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CAKE A music zine.

Issue 17

Interviews With

Yoko Ono & Sleepy Sun

Reviews:

Feist, Wilco and more

10 Albums

You Missed This Summer

Photo credited to: Charlotte Muhl and Sean Lennon


M E E T T H E S T A F F

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Raquel Dalarossa Co-Editor in Chief Major: Writing Favorite Band: Rilo Kiley

Keith Hadad Co-Editor in Cheif Major: Cinema/Photography Favorite Band: The Brian Jonestown Massacre Jesse Muse: Editor

Sam Gelman Finance Chair Major: Business Admin Favorite Band: OAR

Noah Delin Layout Manager Major: IMC Favorite Band: Brand New

Joey Naftol: Layout Staff

Jaimie Fitzgerald: Photographer Additional Contributors: Nick Petrella Paige Hoffmann JD Blank


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E D I T O R 'S N O T E S

ake Magazine has gone on quite the bumpy ride in 2011. After Founder, Ryan Bryant left in the autumn of 2010, the future was looking bright with many possibilities. However, unforeseen circumstances and many interpersonal difficulties arose and took a toll on the publication despite the hard work and effort given by the many writers and other staff members that contributed over the last several months. That is why, I, Keith Hadad, have decided to ask Raquel Dalarossa to share the seat of Editor in Chief. Raquel is a very strong and gifted leader and she certainly deserves the seat far more than I. My presence with the magazine is certainly going to be smaller by choice this year, but I shall remain having a hand in the creative output and most of the decision making in the zine. I am excited for this new year, as Raquel has already taken the magazine farther than it has ever gone in just a few months. The air is buzzing with new opportunities and creative ideas. Expect wonderful new issues and bustling activity on the already attention-grabbing new website. However, the rebirth of Cake can’t take off without a caring and loyal staff. Please take the initiative to contact us and help out in anyway that you can if you have any interest in lending your talents to the website or to the magazine itself. Cake is back ladies and gentlemen, oh yes, cake is back.

Keith Hadad Co-Editor in Chief

Hi Everyone,

It’s been a while since our last issue, as some of you may have noticed, so this is like our big comeback. We’re starting fresh this year with a more dedicated staff and a lot of ideas, so you can expect more content, more issues, and a whole slew of yummy Cake goodness. We’ve got a new look and a brand new website to keep you guys updated on any and all things music-related, and we’ll be trying a bunch of new things in our issues to keep you guys guessing. We even have new leadership, as in me, and I promise not to disappoint. Thanks for picking up a copy and make sure you check us out at CAKEZINE.COM. You could also drop us an e-mail at CAKEZINE@GMAIL.COM, because it would make us really excited to see something in our inbox. Enjoy your Cake.

Raquel Dalarossa Co-Editor in Chief

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Photo Courtesy of Jaimie Fitzgerald

Table Of Contents 1..... Meet The Staff 2..... Editor’s Notes 5..... Ten Albums You Missed This Summer 6..... Timeflies Interview 7..... Sleepy Sun Interview 12..... Yoko Ono Interview 15..... Album Reviews

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albums you may have missed this past summer

10 while you were playing “Pumped Up Kicks” on repeat Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks: Mirror Traffic

After a reunion tour with Pavement, Malkmus (with Beck as producer) returns to his solo career with an album that was definitely worth the wait.

Washed Out: Within and Without Elegant and nuanced, this is chillwave at its best.

Cults: Cults In The Name Of “Go Outside” was “Pumped Up Kicks”’s rival for best summer song for good reason. The rest of this album is just as catchy and sweet. Jay-Z and Kanye West: Watch The Throne

It has its gems, but it was overhyped.

Death Cab For Cutie: Codes and Keys

Lil Wayne: Tha Carter IV

This album could’ve been great, but instead it just pushed Death Cab further into insignificance.

Arctic Monkeys: Suck It And See

The band has obviously matured, and perhaps this is the Arctic Monkeys at their ripest. Do as the album’s title tells you to.

This would be Lil’ Wayne’s cue to stop making music.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: I’m With You

After nine albums, many of them awesome, RHCP’s tenth doesn’t really take them any further, but it does grow on you.

Beirut: The Rip Tide Pompeii

Bon Iver: Bon Iver Jagjaguwar

A lovely collection of songs that are both soft and strong, as per usual for Bon Iver.

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please fans.

A solid follow-up to their much loved last album which is sure to


Timeflies Interview with the Band By Raquel Dalarosa Cake: Your debut album, The Scotch Tape, was recently released. How long was that in the making? Timeflies: We started the project in June, about a week after graduating. Spent a month on Martha’s Vineyard recording, then a month apart, meeting up for a few days at a time to record. Then finally it was all finished at Cal’s house in Larchmont, NY. So about three months, plus then a few weeks of getting ready for the release. C: What is the process like for writing your songs? What comes first – music or lyrics? Tf: Really changes every time. Usually we have an idea for a hook or for a melody or something, sort of start there and the beat evolves as the lyrics do. End up changing things all the time and in the end its often nothing like it was when we started, we’ve done songs in 2 or 3 days, and others in weeks, so it really doesn’t follow any pattern.

“Stunner” mp3 available for download now at cakezine.com C: What are you guys currently up to? Any plans for the next album yet? Tf: We’re working on a bunch of stuff, just getting used to our new studio set up but starting to work on a new sample based project for a mixtape or something. Maybe put out some singles, who knows, definitely want to keep putting out music and we are constantly finding new stuff we want to sample so it seems like the right way to go. C: What are your personal favorites off the album? If you had to suggest only one of your songs to someone who has never heard your music before, what would you suggest? Tf: Really hard question, we of course love every song for different reasons and its all about when and where you’re listening. BUT if we had to, Cal would probably say Ex Games and Rez would go with Fade. And if you could only hear one song.... then you’ll have to wait till you have more time ha. No but thats really impossible, you hear one song and you think thats what we sound like, until you hear the next one. C: Last but not least, what’s your favorite kind of cake? Tf: Ice cream. Hands down. And crab cakes.

Credit to Timeflies

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SLEEPY SUN

Interview with the Band

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By Keith Hadad

t’s been said that if The Black Angels, Austin’s current kings of acid rock, were The Doors, then San Francisco’s Sleepy Sun would be The Jefferson Airplane. Their sound offers moments of chunky, distorted, edgy riffs and ripple-affected drugged-out vocals. These moments are interspersed with dreamy atmospheric soundscapes with a touch of wooden-like calmness. Somehow these esoteric qualities are contained healthily within pop-friendly frames. Their second album, Fever, was released just last year to complimentary reviews. The record plays as an obvious sequel to the first album, showing growth, change, and an understanding of their well-practiced skills. Sleepy Sun was scheduled to play this year’s Austin Psychedelic Festival, and then they immediately embarked on a tour supporting The Black Angels. This pairing should not be missed, as the two compliment each other like a strong black coffee and a fresh cigarette. Previously, Sleepy Sun toured with The Arctic Monkeys and opened for the likes of Mudhoney and Autolux. Electro-gurus U.N.K.L.E have also collaborated with the band. Guitarist Matt Holliman shared some nuggets of information with us about his band and his music. Cake: Do you feel that your musically historic hometown gave a strong influence on your sound?

Photo Courtesy of Brandon Moore

Matt: Sure, to some degree. But this is true for any given environment or situation we happen to be in while writing music. It’s really only a part of all the factors that affect our output. 

  C: How would you describe the sound found on Fever, your latest LP?  

M:In a lot of ways it’s similar to Embrace. They’re both produced by Colin Stewart at the Hive Studios in Vancouver, BC and were recorded in a span of

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two weeks. The records were written nearly back-to-back as we left Santa Cruz, recorded Embrace and then moved to San Francisco and immediately commenced working on the songs that would wind up on  Fever. We worked all day and practiced all night, and had already scheduled recording time at The Hive by the time we signed with ATP for the release of the first record. C: Do you have a kind of process when you go about writing a song? Or does it just come to you? M: There’s no clear-cut way for us to write a song. It’s scatter brained. Sometimes we’ll get together and can pull a song out from start to finish in a few hours. More often than not we’ll have an idea or phrase and smash it out until we have a useable piece. We’re definitely learning when to step away from a track for fear of running it into the ground. We’ve destroyed a lot of songs that way and usually the best essence is in the first few run throughs that we end up going back to. It’s easy to over-think a song.

stable working/writing regimen to having everything thrown out on the line and without a place to call our own. We’ve blocked off these past few months to work on new material and it’s been one of our most productive periods to date. C: This spring, you toured with The Black Angels. What were you looking forward to the most for that tour, and how did you get involved with them? M: We’ve been into the Black Angels since their first release some years ago and it’s great to tour with a band that shares a similar sound. I think we both draw from a lot of the same sources. Our tours have crossed paths a few times these past years in the States and in Europe, and somehow it’s finally worked out for us to share the stage together for a West Coast run. They’d asked us to play their Austin Psych Fest last year, but we were unable to do due to schedule conflict. This year worked out and we hit the road with them shortly thereafter.

“It’s easy to

over-think a

song.”

C: After only two full length releases, the band seems to be evolving at a considerable rate. Do you, yourself feel that the music at all is changing? Or perhaps, the group dynamic might be altering in some way? M: Touring non-stop for a couple years is going to change people. I’d say that this next release will reflect that transition: going from a somewhat

C: Do you prefer playing live to recording in a studio like setting? M: I can’t say I prefer one to the other, as they require two separate levels of focus. The studio is a catch-all, do whatever you want, no boundaries situation. That’s where we can hack up the tracks and try different approaches to get a particular sound. Once we get on stage we have to give 100% of ourselves to that moment and let the rest take care of itself.

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SLEEPY SUN Interview Continued

C: Speaking of touring, last year Sleepy Sun toured with The Arctic Monkeys. What was that experience like overall? M: It was completely different from anything we had been used to. There’s a lot of people working around the clock for them to get everything on the right track. And rightfully so, they put on a hell of a show. Great bunch of folk and genuinely supportive of our band and what we were doing.

months. Over the last two years of touring we collaborated on a couple tracks with U.N.K.L.E., produced some singles and covers for various compilations but hadn’t set about working on a cohesive record. There’s a fair amount written thus far for another release, but when we’ll record, much less release a new record has yet to be determined. Right now we’re focused on writing as much as possible and try some of them out on this upcoming tour with the Black Angels.

C: What kind of audience reaction did you mainly get from those shows?

“Every

night we’d go up there and do our thing and

M: It was a grab bag. They have a core of die-hard fans who frankly couldn’t care less who we were. But it didn’t matter. Every night we’d go up there and do our thing and it was really fun. We gained a lot of support after those shows. We’re definitely thankful that they took us out for those few weeks.

it was really fun.”

C: Your last full-length album came out around June of last year, and since then, there have been some singles. Are there any plans of any upcoming releases? M: Right now we’re in the process of demoing a handful of songs that have been composed over the last few

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C: The cover art for the last few singles and the latest LP are all from the same artist and complement the music quite well, how important do you find the visual aspect to your music?

M: We are fairly picky about artwork that we choose to represent us. We also tinker around with the live visual aspect whenever possible- anything from minimal lighting to 8mm film and massive projections. My favorite was a show a few years back at the now defunct 12 Galaxies in San Francisco. Our friend Travis Threlkel setup up a projector that was fed from a video camera pointed at the stage. The effect was similar to facing two mirrors together. We had indefinite echos of ourselves. C: In 2010, you appeared on


the Graham Nash tribute album, Be Yourself, what got the band involved in that project, and what brought you to cover that song in particular? M: This project was largely orchestrated by Britt Govea of Folk Yeah! Productions. He’s been a supporter of the band since it’s early stages and he pitched us the idea (and the song) while the other tracks were coming together. We happened to be in Canada around the deadline, so we swung by the Hive and let Colin have a go at recording. We’d run through the song a few times prior to recording, but much of it was composed in the studio. We didn’t want a note for note reproduction, and I think the finished piece turned out really well. C: If you were to record another cover for a tribute album, who would it be for and what sound would it be?

M: We used to cover Creedence Clearwater’s “99 1/2 (Won’t Do)”. Maybe we should revisit that. C: If you could open for any act ever in history, who would it be for? M: Mid-70s era Tangerine Dream, or the Stooges. Any era. C: You and all of your band members wake up one morning to discover that you’re all vegetables in a crisper drawer, what kind of vegetables are all of you? M: The Fool’s Balance Beam. We’d be a banana and an MHL. Although I guess a banana is technically a fruit. C: Who would you absolutely love to see buying your album? M: A housecat with a little purse.

Photo Courtesy of Brandon Moore

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Tom Haller ŠYoko Ono

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Yoko Ono Y

By Keith Hadad

oko Ono’s name alone conjures up a whole legacy of feelings, opinions, and ideas. This year, at age 78, Ono is in the public consciousness as much as she was thirty or forty years ago. In fact, Miss Ono is just as active, if not more so, today, than she was in her youth. Both politically, and artistically, Ono has been making her presence known strongly as an individual, and not just as the wife of a Beatle. This past year, she released her third remix album, Move on Fast, and its stand alone single by the same name, to great success. Move On Fast climbed to the much-coveted number one position in the dance charts, making it her sixth such feat in a row. Each of her remix albums have attracted many guest artists for collaboration including The Flaming Lips, Antony, Basement Jaxx, The Pet Shop Boys, DJ Spooky, Cat Power, The Polyphonic Spree, Porcupine Tree, Dave Aude, and many others. In the last two years, she has also released a new album under the Plastic Ono Band name, a group title that hasn’t been in use since 1973, and alongside her son Sean and guitar legend Eric Clapton, she had also revitalized the original Plastic Ono Band line up for a few benefit concerts. Politically, Miss Ono recently put on a few star studded benefit shows to aid Japan, wrote an advert to call for peace

through an English newspaper, and was awarded with the honor of becoming the first ever “Global Autism Ambassador” by the Autism Speaks organization. A literal living icon for peace, art, music, an activism of all kinds, Yoko Ono has been working through her entire life to help make a change in the world, and she absolutely shows no sign at all of slowing down. She most graciously made the time to answer a few questions for Cake about this new phase in her life and the projects she is currently undertaking.

“I was hoping to have world peace.”

Cake: This year you have claimed the number one spot on the dance charts again with the remix of “Move On Fast”. Is this a feat that you were hoping to reach?  Yoko Ono: I was hoping to have world peace. I suppose that takes a little more time!  C: The new remix album, Move On Fast, is the third remix record you’ve released in the last few years. They each translate well into today’s current culture. Why do you think this is? Y: Because I live in a time zone where there is no time.

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C: Each album has an incredible line up of other musicians and DJs such as Basement Jaxx, Cat Power, Flaming Lips, Porcupine Tree, etc, how did they all become involved in the project? Y: We were drawn to each other. C: What exactly brought you to the idea of having a remix album? Y: My first record with John – Two Virgins – was stated UNFINISHED MUSIC NO. 1. I wanted people to add their creativity to it.  Now they are doing it. C: Have there been any songs that you were approached with to have remixed that you didn’t want to have touched? Y: Initially, I didn’t want anybody to touch “Walking on Thin Ice”, but I mellowed, and let it happen.   C: Last year your son Sean organized a couple of concerts for a newly reformed Plastic Ono Band shortly after the release of a new LP by the same name. It was the first time the group had played since the 1970s and again, both were well received. What was the genesis for getting that band back together again?

it meant to you in the early seventies? Y: The same. It’s a way of making the name of the band not too serious. Since then many bands with weird names came out. Notice?   C: What was it like for you to be onstage playing with old band mates such as Jim Keltner, Eric Clapton and Klaus Voorman again? Y: As musicians, they are legacies now. So I feel very thankful that they have bothered to come play with me again.   C: Also last year, the Double Fantasy album was rereleased both in a remixed form as well as a stripped down version. How much influence did you have on the new mixes and what was it like to revisit this project? Y: It is a project close to my heart. In 1980, John and I were both artists and producers and the album won the Album of the Year Grammy. Revisiting this project was exciting, p r o f e s s i o n a l l y, and bittersweet, personally.   C: Do you feel closer to the more naked versions of the songs than to the master copies that were released on the original album?

“I will know what

advice I should give when I become a college student.”

Y: Sean asked me to revive that name. C: What does the Plastic Ono Band mean to you today compared to what

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Y: I definitely do. Otherwise, I would not have done this production. C: Today many experimental artists have very evident inspiration from your pieces from the late sixties


fight for peace revolution? Tom and Haller ©Yoko Ono

and early seventies, especially tracks like “Cambridge 1969”.  Along side this, many artists that are considered mainstream cite your more popfriendly songs as muses for their material. Did you ever feel that any of your songs would fit better in another time period? Y: I never thought or cared. I don’t know why. I am happy now that my songs are still around. C: On your birthday this year, you sent out a public letter asking the world to think of, and to hope for peace. At one point in the letter, you mention that it is time for action and change. What kind of action were you speaking of? Y: IMAGINE PEACE. And all of us to be small pebble people (not necessarily people who do big things) and do what each one of us can do to make the world a better place.   C: How do you deal with any discouraging thoughts or feelings that you might get in your constant

Y: I’m not fighting. I’m just dancing in preparation for the celebration.   C: Do you have any words of advice for any college-aged activists? Y: Not really. I will know what advice I should give when I become a college student. C: What is the most pressing political or social issue that you’re spending the most energy on right now? Y: Every day, I do my best. That’s all I can do. And that’s not so bad! C: Are there any new developments that we can be looking forward to seeing you do over the rest of the year? Y: I’m sure there are. I hope there are some new developments in your lives, too. It’s hard to predict and it’s hard to keep up with it, isn’t it? 

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Album Reviews Stephen Merritt Obscurities Label: Merge Release Date: August 23, 2011 Rating:

With his bass-baritone voice and often happily unhinged lyrics, Stephin Merritt might seem like an odd candidate for the affections of The Los Angeles Times and Pitchfork, who describe him being a songwriting genius and an utterly celebrated figure in independent rock. However, nearly twenty-five years into Merritt’s career, Merge Records graces him with a rarities collection that goes beyond the “scraping at the bottom of the barrel” style of outtake compilation. Instead, we are given an anthology of absolute gems that only acts as more proof that Merritt is a true master of his craft. Obscurities culls together tracks from Merritt’s many separate projects, such as the sessions for The Magnetic Fields’ legendary 69 Love Songs album, other unreleased Magnetic Fields material, a song from an unfinished sci-fi musical (that shares credit with the creator of A Series of Unfortunate Events), the guest vocalist only band known as The 6ths, and a composition from an audiobook adaptation of Coraline. Nearly all of the songs are laden with synthesizer and the other electronic sounds and instrumentation that one would come to expect from the time that the songs were recorded; the late eighties and early nineties. Some acoustic guitar does come up here and there, such as in the traumatic love or death shock that is “Plain White Roses.” The production bounces from lo-fi analogue quality to a fittingly muddy multilayered yet also polished atmosphere, such as on “Rot in the Sun.” Despite the drum machines, synthesized pops and solos, and the simple production quality, the lyrics still stand out as the main focal point in each track. The down to earth and surreally poetic lyrics about death,

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(Stephen Merrit- Obscurities) madness, relationships, and disappointment are delivered in such a way that it pulls the listener around them like planets around a sun. The subtle deliverance by Merritt and his guest vocalists demands close examination, which makes the songs all the better. The understated performance of the darkly beautiful words never weighs the songs down. This is an exceptional quality of this album, as most of these songs are quite easy to dance to. It takes a great deal of talent to make music that can combine poppy catchiness and honest relatable (and oftentimes moody) lyrics with a voice that completely defies any others heard in the top ten singles chart. Obscurities stands as a compilation of songs penned by an uncompromising individual, for people who want to listen to an artistic expression made by a real personality. Stephin Merritt is not a rock star. He is an artist. For proof, please refer to this wonderful cohesively flowing record and the exceptional documentary film made about The Magnetic Fields and the life of Merritt, Strange Powers.

By Keith Hadad

Feist- Metals

Label: Arts & Craft Productions Cherrytree Polydor Release Date: October 4, 2011 Rating:

It’s been four years since the circulation of that one iPod nano commercial with that “1234” song. It was that commercial that skyrocketed Feist and her album The Reminder into indie-rock superstardom and even mainstream success. Since then, we’ve gotten our fill of female singer-songwriters who have clearly taken cues from Leslie Feist during their own musical careers (A Fine Frenzy, Yael Naim, Sia) but Feist herself has been pretty quiet. Sure she returned to Broken Social Scene for their album and tour last year, and collaborated with a number of other artists here and there, but her solo career was put on hold. Now her return is more anticipated than ever, and her new album, as a follow-up to The Reminder, faced high expectations from critics and fans alike. Luckily, Metals doesn’t disappoint. Recorded in Big Sur in California with her regular producers, Chilly Gonzales and Mocky, Metals is a collection of songs which serves to remind us all of Feist’s talent and stun us with its

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(Feist- Metals) freshness. The first single, “How Come You Never Go There,” is a perfect combination of sultry blues and catchy pop. “Cicadas & Gulls” is a soft, bare-bones lullaby while “A Commotion” swells with various vocal and instrumental layers. The opener, “The Bad in Each Other,” sets just the right tone for the songs following it; Feist’s gorgeous voice rings clear, paired with other vocals that aren’t overbearing and backed by deep percussion and rich strings. Each and every song on this album stands sturdily on its own two feet, a testimony to the obvious craftsmanship and level of detail put into the record. Together, the songs create a soundscape that is sparkling and tinkly like a shiny new earring, as well as heavy, sumptuous, and earthy. Turns out Metals is a very apt title for the album.

By Raquel Dalarosa

Blink 182- Neighborhoods Label: DGC Interscope Release Date: September 27, 2011 Rating:

After a lengthy eight years, the infamous pop punk band Blink-182 is back with their sixth studio album,Neighborhoods. This album was released through DGC Records and Interscope Records. After an indefinite hiatus in 2005 caused by trouble within the band, as well as tragedies regarding the band and their entourage, they reunited in 2008 with hopes of a new album as well as a tour. This is the first time that the band has produced their own album without the help of an outside record producer. Neighborhoods seems to be the natural next step in the band’s progression since their last album. While songs off their past albums such as “First Date” and “What’s My Age Again?” seem to have a humorous feel to them, the songs off of Neighborhoods are much darker. Your first inclination might be to blast past songs in your car, but this album almost makes you want to sit and reflect. The undertones are much more somber and deep. While the first track that was released, “Up All Night,” has a similar tone to previous songs, the lyrics are dark. The song “This Home” has an indie rock feel while still retaining common elements of your typical Blink 182 songs. Other fan favorites off of the album are “MH 4.18.2011” (Mark

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(Blink 182- Neighborhoods) Hoppus and the date they came up with the idea), “Kaleidoscope” and “Natives”. While this album is a different feel from the band’s past albums, it is still consistent with what Blink has produced previously. It still sounds like them and continues to have a lot of the same musical elements that remain from their very first album. Neighborhoods is an equal combination of the personal tastes of DeLonge, Hoppus and Barker. The reviews of the long awaited album are generally positive and Blink 182 fans are content with the band’s newest release.

By Paige Hoffmann

Wilco- The Whole Love Label: dBpm Release Date: September 27, 2011 Rating:

Alternative rock band Wilco’s most recent and eighth studio album, The Whole Love, is the first album to be released on the band’s new self-proclaimed dBpm label, which will be handling all future Wilco recordings from now on. The Whole Love was officially released this past September and proves to be one of Wilco’s more restless and feel good albums. The twelve tracks, produced by lead singer Jeff Tweedy, begin with a seven-minute upbeat and experimental song entitled “Art of Almost.” It’s an edgy opening number for the start of the album, with uneasy beats and an electronic feel. Following “Art of Almost” is the album’s first single, “I Might”, which accents the notable chorus: “It’s alright/You won’t set the kids on fire/ But I might.” The single is catchy and perhaps the most feel good track of the entire album; it’s successful in getting its listeners to move along to the pop infused beat. The rest of the album falls back into Wilco’s more recognizable sound; Jeff Tweedy’s distinguished voice is soothing in tracks like “Capitol City” and “Open Mind”, a song with lyrics that come across as even poetic. The final song of the album is “One Sunday Morning”, a twelve minute long track that is both intimate and endearing at the same time; it’s a charming ending for the album and is completely different from the opening number. The Whole Love moves back and forth between two opposing characteristics of the romantic and the unpredictable, making it an eloquent and innovative album.

By Jaimie Fitzgerald

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Cake: A Music Zine, Issue 17