years, there has been a notable increase in use of modular synthesizers. Whereas the synth was the main feature of their last album, The Moonlight Butterfly, the songs on Runner meld hummable melodies with perfect atmospheres. John McEntire, drummer and producer, always churns out pristine sounding records and Runner is one of his best yet. "On and On" is a youthful Kraut-anthem for the ages and has been stuck in my head for the last few weeks without exception: when you hear the beat change at the end of the chorus, you'll know exactly what I am talking about. The Sea & Cake are one of the breeziest and most tasteful rock bands of the last twenty years and Runner is one of their best albums yet.
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Format: Audio CD
20 years on and the Sea & Cake continue, without much fanfare, to release quality music. If you've been happily following their career as I have you will no doubt be pleased with this latest addition to their catalog. To my ears it is a continuation and refinement of what they have offered over the past several releases. If you haven't yet heard the band, this wouldn't be a bad place to start (others may disagree). Check out their label's website (Thrill Jockey) for upcoming tour dates and support them if you can. I've had the good fortune to see them live on their One Bedroom, and Moonlight Butterfly tours, and it is a real treat to watch a band who have played together for this long and still get a buzz from it.
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Format: Audio CD
The Sea And Cake have their strongest offering since the bizarrely-overlooked recent classic, Everybody. Not sure how everyone seems to have missed that one. I saw them on the tour for Everybody at the Metro and it really solidified my relationship with that album. Runner captures some of that prior album's propulsion, especially on the first two tracks, along with some other very successful (although minor) tweaks to the basic S&C format. Where Car Alarm seemed rushed and Moonlight Butterfly almost too coolly, platonically electronic, Runner is grounded and organic. Like the best of much of their previous work, there's an ad hoc blend of blue-eyed soul (in Prekop's vocals), some Velvets-induced guitar chug that's leavened with Archer Prewitt's nimble, almost African style clean electric guitar, and no small amount of impressiveness from drummer (and often engineer/producer) John McEntire. Eric Claridge continues his role as band secret weapon, grounding the often gossamer filigrees of the others and revealing that these songs have great bones in the process.

Songs like "The Invitations" go a little off the expected menu, starting in familiar territory but soon morphing into something organic and filmic. The heavily processed vocals and keys drift away while a half krautrock/half Malian groove takes over. The acoustic "Harbor Bridges" is revelatory in its stripping away of the usual atmospherics and synths. Claridge keeps sneaking in variations on the venerable Thriller bassline throughout the album.

While their consistency can at times be maddening, the true strength of the band is not in "hey lookit me" stylistic twists or overt shifts. Instead, Sea And Cake reward listening with lots of subtlety and interesting yet understated layering.
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