Wednesday, January 17, 2007
David Lewis Gedge was recently described by the NME as one of the most consistently brilliant songwriters in Britain, a plaudit he has earned over a decade of leading his band the Wedding Present as it became one of the most influential groups around. Now he has teamed up with long time Wedding Present associate Sally Murrell to form Cinerama, a brand new pop group to record and perform his bittersweet, breathtakingly real love songs.
For their debut album Va Va Voom the pair, both big fans of pop culture, have trawled through their record collections and, as a result, this wide screen recording is subtly flavoured with the various hues of classic pop. John Barry, Barry White and Barry Gray ... Ennio Morricone and Isaac Hayes ... Burt Bacharach and Serge Gainsbourg ... from Abba to the Zombies, Cinerama have combined these glamorous and colourful influences to assemble a distinctive and individual sound of their own.
From the opening end-of-relationship ansaphone message, 'Va Va Voom' is really a great pop album with beautiful melodies and bittersweet lyrics; the harmonies are lilting and gentle and several of the songs have a sort-of 60s TV Theme feel.
The first track 'Maniac' is a pretty song with classical stringed instruments and chilled keyboard sounds and begins its story about revenge with: And when I made that stupid oath/about how I was going to/pay for someone to kill you both/it was just my way of showing you that I wasn't playing. Oh yeah, you're right, I sounded like a maniac.
After that highlight follows after highlight: from 'Comedienne' with its jangly guitars, the cute 'Hate' with its Caribbean(!) sounds and the first single 'Kerry Kerry' to the poppy 'Barefoot In The Park' with gentle backing vocals from Sally and 'You Turn Me On' which features brilliant lyrics and a Wedding Present guitar.
The catchy 'Ears' sees David duet with Glaswegian chanteuse Emma Pollock (from the Delgados) who appears as a special guest on the album. 'Va Va Voom' also features members of Australian psychedeli group The Church and Animals That Swim.
From the poppy 'Me Next' we come to the rock anthem 'Hard, Fast & Beautiful' with gliding strings and a grand chorus and the second single 'Dance, Girl, Dance' with an uplifting melody and very sweet lyrics and 'Honey Rider' with its delightful flute sounds at the end. What a wonderful record!