The Cake Sale The Cake Sale

The curse of the charity record: it’s hard to fault the good intentions but usually they rely on the combination of those intentions and conscientious people to shift copies because the quality of the record can be questionable at best. The Cake Sale was made to benefit Oxfam by a collection of mainly Irish artists and while it isn’t a horrible record by any means it isn’t particularly exciting either. It does feature some bigger names, such as Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, Glen Hansard (the Frames), Nina Persson (the Cardigans) and Josh Ritter singing songs by the likes of Damien Rice and Emm Gryner. That line-up was enough to shift enough copies for it to be certified double platinum in Ireland, but whether that will hold true of its North American release is another matter. The highlights come via Gary Lightbody, whose duet with former Damien Rice collaborator Lisa Hannigan on "Some Surprise” is the album’s prettiest song, while the ever-reliable Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy adds some swooping drama to "Aliens.” The Cake Sale is an above average charity record. Buy it for the cause, not necessarily the music. (Yep Roc, www.yeproc.com) Michael Edwards (Yep Roc)