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Fashion Nugget (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

Sounding like a suburban, melodic white-funk-injected version of King Missile's performance art/standup comedy, "The Distance" became a novelty hit in the fall of 1996, sending Cake's second album, Fashion Nugget, to platinum status. Certainly, "The Distance" was the only reason Fashion Nugget went platinum, because the remainder of the album is too collegiate and arcane for mainstream music tastes. It isn't because it's obscure or intellectual — it's because the band is smirking. An "ironic" cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" is the key to the album, sending the signal that Cake consider themselves above everyone else, and nothing is too insignificant to make fun of. And that wouldn't necessarily have been a problem if they had the wit or musical skills that would make their music either funny or listenable. Instead, they wallow in sophomoric jokes that rely on self-consciously elaborate wordplay. Occasionally, their blend of collegiate musical styles — funk, hip-hop, alternative rock — makes the music easy to digest in small doses, such as "The Distance," but it isn't varied enough to prevent the album from becoming tedious when played straight through. [Fashion Nugget was issued in a "clean" version with all profanity removed.]

Customer Reviews

Yes, Ignore the iTunes Review

Cake has always been misunderstood by critics, who don't like it when bands are smarter than they are. Fortunately, fans of the band tend to be independent thinkers, so the critical opprobrium hasn't hurt sales. If you want to form an independent opinion, just listen to the controversial cover of "I Will Survive," below. "Too ironic!" say critics, making me wonder how they can be typing with their fingers jammed into their ears. What's genius about that cover is that it SEEMS ironic at first listen, then the love starts seeping through, and you realize that it maintains a perfect, impossible balance between irony and reverence. It's that balance that's characteristic of Cake, not pure irony. They see what's cheezy about disco--or racecars or romance--but they love them anyway. The album holds up very well, even overplayed numbers such as "The Distance." My favorite song, however, is the sad-exasperated-confused-and, yes, ironic "It's Coming Down." If you're new to the album, sample the three I've mentioned, then, if you like 'em, come back for the rest.

What a Disgraceful Review!

i am not an avid fan of cake myself but this reviewer is simply awful... i hope that whoever wrote such a terribly indecent critique gets fired, abandoned by their loved ones, and then run over by a tractor and torn to shreds by a pack of angry beagles. I bite my thumb at you reviewer!!

Cake is Not sophomoric!

Cake is a Great band! The main review of this album was clearly written by a person who dislikes the band and that's not fair to the artist. I agree that its not there best work but its infinitly better than the junk on the radio. Buy the album or dont, I dont care, but as a true Cake fan i find the main review insulting and felt i should endorse cake and all there musical efforts. I like this album!


Formed: 1992 in Sacramento, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Best-known for their ubiquitous hit "The Distance," Cake epitomized the postmodern, irony-drenched aesthetic of '90s geek rock. Their sound freely mixed and matched pastiches of widely varying genres -- white-boy funk, hip-hop, country, new wave pop, jazz, college rock, and guitar rock -- with a particular delight in the clashes that resulted. Their songs were filled with lyrical non-sequiturs, pop-culture references, and smirky satire, all delivered with bone-dry detachment by speak/singing frontman...
Full Bio
Fashion Nugget (Deluxe Version), Cake
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Customer Ratings