The Sea and Cake Everybody

On their first album in four years, the Sea and Cake sound unified and their airy pop songs are inventively accessible. Going for a more live-off-the-floor feel, the band sought the help of an outside engineer for the first time since 1993. With Brian Paulson at the helm, drummer/long-time engineer John McEntire (Tortoise) is free to remain seated with the band and focus his attention on playing. The driving rhythms conjured by McEntire and bassist Eric Claridge propel the groove-based "Too Strong” and contribute foreboding textures to the ambient "Left On.” Sam Prekop’s processed vocals are high and dreamy, perfectly complementing the intricate guitar lines he creates with Archer Prewitt. The duo shine on the Afrobeat-inspired guitar parts of "Exact to Me” and apply subtle force in meshing with the bass and electro drums of "Lightning.” Considerably polished, Everybody is a mature yet adventurous effort by the Sea and Cake. (Thrill Jockey)