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The Sea and Cake's sixth album, 2003's One Bedroom, is elegant pop. Membrane-like layers of electronic tones, delicate synthesizers surround intricately woven guitars. Melodic bass lines punctuate these restrained and complex sounds. Songs are propelled by imaginative percussion lines and shaped by spare warm vocals. Sam Prekop's lyrical style is poetic as opposed to narrative. Paradoxically, the resulting album of delicate precisely constructed songs sounds effortless. One Bedroom is a beautiful collection of creatively constructed and singular pop songs.
The opening song "Four Corners," the title track, and "Mr. F" are signature Sea and Cake tunes. Archer Prewitt and Prekop's guitar interplay, swirling synthesizers and the melodic propulsive rhythms of John McEntire and Eric Claridge all delicately surround Prekop's buttery vocals. Lyrics seemingly float on a delicate cloud of sound. Vocals take center stage with "Left Side Clouded" and "Try Nothing." The former broken up by surprisingly distorted guitar whilst the latter one of the few elements of this powerfully simple song that was programmed and recorded by Prekop in his home studio. The rhythms of "Hotel Tell" and "Le Baron" showcase McEntire's programming prowess with their inventive rhythms and surprising sound selections. It is not surprising to see such choice analog synthesizer tones driving the vocals which are brought far more forward on One Bedroom than previous Sea and Cake recordings.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the record comes in their version of David Bowie's "Sound and Vision." The version remains faithful to the original yet has the distinctive Sea and Cake stamp of creatively and precisely placed tone and color, delicate guitar touches, and driving rhythms. Prekop's warm vocals are filled out by the baritone vocals of the Aluminum Group's Navin brothers. One Bedroom is back on vinyl, pressed on colored LP for the first time and packaged in a high gloss jacket with a free download coupon.