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Lovecloud and Secret Tape

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Album Review

Lovecloud and Secret Tape offers another 18 tracks of home recordings by Jim Rao, whose '60s and '70s sunshine pop fixations are unfortunately not matched with originals of comparable quality, although he cranks out a good one now and then. A cover of Wings' "Silly Love Songs" might serve as a model of the kind of song Rao aspires to write, but his own efforts, such as "Summer Sunshine Girl" and "A Gentle Wind Rushes Through Her Hair," fall short. The lo-fi production, strummy guitars, and Casio drum machine beats might be enough to rope in a certain audience, but the bubblegum veneer demands stronger hooks. Orange Cake Mix might have the potential to make a great album, but Lovecloud and Secret Tape falls somewhere between mediocre and good.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Orange Cake Mix is the nom de plume of Connecticut resident Jim Rao. A prolific singer/songwriter, Rao began scribbling lyrics and humming his own melodies as a child; in the early '90s, Rao started recording his compositions on cassettes. Rao thought of the name Orange Cake Mix while stocking shelves in a supermarket. In June 1995, Rao released his first album, More Mellow Hits. True to its appellation, More Mellow Hits was a collection of acoustic pop inspired by the '70s soft rock of Bread and...
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Lovecloud and Secret Tape, Orange Cake Mix
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