Prolonging the Magic – CAKE

Prolonging the Magic




I’ll review ’90s tunes until there’s nothing left — I’m looking at you next, Chumbawamba. Let’s talk about CAKE, though, who are yet another “longevity band.” Formed in 1991, the band has hit the tender rocking age of 21 [SHOTS!] and is still kicking it. In an unlikely turn of events, CAKE has seen quite a bit of success with several of their album releases. Success in the tune of a platinum disc, which is where 1998’s Prolonging the Magic went. And prolong the magic, they have. Beautiful freakin’ magic.

Lead by the ever-wonderful John McCrea, Vince DiFiore on the trumpet, Xan McCurdy on guitar, Gabe Nelson on the base, and Paulo Baldi on the drums, CAKE has slyly given a great deal of alternative bands out there a run for their money. Sure, Anthony Kiedis has taken the talk-rap-sing approach to his vocals too — but not quite like McCrea. If anyone has mastered the art of this leisurely style of singing, it’s McCrea. And he owns it in Prolonging the Magic.

This album parades through various musical experiments with zest, though it doesn’t stray too far from one song to the next. Prolonging the Magic kicks off with “Satan is My Motor,” an upbeat and moving way to begin the journey. It the breaks into the more lax tune “Mexico” where McCrea sways his talk-sing vocals, even dipping them to a lower tone, in the breeze of the music backing him.

Generally, Prolonging the Magic touches on some common themes of love and life, with most songs strung together with intriguing and obscure observations about it all. The album even asks life’s burning question: “When you sleep, where do your fingers go?” in “When You Sleep.”  C’mon, you know you’ve been dying to know.

Your mind might be blown, so they brought an ambulance. You’re welcome.

Prolonging the Magic is a solid display of how versatile this band has been, while sticking to a distinct sound. Yes, it can be done, but it has to be done right. And CAKE has done it right in every way on this album. Some of the album moves a bit more slowly than the rest, but maybe that’s your cue to sit back and just enjoy all of the creativity the band has to offer.


2 Responses to “Prolonging the Magic – CAKE”

  1. If you don’t review Chumbawumba next, you’re totally fired.

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