Cake's debut album, Motorcade of Generosity, was marked by dark humor, deadpan vocal delivery and a smartly utilized trumpet. The band's sophomore release is a letdown in comparison. Where Motorcade had a clever commentary on commercialism and contemporary music ("Rock N Roll Lifestyle"), Fashion Nugget has a self-consciously flat cover of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive." And where its predecessor featured some unconventionally visceral rock songs ("Jolene"), the new album is marred by awkward poetry readings ("The Distance") and gloomy cliches ("Friend Is a Four Letter Word"). It's still Cake, but the formula (detached vocals + wry lyrics + occasional trumpet) doesn't produce the results it did last year.