58. Cake: Fashion Nugget
One of the most unexpected hit singles ever was The Distance by Cake (or really any Cake hit single). The band was Anti-Rock, Anti-Hip Hop, Anti-Pop and Anti-Grunge yet they exploded in a time when those were the biggest things on the radio. For a kid in Elementary School at the time of release this was a confusing thing.
I loved The Distance when I heard it and asked for Fashion Nugget for Christmas. When you’re a kid you can’t wrap your head around some things. One of those things is that the single should represent the album as a whole. Fashion Nugget definitely didn’t do that. I wanted 14 tracks of monotone rapping, at best I got 2 of them. At 27 I love the very thing that 11 year old me hated (holy shit this CD is 16 years old!?)
It seems like the three songs I disliked as a kid are now the three songs I loved the most. Those songs are opening track Frank Sinatra and closing tracks Italian Leather Sofa and Sad Songs and Waltzes. Vocalist John McCrea’s “singing” on this particular songs are the best he’s ever sounded.
The album blends Jazz and Rock in such a strange way that it’s almost impossible to correctly categorize it to any specific genre. The band has had plenty of records after this, many of them good and full of catchy singles but none will ever surpass Fashion Nugget.