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iTunes Music Review - Pressure Chief

  • Pressure Chief

    • 6 out of 5
    • Cake
    • Reviewed by Bryan Chaffin
    • Buy this album from Amazon.com
    • 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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