The Sea and Cake CD review [Thrill Jockey]

Music Reviews
The Sea and Cake CD review [Thrill Jockey]
Jun 4, 2007, 06:08



Time to piss off all of my indie-rock friends, and lose what little bit of credibility I might have managed to hold on to in and around Silverlake, because as much as every damned indie kid in the world worships The Sea And Cake, I just can't recommend this record to anyone but the devout diehards. This must be Sea And Cake's just-in-time-for-summer release. Everybody is shimmering sunny pop: all jazzy and fresh, but follow me on this if you can; pretend that you are—or once were—a fan of Steely Dan (I will now at the risk of losing ALL of my cred, admit that I still am…up to a point). Steely Dan's early work had some real nuggets that shone with a particular brilliance, and even all the way through Aja, they managed to dazzle and amaze…and then came Gaucho. Sure, it got loads of radio play (I credit Aja for that), but suddenly with that record, SD was 100% schmaltz, pure and simple. Mai Tais and cocaine were suddenly traded in for SPF 40 and bad bronze suntans, framed Nagle posters and the horrifying experience of having to watch someone else's mid-life crisis. That's a little bit of how this record feels to me. Not as much of a let down as with Gaucho, but similar in that it feels worn, tired, and polished with such care that it glistens dazzlingly in the sparkling sun…and in spite of all efforts through repeated listens to find the redeeming qualities (to atone for my indie-rock sins), I can do little more than squeeze out a hearty and heartfelt “yawn.” [Thrill Jockey]

-Daniel House

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