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  • How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

    • 6 out of 10
    • U2
    • U2's latest entry is a mostly underwhelming collection of songs that does very little to sound any different from its equally pedestrian predecessor, 2000's "All That You Can't Leave Behind." While

  • Live at the Magic Bag, Ferndale, MI

    • 6 out of 10
    • Supersuckers
    • Man, there's nothing like good, old fashioned, rock and roll... add a bit of industry resentment to that with a double-shot of cynicism, and you get one of the best "new" rock bands going. This album
  • Velocifero

    • 6 out of 10
    • Ladytron
    • "Back to the future" isn't the right turn of phrase for Ladytron's newest album,

  • The Dresden Dolls

    • 10 out of 10
    • The Dresden Dolls
    • The energetic duet of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione that make up the Dresden Dolls have created a wonderfully haunting sound in their self-titled album. They have been able to construct an imme

  • Haunted

    • 10 out of 10
    • Poe
    • Dropping like a bomb on some of the blah musical offerings of her contemporaries, Haunted was one of the best albums of 2000, obliterating the competition.

      Ostensibly a tie-in to her brot

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iTunes Music Review - Pressure Chief

  • Pressure Chief

    • 6 out of 5
    • Cake
    • Reviewed by Bryan Chaffin
    • Buy this album from
    • Buy this album from iTunes Music Store
    • Pressure Chief, Cake's latest album, didn't immediately grab me. In fact, it took perhaps half a dozen listens before I started truly enjoying it. Anymore, however, and I just love it.

      Pressure Chief is a product of a band that is not only maturing, but one that has grown more sophisticated. At least, that's my take on the band's increased usage of keyboards and de-emphasized guitars.

      This is not to say that Cake went all Chicago on us, but Pressure Chief is decidedly subtler in its approach than an album like Fashion Nugget. What's not missing, however, are the band's signature guitar riffs (Xan McCurdy -- "Wheels," "No Phone"), weird vocal rhythms and excellent lyrics (John McCrea -- "No Phone"), awesome harmonies and fascinating trumpet (Vince DiFiore ("Tougher Than It Is"), foundation bass-lines (Gabe Nelson ("No Phone,"), and solid drums that compliment the music without getting in the way.

      Those elements are still there, but they are somewhat softer than past offerings.

      Pressure Chief also comes with Jon McCrea's usual, socially progressive preaching -- "No Phone" derides the evils of cell phones and "Carbon Monoxide" complains about the evils of cars -- but the bulk of the album is comprised of his somehwhat different brand of a breakup song, with impressionistic lyrics that paint a remarkably vivid picture ("She'll Hang the Baskets," "Take It All Away," "End of the Movie").

      The band's customary cover is Bread's "Guitar Man." While lacking the "Man, this is how it should have been done in the first place" impact of "I Will Survive," it's still an enjoyable interpretation of a 70's mainstay.

      If we did half ratings, I would have given this album a 3.5. As it is, Pressure Chief is a solid offering from a great band, and it's well worth the time it took for me to come to love it.



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