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Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Four Corners|
|2. Left Side Clouded|
|3. Hotel Tell|
|4. Le Baron|
|5. Shoulder Length|
|6. One Bedroom|
|8. Mr. F|
|9. Try Nothing|
|10. Sound & Vision|
A busy slate of side projects seems to have cast this vaunted Chicago "post-rock supergroup" (featuring refugees from Shrimp Boat, Cocktail, and Tortoise) into occasional limbo--this is only their third album since 1997. But it's those very activities that arguably inspired the Sea and Cake to record this vibrant, often sublime collection. Colored by a seductive cocktail of influences that includes Brazilian jazz and arty kraut-rock textures, with singer-songwriter Sam Prekop's breathy vocals a much less precious take on Michael Franks's, the 10 tracks on One Bedroom are a masterly exercise in restraint, subtle sophistication, and melodic playfulness. Prekop's über-cool delivery takes center stage throughout, whether it's playing against jazzy, electronic-infused backdrops on standouts like the dreamy "Left Side Clouded," the nervous rhythms of "Hotel Tell," the breezy ambitions of "Shoulder Length," or the spare beauty of the title track. It's an album whose languorous jazz-pop dares defy deconstruction, and one that glides toward the future with a clean, well-defined sound several musical strata removed from its members' alt-rock roots. --Jerry McCulley
Top Customer Reviews
Don't believe the 3.5 star average (at least before this)...this album is great. It's hard to say much that hasn't been said, but I will say this..."Le Baron" is an amazing song. "Interiors" really strikes some personal chords as well.
Each song on the album is quite unique. The drumming, as these guys are known for, is excellent. I would recommend listening to these guys with a bass system...most groups that aren't rap or techno generally don't exploit bass too much, and as a result, those two genres sound awesome with a subwoofer, while other music doesn't benefit as much. Let me say this; with a sub, One Bedroom (and The Biz) is absolutely amazing. Listen to "Hotel Tell" with a good system if you don't believe me.
Anyways, as the title of this review suggests, first time or two you listen to it, it's not gonna be as good. There are times when you can really get into it - coming from someone who loves a lot of music and tries to listen to it as much as possible, if any album is so enticing that I'll listen to it three times in one day, there's gonna be something special there. One Bedroom is one of those albums.
The first track, "Four Corners," immediately sets the tone for the entire album, and TSAC is at the top of their creative game here. A hypnotic (as well as memorable) riff from Archer Prewitt and John McEntire's 4-to-the-floor drumming sets things off, but not before the electronics help intensify the proceedings (along with Eric Claridge's always melodic bass playing). Not until the 3-minute mark do we hear Sammy Prekop chiming in with his first words of the whole album, and he delivers the goods. Like an indie rock answer to Dave Matthews, Prekop may be hard to figure out in terms of what he's singing about, but this is the TSAC I've always loved & known, & this track really stands up for repeated listening.
"Hotel Tell," the title track, "Mr. F," "Interiors," and a cover of Bowie's "Sound & Vision" are no doubt highlights on an already awesome album, done up in typical TSAC fashion, but the indisputable highlight that deserves some mentioning is "Shoulder Length." Again, McEntire's fetish for analog synths and old-school rhythm machines really work together brilliantly, but on this track, even more so. However, they don't distract from the center of attention - you guessed it, Sam Prekop right up front in the mix. With its dub/reggae/Can/Neu!/techno vibe all over the place, "Shoulder Length", even if it clocks in at just over 3 minutes, is worth every second of its playing time.Read more ›
But that doesn't mean that One Bedroom isn't a good record. The Sea and Cake have been around long enough to prove they're not going away any time soon. Instead of latching onto the fickle scenes that have come and gone over the years, the Sea and Cake have worked against the grain of musical trends with great success. Ignoring the electronic zeal that began to mushroom in the mid-'90s, the Sea and Cake made rock music with two guitars, a bass and drums. Since their debut in 1994, they've managed to slowly and cautiously integrate tasteful and subtle electronic undercurrents into their sound. These are not four college sophomores with hopes of changing the face of music as we know it.
One Bedroom, their sixth album, floats by in a haze. Each song sounds as if it was recorded live, with guitar, bass and drums, and then glazed over with an electronic veneer. With little variance in tempo, it's easy to forget the record is playing. Great effort was obviously expended in post-production, and the result is stunning: Sam Prekop's voice often-and sometimes mid-phrase-becomes just another synthetic layer, the vocals become secondary to the overall sound. The drums sound like they've been compressed into intricate reflections of beats once played.Read more ›
Very much a feeling of progression, but with more of an 80's feel, One Bedroom feels like they had more fun than they did while recording Oui. There are interesting synth textures propelling many of the tunes, especially the Bowie cover Sound and Vision (a standout). Also, Sam's vocal is slightly reminiscent of Michael Franks here and there, and also like long-lost China Crisis vocalist Gary Daly. Archer's sometimes spare but wonderful guitar work is still here, playing perfectly through enigmatic lyrics and deliciously-hypnotic and exotic rhythms.
OK, so no mega-theme like Jacking the Ball (from '93's self titled album), which I played over and over for months. The title track is staggering, but not in a rock-song kind of way; more profound, quiet. But that might be exactly the part of Sea and Cake which I enjoy the most now; more even, and very mature.
A must buy!
Most recent customer reviews
Like the Bodean's, these guys from Chicago can put out three CD's with six songs on them! I liked "Fawn" and "The Biz" sort of. The latter I gave to a friend. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2004 by Blackeyedboy
This album is a huge departure from The Sea and Cake's previous album, Oui. On Oui, the songs were very warm, the synthesizers were used to support the traditional rock... Read morePublished on March 28 2003 by Langdon Alger
If you are used to TSAC's first few albums, their last few seem like a big departure. I feel One Bedroom represents the best of TSAC's later music. Read morePublished on March 18 2003 by Chicago Cliff
For you diehard Sea and Cake fans like me who bounce with the first album, live and breathe with 'Nassau' & 'The Biz', groove with The Fawn', & try to forget the dreadfully... Read morePublished on March 6 2003 by AmazonCustomer
I happend on this cd after reading a review in a magazine. Like their Chicago counterparts The Aluminum Group, The Sea and Cake make seemless skyscraper pop. Read morePublished on March 1 2003 by JBT
The Sea and Cake's latest is very much in keeping with the moody pop soundscapes that filled much of 'Oui. Read morePublished on Feb. 19 2003 by skytwo
In a career that outshines all the indie pretenders The Sea and Cake have had more than their share of clunkers. Before you is the bottom of the barrel. Read morePublished on Feb. 17 2003
The latest confecton from Chicago scenesters the Sea and Cake is a floating ripple of subtly colored light across a breezy sunlit hillside. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2003 by Phil