Cake: John McCrea (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, organ, Moog synthesizer); Gabriel Nelson (guitar, mandolin, piano, organ, bass); Vincent Di Fore (trumpet, background vocals); Todd Roper (drums, percussion, background vocals).
Additional personnel: Jim Campilongo, Xan McCurdy, Chuck Prophet, Rusty Miller, Tyler Pope (guitar); Greg Vincent (pedal steel guitar); Ben Morss (piano); David Palmer (keyboards); Mark Needham (percussion); Phyl Banks (programming); Richard Lyman (musical saw).
Engineers include: Craig Long, Kirt Shearer, Joe Johnston.
Recorded at Pus Cavrn & Paradise Studios, Sacramento, California; Hyde Street Studios & Coast Recorders, San Francisco, California.
Personnel: John McCrea (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, organ, Moog synthesizer); Gabriel Nelson (electric guitar, mandolin, piano, bass guitar); Chuck Prophet, Jim Campilongo, Rusty Miller, Tyler Pope, Xan McCurdy (electric guitar); Vince Di Fiore (trumpet); Dee Palmer (keyboards); Todd Roper (drums, percussion, background vocals); Mark Needham (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Craig Long; Kirt Shearer; Mark Needham.
Recording information: Coast Recorders, San Francisco, CA; Hyde St. Studios; Paradise Studios, Sacramento, CA; Pus Cavern.
Arrangers: Chuck Prophet; Greg Brown ; Jim Campilongo; Tyler Pope; Cake.
Their second album brought fame to Cake, with a hit single ("The Distance") that wasn't written by the group's main songwriter John McCrea, therefore misrepresenting the band's sound. PROLONGING THE MAGIC gives listeners another chance to tune in to this California unit's distinctive sound, an arch, alt-rock concoction that fall somewhere between Pavement and They Might Be Giants. There's a hip-hop inflection to the rhythm section now and again, and the addition of trumpet keeps the production from slipping into alternative rock cliche. The tunes are all delivered with a generous dollop of sarcastic wit and Cake's collective tongue firmly in cheek. Despite the high irony quotient, there's a rollicking, light-hearted feel that keeps things sprightly and infectious.
Q (12/98, p.114) - 3 Stars (out of 5) - "...[PROLONGING THE MAGIC] combines Coward-esque wit with Weill-ish raw emotion within an understated shuffle and funking band work. Funny and glum with a low turnout of cliches..."