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A Shadow of Eclipse and Other Phases of the Moon

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Album Review

A Shadow of Eclipse and Other Phases of the Moon begins with an instrumental in Jim Rao's trademark style, with keyboard sound effects and reverberating major seventh chords strummed on an electric guitar. "First Day of Spring" is built upon what sounds like a sampled drum pattern, although most of the other tracks make use of electronic drums, occasionally treated (as with distortion on "Seeds and Stones"). "Osaka Morning Sunshine" dispenses with the guitar altogether, confining itself to Casio beats and simple keyboard chords, while "Someday Never Happens" has electronic handclaps that contrast humorously with the wimpiness of the song. After the step forward of Dream Window, A Shadow of Eclipse is a return to formula to the point of sounding like a belated release of older recordings. While the album has an appealing homemade quality, it doesn't stand out as a particularly strong effort in the context of Orange Cake Mix's prolific output, and seems retrograde from the standpoint of Rao's artistic evolution.


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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A Shadow of Eclipse and Other Phases of the Moon, Orange Cake Mix
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