Wednesday, August 31, 2011

#50: Cake - Fashion Nugget

So, I decided I'm going to totally rip off what Tyson is doing, and make a list of my 50 favorite albums.  His list got me thinking about what I would put in my top 50, so I went ahead and compiled a list.  And it was tough... I had to eliminate at least 25 outstanding albums that I really, really like.  But the 50 I chose are all albums I would rate five stars.

So, here's the first one:

 Release Year: 1996
First heard it in: 1997?

If you haven't at least heard the hits from Fashion Nugget ("I Will Survive" and "Going The Distance"), you probably weren't alive in 1996.  "I Will Survive" is one of the best covers of an R&B songs ever made.  "Going The Distance" was a staple at the time, and a song that is hard not to like.

Despite its excellent singles, I never bought this album until last year.  I had heard it as a teenager, and I actually enjoyed it... But for some reason, I never bought it.  I think what sold me on it the second time around is the wide array of influences contained herein (that sort of thing just would not have appealed to me as much 15 years ago).  You have a Willie Nelson cover, a folksy toe-tapper in "Stickshifts and Safetybelts", the completely off-kilter and discordant "Open Book", and clever lyrics and horns strewn all about.

I don't like Cake's subsequent albums as much, but they hit it out of the ballpark on this one.

Standout tracks:
  • The Distance
  • I Will Survive
  • Stickshifts and Safetybelts
  • Italian Leather Sofa 

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