Music News

The Sea and Cake

One Bedroom starts out perky -- almost too perky. Like that little dog, Chester, who constantly kissed up to Spike in the Tom 'n' Jerry cartoons, "Four Corners" opens up the record with an insistent hook; a chiming tug on your sleeve that says, "C'mon, guys! If you forgive us for making that mediocre record Oui back in 2000, we'll be your very best friends!" The track bounces along for three minutes before Sam Prekop starts in with the whispery stuff, and quicker than Spike could say, "You know where there izzit a cat?," One Bedroom's got you. If Oui left you feeling like Prekop blew his stash on his superb solo outing the year before, this album will restore your faith in the Sea and Cake.

Whereas the Chicago quartet Prekop, part-time cartoonist Archer Prewitt, bassist Eric Claridge, and Chicago wunderkind John McEntire came perilously close to being this generation's Steely Dan on Oui, now they've picked up the pace on One Bedroom. The musicians let in gentle feedback and fuzz and more electronic goodness than ever before. The title track has a solid bossa nova base, and there's a positively disco vibe to this record that, coupled with Prekop's bedroom voice, handily wins back the band's Late Night Makeout Soundtrack Kings title. One worry, though: The album's closing track, a New Wave-over of David Bowie's "Sound and Vision," is slated to be One Bedroom's first single, complete with animated video. Come on, guys . . . do you really need everybody to like you?

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Stefanie Kalem