Showroom of Compassion

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Showroom of Compassion
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 11, 2011
Recorded2009–2010 at Upbeat Studio, Sacramento, California[1]
GenreExperimental rock, alternative rock, classical, avant-garde
Cake chronology
B-Sides and Rarities
Showroom of Compassion
Live from the Crystal Palace
Singles from Showroom of Compassion
  1. "Sick of You"
    Released: September 2010[3]
  2. "Long Time"
    Released: March 1, 2011[4]

Showroom of Compassion is the sixth full-length studio album from the band Cake, released on January 11, 2011.[2] Produced by the band, it was 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.[5] The album's first single, "Sick of You," reached No. 13 on the Billboard Rock Songs chart.[6]

A few of the songs on the album charted in the United States, including "Sick of You" (which reached No. 8 on the Bubbling Under chart and No. 4 on the Alternative Songs chart); "Long Time," which peaked at No. 15 on the Alternative Songs chart; and "Mustache Man (Wasted)", which reached No. 22 on the Alternative Songs chart.[7][8]


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 material.[9] 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."[10] In addition, McCrea allowed piano on the LP, which he had never done because he thought it sounded "too classy." He also said it was the first time he allowed reverb, which he thought too many bands used to sound "grandiose."[11]

Recording and release[edit]

During the first sessions, Cake released a statement that the band would convert the electrical components in their studio so it would work solely on solar power.[9][10] Panels were installed by Borrego Solar and all of Showroom of Compassion was recorded using the new system.[10] 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.[12]

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

Cake worked with Callicore Studio in 2011 and released an animated music video for the song "Long Time."


The design for Showroom of Compassion marks a slight 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.[13]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic3.5/5 stars[15]
The A.V. Club(B+)[16]
The Boston Globe(favorable)[17]
Consequence of Sound2.5/5 stars[18]
Entertainment Weekly(B+)[19]
Los Angeles Times(favorable)[20]
PopMatters7/10 stars[22]
Rock Sound6/10 stars[23]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[24]

Showroom of Compassion was generally well received by music critics.[14] Metacritic, a review aggregator website, gave the album an average score of 72 out of 100 from 17 reviews, which indicates "generally favourable reviews".[14] 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."[15] Brett Singer from The A.V. Club maintained that "[The album] 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."[16]

Commercial 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.[25] 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,[26] until Amos Lee's Mission Bell set the record two weeks later.[27] 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.[26] Despite this setback, the members of Cake enthusiastically thanked their fans for the success of the album.[28] In its second week it fell from #1 to #25, selling another 15,000 after a decline of 67%. As of 2017, it is the fifth largest fall from #1; at the time it was the largest drop since 2006's Light Grenades by Incubus. In Canada, the album debuted at #15.[25]

Track listing[edit]

Standard Edition[29]
1."Federal Funding"McCrea, McCurdy, Nelson3:50
2."Long Time"McCrea, DiFiore4:36
3."Got to Move"McCrea3:40
4."What's Now Is Now" (Frank Sinatra cover)Bob Gaudio, Jake Holmes3:37
5."Mustache Man (Wasted)"McCrea, McCurdy, Nelson4:04
6."Teenage Pregnancy"McCrea2:41
7."Sick of You"McCrea, McCurdy3:18
8."Easy to Crash"McCrea4:08
9."Bound Away"McCrea, Nelson3:25
10."The Winter"McCrea, DiFiore4:06
11."Italian Guy"McCrea3:11
Total length:40:24
iTunes bonus tracks
12."Huge Misunderstanding"DiFiore, McCurdy, Tom Ze2:38
13."The Federal Funding March" (pre-order bonus track) 3:36
14."Sick of You" (music video) 3:25


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"


Chart (2011) Peak
Canadian Albums Chart[25] 15
Greek Albums Chart[30] 75
U.S. Billboard 200[31] 1
U.S. Billboard Alternative Albums[25] 1
U.S. Billboard Independent Albums[25] 1
U.S. Billboard Rock Albums[25] 1


  1. ^ a b c d Showroom of Compassion (liner). Cake. Upbeat Records. 2011.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. ^ a b Anderson, Sara (2010-09-24). "Cake, 'Sick of You' – New Song". AOL. Retrieved 2010-09-24. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: First New Song From Cake In 6 Years! - SPIN". 22 September 2010.
  4. ^ Praxis Media. "Radio1 Rodos Greece ::: USA Forthcoming Singles ::: Charts, DJ Promos, Dance, Lyrics, Free Mp3 Samples Downloads". Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Caulfield, Keith (2011-01-19). "Cake Scores Lowest-Selling No. 1 in Billboard 200 History". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-01-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Cake Chart History (Hot Rock & Alternative Songs". Billboard. Retrieved July 5, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Cake Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved July 5, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "Cake Chart History (Alternative Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved July 5, 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ a b Gagnon, Jill (2008-00-09). "Interview- Cake". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-01-23. Check date values in: |date= (help)CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ a b c "Cake Solar". Retrieved January 19, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Fuoco-Karasinski, Christina (November 16, 2010). "Q&A: John McCrea of Cake". SoundSpike. Retrieved December 5, 2010. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ "Cake News". Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. 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. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ "Cake News". Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. 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... CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. ^ a b c "Critic Reviews for Showroom of Compassion by CAKE". Metacritic. Retrieved 2011-01-11. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^ a b Deming, Mark. "Showroom of Compassion - Cake". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-01-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ a b Singer, Brett (2011-01-11). "Cake: Showroom of Compassion". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2011-01-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ O'Neil, Luke (2011-01-10). "Cake, 'Showroom of Compassion'". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-01-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  18. ^ Buchanan, David (2011-01-11). "Album Review: Cake – Showroom Of Compassion". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2011-01-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  19. ^ Vozick-Levinson, Simon (2011-01-14). "Music Review: Showroom of Compassion, by Cake". Entertainment Weekly.
  20. ^ "Album review: Cake's 'Showroom of Compassion'". Los Angeles Times. January 10, 2011.
  21. ^ Moore, Bo (2011-01-12). "Cake: Showroom of Compassion". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2011-01-19. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^ Conaton, Chris (2011-01-20). "Cake: Showroom of Compassion < PopMatters". Retrieved 2012-03-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  23. ^ Tim Newbound (2011-01-26). "Cake - Showroom Of Compassion | Reviews | Rock Sound". Retrieved 2012-03-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^ Dolan, Jon (2011-01-11). "Showroom of Compassion". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-07-29. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^ a b c d e f "Showroom of Compassion - Cake". Billboard. Retrieved January 20, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^ a b Grein, Paul (January 19, 2011). "Week Ending Jan. 16, 2011: Albums: Even Lower". Yahoo! News. Retrieved January 19, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^ Grein, Paul (February 2, 2011). "Week Ending Jan. 30, 2011: Albums: Good News & Bad News". Yahoo! News. Retrieved February 3, 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  28. ^ "Cake News". Archived from the original on March 1, 2012. 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. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  29. ^ Herr, Friederike (2010-10-04). "Cake To Release 'Showroom Of Compassion,' Pre-Order Starts Now". CMJ. Retrieved 2010-10-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  30. ^ Steffen Hung. "Greek charts portal". Archived from the original on 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2012-03-09. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  31. ^ 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. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]