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  The Sea and Cake  
  Thrill Jockey  
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This is an album of simple yet (get yer ass) moving rhythms, Sam Prekop's almost whispered vocals, swirling guitars, and odd little keyboard sounds. The overall effect is of lite jazz/pop fusion. It works, and The Sea and Cake have pretty much been following this formula for a while.

I don't think it's as balanced as their masterpiece The Fawn. The keyboard bits seem to be in front of the guitars a bit too much for my taste. Especially on Seemingly, where the keybaords are positively silly washes that overpower the rest of the song. And Prekop doesn't have any really catchy lyrics on this album, like he did with Do Now Fairly Well or There You Are. It's like this is the same album, only not quite as good.

And ultimately, that's disappointing. I want them to grow as an artist, to continue to put the same emotion into their music. I just don't get that with this disc. It seems cold and formulaic.

Of course, there is an exception: the song You Beautiful Bastard is the one moment where The Sea and Cake fulfills the promise of their music. It is a simple song of stunning beauty, with breathy vocals, chiming guitars, and subdued keyboards. It is the one standout in the otherwise uninspired album.

My advice to you -- go get The Fawn. It's a much better disc and really showcases the band better. This is not bad, but i know they can do better.

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