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Gin Blossoms – “No Chocolate Cake” Review

 

Review by Mike McKenna
PA Music Scene.com
October 2010

Gin Blossoms—Robin Wilson, Jesse Valenzuela, Scott Johnson and Bill Leen, are back and in peak form! The eleven new tracks on their new CD” No Chocolate Cake” were written, produced and performed by the band with the help of John Richardson (drums) and Danny Wilde (The Rembrandts) on keyboards. This is their first studio release on 429 Records after their exit from A&M Records.

This new collection is the most solid material that they have delivered since “New Miserable Experience” The band is billing this as a rebuilding process that they lost after their breakup when they had sales of 20 million copies. Designed as music for the mainstream, they are hoping to hit it big on HOT AC and Top 40 formats.

“Don’t Change for Me” is a nice upbeat Top 40 tune that I think is one of the best songs on this CD. “I Don’t Wanna Lose You Now” is a standard mid-tempo tune about a guy and a girl and their relationship issues.

The LP’s first single release “Miss Disarray” is a nice fit for the band. Signature instrumentation and vocals make this tune click. “Wave Bye Bye” reminds me of “Till I Hear It From You” in its composition and makeup. “I’m Ready” is a nice blend of contemporary pop with those distinct GB vocals.

“Go Cry Baby” is another AC oriented tune that is simple, clean and nicely done. “If You’ll Be Mine” is a decent ballad about hoping that special lady will come along. “Dead or Alive on the 405” is a different type of song for the band in the beach music mold, but modernized. “ Going To Califirnia” has potential as another single release from this new effort.

All in all, it is a nicely produced effort that should do well, but lacks the high energy intensity of Gin Blossoms past music.