Cake: Showroom of Compassion

3 Dec

Showroom of Compassion satisfies expectations with Cake‘s usual combination of trumpet riffs and delicious cynicism.

Cake is strong on every level of their music, from their groovy drumbeats, through their artful intersection of guitar and trumpet melodies to the surface, on which sit singer John McCrea’s unique and vitriolic lyrics.

In terms of lyrics, though, Showroom of Compassion isn’t all just gall. “What’s Now is Now” demonstrates an amazing solidarity of character with the story of a lover who knows his partner’s transgressions but forgives, and “Long Time”, as well has having some wonderful vocal harmonies and electronica that is – refreshingly –  listenable and sufficiently subtle, professes that, despite the dead rut in the relationship discussed, “I don’t mind / When I’ve got you next to me”. These statements of loyalty in the face of a dire relationship climate carry a particularly weighty and unusually true optimism when framed within the context of Cake’s usual tendency towards bitterness rather than fluffy rainbows within their lyrics.

“Teenage Pregnancy” is two and a half minutes of pure instrumental, in which poignant trumpet melodies are overlayed against a piano (later replaced by synth) melody reminiscient of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. This was the track that immediately captured my interest the most, and I grinned when I heard the lyrics to “Sick of You”.

If you haven’t heard Cake yet, please go and listen to them. I’m sick of people not having heard of them!


Disclaimer: Yes, I did use “groovy” in a sentence earlier. I have been wanting to do that for a long time. Stop smirking at me, you square!


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