The Wedding Present - Valentina

David Gedge is one of my all-time favorite songwriters. The way the guy can turn a phrase would make most indie screenwriters green with envy, and his skewed take on (mostly failed) relationships has made for a catalog filled to the brim with brilliant pop gems. So it’s a bit disappointing that this album just isn’t grabbing me. Sonically The Wedding Present seem to be aiming for the kind of sparse production that Steve Albini provided for their seminal 1991 album Sea Monsters, but the songs simply don’t have the hooks that we’ve become accustomed to. It’s like when you make one of your favorite dishes but it doesn’t turn out right… all the ingredients are the same, you prepare it the same way you always do, but when it comes out of the oven it’s just not good as it usually is. Whether that’s the result of the band’s lineup changes (apart from Gedge, the entire roster has turned over since their last album, 2008’s El Rey ), or it’s just the kind of inevitable down cycle that comes during a 27 year career, I’m having to file Valentina under D for disappointment.


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