Cake pops entered our collective consciousness about 2009, when 3OH!3 was ushering crunkcore onto the Billboard charts, the Bothersome Orange was YouTube’s most significant meme superstar, and Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” was the music of the summer months. These relics double as tasting notes for Cake Pop 2, the 2nd release from experimental pop troupe Cake Pop, a job of 100 gecs’ Dylan Brady. Mid-to-late-aughts references are baked in (no pun) to the extended gecs universe, as are genre mashups, mood swings, within jokes, straightforward pleasures, crushing angst, and the audacious output that would make it all make sense. Cake Pop 2 adapts the gec fundamentals to healthy extra typical song constructions and a new established of flavors, but the hazards are calculated. They tone down most of the humorous enterprise (no “Stupid Horse” or Seinfeld bass) while nonetheless supplying levity (opening lyric: “Hella scared of bees”), providing uncomplicated pop that does not take by itself as well significantly.
Brady fashioned Cake Pop in his hometown of St. Louis with area pals and collaborators together with Aaron Cartier, Ravenna Golden, Lewis Grant, Pritty, Robel Ketema, Kevin Bedford, and Adam Newcomer. The group’s eponymous 2015 EP combined playtime with explosives and xylophone scales, teasing the chiptuned sugar rushes and Monster Electricity-sized caffeine crashes that Brady and Laura Les would later fine-tune with 100 gecs. By the time gecs introduced their 2019 debut 1000 gecs, Brady’s signature clank had resonated from hyperpop playlists to the mainstream. Now, he’s sharing Cake Pop with his expanded fanbase. But as Brady’s imprint on pop new music deepens—with everyone from Linkin Park to Lizzo tapping him for production—his eyesight is spreading slim.
Cake Pop 2 is a selection of sketches, idiosyncratic usually takes on pop formulation: orchestral balladry, alt-rap, content hardcore, Major 40, movie sport soundtracks. “Satin Bedsheets” calls to mind Young Money’s 2009 smash “Bed Rock” crossed with Tierra Whack and stadium EDM. “Ether” puts Sia-slash-Halsey-esque radio songs by means of a glitchy gecs filter. The twinkly, dancehall-inflected “Pombachu” interpolates the refrain from Ja Rule’s “Mesmerize,” when the horns on “Boom” throw us back to “Tik Tok”-era party-all-night pop.
At 20 minutes, the album doesn’t linger on any a person plan, which can be both equally a strength and a weakness. Specified standouts depart you hungry: “Cake Happy” performs as a brief, bouncy duet, but Golden and Grant’s lovers’ dialogue is ripe for a plot twist and an additional important change. “Whistle” is these kinds of a robust, whimsical 72 seconds that you are tempted to listen 2 times. At its greatest, Cake Pop 2 is like a cypher or a dance circle, where by anyone will get a turn in the middle and no person disappoints. The album teases some compelling principles (“Candy Floss” stages Minecraft on Broadway) and highlights the abilities of Cake Pop’s members (Cartier’s “Magic” stream, Ketema’s Auto-Tune reggae stylings), but doesn’t give the artists or their strategies sufficient room to flourish.
There is been no scarcity of songs for gecs lovers about the previous two decades: Because the launch of 1000 gecs and its remix album, Brady has produced or co-generated songs for Charli XCX, Dorian Electra, 03 Greedo, Rebecca Black, Rico Unpleasant, and Pussy Riot, to title a handful of. By this stage, we know what to be expecting from a Brady-helmed project, and Cake Pop 2 doesn’t obstacle all those assumptions. The album is a energetic introduction to Cake Pop and its customers, but as the sounds of Brady’s occupied plan leak in, there’s a feeling that we’ve heard most of it prior to. Although the creation flexes to in shape the eccentricities of each and every tune, the tailoring could have been closer. Nonetheless, for current gecs enthusiasts, Cake Pop 2 is a welcome addition to the rotation. It goes down uncomplicated the sugar helps make you want to bounce off the walls. But a cake pop is not a food.
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