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Prolonging the Magic

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Album Review

Cake's attempt to make a smug- and irony-free album, the band's third release does hold back the barbs a bit more than usual, even if they do fall back into familiar territory: postmodern takes on postmodern life. Flipping between earnest alt-rock rhythms and jittery, funky jazz, Prolonging the Magic works best when Cake lay on the irony extra heavy, or when they make their sober ambitions mesh slightly with the type of smart-ass pop they've based a career on (like "Never There"). At least they seem to realize their place in the alt-rock universe as a novelty band with chops, counteracting the genre's overwhelming seriousness with a light dose of heavy-handed yuks.


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...
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Prolonging the Magic, Cake
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