Cinerama, aka the band of Wedding Present guitarist David Gedge, are here with a somehow familiar new release. That is because Valentina represents Gedge’s fulfilled ambition to completely rework his other band’s said-same album in orchestral, cinematic style, sans indie-rock guitars. LP and CD on Scopitones.
5/10 Clinton Staff review, 15 May 2015
I suppose when you are David Gedge you can do what you like. You can reform the Wedding Present with none of the original members, keep your hair dyed Gary Numan black and cover your own ‘Valentina’ album with your other band Cinerama in easy listening style. Why not eh?
Well I could come up with a few reasons why not after listening to opener ‘You’re Dead’. Firstly really good easy listening is just not this busy - there’s a million things going on here, drums splashing about, organs trilling, piano’s twinkling. Listen to any decent Burt Bacharach arrangement and you’ll hear how understated and quiet it is. Gedge’s voice may be many things but a crooner he ain’t. I suppose a plus point is that the lyrics are clearly audible - it’s the usual tales of love gone wrong -but they are well thought out if nothing else. The arrangements on ‘You Jane’ are similarly busy which leads me to think about who this record will appeal to. Many Wedding Present fans might balk at the chicken in a basket club style on offer here but maybe it’s just a chance to hear the songs played in a different style that appeals. Once maybe.
It’s not even as drastic a shift in tone as the recent Cornershop re-working of their debut in lounge style yet it doesn’t take much imagination when listening to tracks like the twangy ‘Meet Cute’ that with a better ear for arrangements it could drift into Richard Hawley territory, however it’s just cheesy and kind of pointless. But he’s Gedge, he can do what he likes.
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- Valentina by Cinerama
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