Posted on: January 11, 2008 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Cake – B-Sides and Rarities / 2007 Upbeat / 12 Tracks / /

As individuals may be able to figure out from the title, the latest Cake release is a collection of all of the tracks that were either b-sides or did not make it into a finished form on any of the band’s CDs over the years. While the songs on “B-Sides and Rarities” may be scraps from the cutting room floor for the most part, a large segment of the songs on the CD are covers. Cake goes through their versions of Black Sabbath (Two versions of “War Pigs”, one with Steven of the Flaming Lips), Kenny Rogers (“Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town”), Frank Sinatra (“Strangers in the Night”), George Jones (“Subtract One Love”), and Barry White (“Never Never Gonna Give You Up”) are all present here.

Individuals that have been waiting for a completely new album from Cake may be a little bit disappointed (since their last release was 2004’s “Pressure Chief”), but there are enough tracks here to keep individuals sated until the band is able to come out with their next completely new album. The live versions and alternative takes of the band’s hits (and not so much of hits), such as “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” and “It’s Coming Down” make this into a sort of bizarre greatest hits album. The oddness of this release is only furthered with the inclusion of a “scratch and sniff” packaging, which admittedly serves no other purpose but smelling a certain way.

The “new” tracks, that is those that are not either a cover or a retooling of a previous song, are few in number, and show off an unfinished allure to Cake. These tracks feel unfinished in that they are largely instrumental, and could conceivably make it onto later discs with slightly different arrangements or more steady vocals. For Cake completists, chances will be good that they have all the tracks on this album. However, “B-sides and Rarities” may just be the album to pick up for the casual Cake fan. The covers of the classics, coupled with the “new” tracks and alternative takes, put this album into a pretty good position.; while there could be more in the way of new tracks here, having these new tracks on the album may derail the band further in the creation of their long-awaited new album. Regardless, one just needs to hear the versions of “War Pigs” that are on this album; they blow Alice Donut’s version out of the water.

Top Tracks: War Pigs, It’s Coming Down
Rating: 6.2/10

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