Showroom of Compassion

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Showroom of Compassion
Studio album by Cake
Released January 11, 2011
Recorded 2009–2010 at Upbeat Studio, Sacramento, California[1]
Genre Alternative rock
Label Upbeat[2]
Producer Cake
Cake chronology
B-Sides and Rarities
(2007)
Showroom of Compassion
(2011)
Live at the Crystal Palace
(2014)
Singles from Showroom of Compassion
  1. "Sick of You"
    Released: 2010
  2. "Long Time"
    Released: March 1, 2011 (2011-03-01)[3]

Showroom of Compassion is the sixth full-length studio album from the band Cake, which was released on January 11, 2011.[2] Produced by the band, it is the band's first studio album to be independently released. The musical style of Showroom of Compassion is grounded in the band's unique style of alternative rock, combining droll, often esoteric lyrics rife with word play and syncopation, catchy distorted guitar riffs, complex bass patterns, Moog, and prominent use of trumpet. Cake's former lead guitarist, Greg Brown, makes a guest appearance on the song, "Bound Away", his first appearance on a Cake album since 1996's Fashion Nugget.

The album was the band's first since the release of Pressure Chief in 2004, the longest gap to date between two consecutive Cake studio albums. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 for one week, becoming the band's first album to do so.[4]

Background[edit]

Near the beginning of recording, John McCrea and other members of the band stated that their new album would sound very different from their previous materials.[5] In an interview with the Sacramento News, McCrea revealed that the music on the album would range from "aggressive rock songs" to "weird pseudoclassical compositions".[6] In addition, McCrea allowed piano on the LP, which he had never done because he thought it sounded "too classy". He also said this is the first time he has allowed reverb, which he thought too many bands used to sound "grandiose".[7]

Recording and release[edit]

During the first sessions, Cake released a statement that revealed that the band would convert the electrical components in their studio so that it would work solely on solar power.[5][6] Panels were installed by Borrego Solar and all of Showroom of Compassion was recorded using the new system.[6] Subsequently, the album was recorded solely on solar energy in Cake's refitted studio, rechristened "Upbeat Studio."[1]

The band also offered a limited autographed version of the album for pre-sale.[8]

The album was released in Australia in May 2011 through Inertia Music.

Packaging[edit]

The design for Showroom of Compassion marks stylistic departure from previous Cake releases. The cover features a shaded, framed image (of a tiger attacking a person) instead of the band's usual flat-color printed imagery. The design for the album is credited to Aesthetic Apparatus.[1] In keeping with the band's environmental activism, the album insert notes that the material used to make the album was "100% recycled paper stock and vegetable dyes."[1] The physical release of Showroom of Compassion was packaged with a temporary bee tattoo, which the band asked fans to take pictures of and post online.[9]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (72/100)[10]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[11]
The A.V. Club (B+)[12]
The Boston Globe (favorable)[13]
Consequence of Sound 2.5/5 stars[14]
Entertainment Weekly (B+)[15]
Los Angeles Times (favorable)[16]
Paste (7.7/10)[17]
PopMatters 7/10 stars[18]
Rock Sound 6/10 stars[19]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[20]

Showroom of Compassion has so far been generally well received by music critics.[10] Metacritic, a review aggregator website, gave the album an average score of 72 out of 100 from 17 reviews, which indicates "generally favourable reviews".[10] Many critics complimented the band for sticking to their unique style. Mark Deming, from Allmusic, writes, "Willful eccentricity is something that demands a certain degree of commitment [...] So Cake are to be commended for sticking to their oddball guns for close to 20 years."[11] Brett Singer from The A.V. Club maintained that "[Showroom of Compassion] isn’t a huge departure from what Cake boss John McCrea and company have done before. [...] But as with your favorite dessert, there’s nothing wrong with another helping."[12]

Chart performance[edit]

Showroom of Compassion has been a commercial success. Domestically, the album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, the Top Alternative Albums, Independent Albums, and the Rock Albums charts.[21] On the Billboard 200, the album moved 44,000 copies, making it the lowest-selling number-one album since Billboard began using Nielsen SoundScan to track unit sales,[22] until Amos Lee's Mission Bell set the record two weeks later.[23] Despite it being the band's first top ten album, the album sold considerably fewer copies than previous albums that had debuted at lower positions.[22] Despite this setback, the members of Cake enthusiastically thanked their fans for the success of the album.[24] In its second week, it fell from No. 1 to No. 25, selling another 15,000 after a decline of 67%, at the time making it the largest fall since Light Grenades by Incubus, which fell from No. 1 to No. 37 in December 2006.[25] In Canada, the album debuted at number 15.[21]

Track listing[edit]

Standard Edition[26]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Federal Funding"   McCrea/McCurdy/Nelson 3:50
2. "Long Time"   McCrea/DiFiore 4:36
3. "Got to Move"   McCrea 3:40
4. "What's Now Is Now" (Frank Sinatra cover) Gaudio/Holmes 3:37
5. "Mustache Man (Wasted)"   McCrea/McCurdy/Nelson 4:04
6. "Teenage Pregnancy"   McCrea 2:41
7. "Sick of You"   McCrea/McCurdy 3:18
8. "Easy to Crash"   McCrea 4:08
9. "Bound Away"   McCrea/Nelson 3:25
10. "The Winter"   McCrea/DiFiore 4:06
11. "Italian Guy"   McCrea 3:11
Total length:
40:24

Personnel[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Tom Monson – drums
  • Aaron Redfield – drums
  • Pete McNeal – drums
  • Greg Brown – electric guitar on "Bound Away"
  • Charlie Wallace – pedal steel on "Bound Away"

Charts[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
Canadian Albums Chart[21] 15
Greek Albums Chart[28] 75
U.S. Billboard 200[29] 1
U.S. Billboard Alternative Albums[21] 1
U.S. Billboard Independent Albums[21] 1
U.S. Billboard Rock Albums[21] 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Showroom of Compassion (liner). Cake. Upbeat Records. 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Anderson, Sara (2010-09-24). "Cake, 'Sick of You' – New Song". AOL. Retrieved 2010-09-24. 
  3. ^ Praxis Media. "Radio1 Rodos Greece ::: USA Forthcoming Singles ::: Charts, DJ Promos, Dance, Lyrics, Free Mp3 Samples Downloads". Radio1.gr. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  4. ^ Caulfield, Keith (2011-01-19). "Cake Scores Lowest-Selling No. 1 in Billboard 200 History". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  5. ^ a b Gagnon, Jill (2008-00-09). "Interview- Cake". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  6. ^ a b c "Cake Solar". Cakemusic.com. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  7. ^ Fuoco-Karasinski, Christina (November 16, 2010). "Q&A: John McCrea of Cake". SoundSpike. Retrieved December 5, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Cake News". Cakemusic.com. Retrieved 2011-01-23. "Newsflash for November 29, 2010 The members of CAKE are looking forward to signing your pre-ordered copy of Showroom of Compassion album. We'll be setting this Wednesday 12-1-10 as a cut-off time for those wishing to purchase an autographed copy." 
  9. ^ "Cake News". Cakemusic.com. Retrieved 2011-01-23. "Newsflash for November 20, 2010 Look in the sleeve of your vinyl album or compact disc when you receive your pre-ordered copy of "Showroom of Compassion." You'll find a beautiful and sturdy temporary tattoo! Take a photo of the applied tattoo! Post it on our website! Details to come..." 
  10. ^ a b c "Critic Reviews for Showroom of Compassion by CAKE". Metacritic. Retrieved 2011-01-11. 
  11. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Showroom of Compassion - Cake". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  12. ^ a b Singer, Brett (2011-01-11). "Cake: Showroom of Compassion". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  13. ^ O'Neil, Luke (2011-01-10). "Cake, 'Showroom of Compassion'". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  14. ^ Buchanan, David (2011-01-11). "Album Review: Cake – Showroom Of Compassion". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  15. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (2011-01-14). "Music Review: Showroom of Compassion, by Cake". Entertainment Weekly. 
  16. ^ "Album review: Cake's 'Showroom of Compassion'". Los Angeles Times. January 10, 2011. 
  17. ^ Moore, Bo (2011-01-12). "Cake: Showroom of Compassion". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2011-01-19. 
  18. ^ Conaton, Chris (2011-01-20). "Cake: Showroom of Compassion < PopMatters". Popmatters.com. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  19. ^ Tim Newbound (2011-01-26). "Cake - Showroom Of Compassion | Reviews | Rock Sound". Rocksound.tv. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  20. ^ Dolan, Jon (2011-01-11). "Showroom of Compassion". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-07-29. 
  21. ^ a b c d e f "Showroom of Compassion - Cake". Billboard. Retrieved January 20, 2011. 
  22. ^ a b Grein, Paul (January 19, 2011). "Week Ending Jan. 16, 2011: Albums: Even Lower". Yahoo! News. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  23. ^ Grein, Paul (February 2, 2011). "Week Ending Jan. 30, 2011: Albums: Good News & Bad News". Yahoo! News. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Cake News". Cakemusic.com. Retrieved January 19, 2011. "Newsflash for January 19, 2011 We're number one!! CAKE's independently released Showroom Of Compassion album has debuted at number one on the Billboard Charts this week and it's all your fault. CAKE would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to all the listeners who have supported our work for all these years." 
  25. ^ Caulfield, Keith (January 26, 2011). "Week Ending Jan. 16, 2011: Albums: Even Lower". Billboard. Retrieved January 26, 2011. 
  26. ^ Herr, Friederike (2010-10-04). "Cake To Release 'Showroom Of Compassion,' Pre-Order Starts Now". CMJ. Retrieved 2010-10-06. 
  27. ^ "Showroom of Compassion (Deluxe Edition)". Apple Inc. 2010-10-04. Retrieved 2011-01-23. 
  28. ^ Steffen Hung. "Greek charts portal". greekcharts.com. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  29. ^ Caulfield, Keith (November 3, 2010). "Taylor Swift Sells Over 1 Million in Record Billboard 200 Debut". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc). Retrieved November 3, 2010. 

External links[edit]