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4.6 out of 5 stars19
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 April 2005
David Gedge writes romantic songs. Not Barry-White-silk-sheets romantic, nor Jacques-Brel-gauloise romantic, and definitely not boy-band-xmas-single romantic. Gedge's songs are a kind of realistic romanticism - he can turn a one-night stand into a self-deprecating tale of regret and recrimination (Interstate 5), he can capture that story of a relationship which never really takes off, but does just enough to survive until someone calls time (I'm from Further North than You). He has a very English self-deprecation (even though many of the tracks on this album are tales from America, where it was recorded), and he is fascinated with the mundane but telling exchanges which more often mark a relationship than the big bust-ups and make-ups.
His Cinerama period turned out some real gems (check out Apres Ski, Manhattan, Crusoe), but now he's back with that trademark buzzing guitar sound which marked the Weddoe's early incarnation. The guitars are not as heavy as the early stuff, the lyrics are more to the forefront (as they were in Cinerama). This is ... hateful term... a mature album, by someone whose songs are sometimes painfully honest, gently self-mocking, rueful, yet ultimately positive stories from someone who dares to hope, to love.
So will Take Fountain reach beyond nostalgic 30-somethings who danced to My Favourite Dress in the eighties? It deserves to - the Weddoes were dismissed too often as a one-trick pony in the past, but you can't help but be impressed by Gedge's sheer talent on this album. It's about time the Wedding Present were fashionable again. If only to give David Gedge the chance to have his heart broken again, just in time for another album's worth of material.
So sorry Dave - good luck with the album and all that, but here's to more heart-break to come... we need the music!
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on 29 March 2005
I really doubted we would ever see another Wedding Present record. Cinerama evolved over the past few years and when they introduced Wedding Present songs into their live set, I didn't particularly see a need for TWP. Cinerama were going in the direction of TWP anyway with songs like Wow and Festive 50 number one Don't Touch That Dial (also included here as a WP song).
While Cinerama made some fantastic songs, I never felt their albums held together as an entity in a way that Seamonsters or Watusi did. This is definitely not the case with the consistently superb Take Fountain. From the Mogwai-esque opening of On Ramp to the closing of Perfect Blue, this album does not have a weak moment. My personal favourites are the epic Interstate 5 and the very Gedge It's Not You but it changes every day.
It's a shame that more people won't buy this album but if you do, you won't be disappointed.
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on 16 February 2005
"Take Fountain" is glued to my CD player. It's Daid Gedges' best set of songs since 1991's "Seamonsters" which still sends a shiver down the spine 14 years on. Early contenders for best track include "Ringway to Seatac" and "Queen Anne" although every track is faultless. Especially great is the extended version of "Interstate 5" the stunning comeback single.
If you are a disciple of the boy Gedge then the message is simple...BUY THIS ALBUM !!!
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on 5 December 2005
Maybe I'm getting old, but I often find myself dissapointed with more modern day bands that can't quite string enough decent songs together to make a really good album. I had even begun to lose my way with Dave Gedge, when listening to Cinerama I would be dreaming of Seamonsters. It was with some cagey delight I bought this album the first Wedding Present since the excellent Saturnalia. On first listen I thought, 'mmmm, this is good', but like all of Gedge's better work I knew I would have to delve into it more. I have run through it several times now and it is creative sometimes inspirational music that reaches the heights few other bands can match. Epitomised by the lyrics, the melody and the intesity of 'I'm From Further North Than You', The Wedding Present role back the years here with a less harsh but distinctive sound. Lyrically Gedge is on top form, although I have yet to listen to a single word he sings on 'Don't Touch That Dial', transfixed as I am on the percussion married so succinctly to the empty guitar arpeggio.
If you like The Wedding Present, buy it. If you don't know The Wedding Present, buy it, you might just love it.
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on 24 November 2005
To his many mid thirties and older fans David Gedge, the only remaining original member and main songwriter of the group is a god. See The Wedding Present live and you can almost guarrantee someone will shout out "You are a God". On this album Gedge and his Apostles run through classic breakup material, made even more poignant by the ending of his long term relationship which inspired the songs.I defy anyone to listen to Larrys and not be moved close to tears.There's enough well produced loud guitars to keep old fans happy,the ones who missed out on Cinerama- Gedge's side project, and enough strings and mariaci horns to keep those of us who stuck with him happy as well. Simon Cleave, the other songwriter of the group has an ear for simple repetitive melodies, the recent single, I'm From Further North Than You" being a good example.
If your heart is broken now or ever has been, if you still have a secret desire to mosh with your mates in your living room whilst the kids aren't watching, buy this album.Better still buy this album and go and see them live next time they are in your town. It's grown up music for permanent adolescents.
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on 23 February 2005
Its been a long wait, but a sense of relief washes over me when I see the words "The Wedding Present" on the cover of a NEW album!
I thought Cinerama would go on forever more producing albums with only 2 or 3 stand-out tracks, but now we have the "Official" return of Gedge & co with their most mature and creative album since "Seamonsters" nearly 15 years ago.
Admittedly, on first listen I thought "Oh, more Cinerama..." but after a few listens this album truly shines. Every track sits comfortably alongside any Wedding Present song you'd care to mention, and the whole album has a really positive, uplifting atmosphere.
Stand out tracks for me were "Its for you" "interstate 5" and "Ringway to Seatac", and it's great to hear David Gedge back at his emotional, "shouty" best on "Its For You".
In my opinion they will NEVER better 1991's "Seamonsters" - and of course we all live in hope that one day they might - but for now "Take Fountain" can sit proudly amongst all my other Wedding Present albums and hold it's head up high.
Well done Gedge - Its nice to have you back!
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on 24 June 2005
The last decade saw the evolution of The Wedding Present from a jangly, C86 style indie-pop band, creating music that was half-way between The Smiths and The Undertones on their great debut George Best, through to the more abrasive Pixies/Sonic Youth inspired noise rock of legendary albums like Bizarro and Seamonsters, right the way up to the mid-nineties when they became a prolific, if slightly anonymous group that most considered to be going through the motions. Towards the end of the decade, Wedding Present singer/songwriter David Gedge dissolved the band a started a new group with his then-partner Sally Murrell, called Cinerama.
This back story is important, as it allows us to put Take Fountain into a greater context... an album that was written with the intention of being the next Cinerama project, recorded during a torturous break-up period between Gedge and Murrell (...or so I've heard elsewhere), and eventually released under The Wedding Present moniker, which had been inactive for close to a decade. It's good to have them back, with The Wedding Present always offering the darker, more introspective side of Gedge, away from the string-drenched, witty and beautifully grandiose pop of Cinerama, with Take Fountain showing a return to the aggressive guitar sound and literate though deeply honest lyrical territory of albums like Bizarro and Saturnalia.
The album opens with the short atmospheric introduction On Ramp, which leads us beautifully into the album's first highlight, the extended take on Interstate 5. This is one song to definitely rival some of those early Wedding Present joys, with a great guitar sound curtsey of Gedge and Simon Cleave (who contributed to Cinerama also) and some subdued backing vocals from Kari Paavola, which become more apparent during the epic and heartbreaking chorus, which can't help but bring to mind some of Morrissey's best moments from albums like Bona Drag, Maladjusted and Vauxhall and I. The song comes to a close with a nice Spaghetti western influenced guitar melody and some folk-like percussion, all topped of by cinematic strings and a nice burst of Morricone inspired horns.
The next track, Always the Quiet One, can't help but seem somewhat inferior compared to the epic atmospherics of Interstate 5... though repeated listens eventually show it to be one of the highlights of the album. Along with the single, I'm From Further North Than You, Always the Quiet One proves to be one of the song that most points to that classic mid-80's style of George Best, bringing to mind songs like Shatner and You Can't Moan Can You? Next track, Mars Sparkles Down On Me is a more emotional track, starting with a slow guitar melody drenched in atmospheric production, with Gedge and Paavola singly sadly alongside the slowly approaching stings and military-like percussion. Like Interstate 5, it's another grand epic, and another reason to buy this great album.
The second half of the album alternates between more up-tempo guitar tracks like Ringway to SeaTac (with the great lyric "we only have one last chance to start an argument") to more subdued and emotional stuff like Don't Touch that Dial (which has an epic, distorted guitar sound that brings to mind the mighty Seamonsters) and the great Queen Anne. It's amazing that this music - which seems to evoke the very best and worst qualities of a rainy English Monday morning - could be recorded in America, but still, Gedge and producer Steve Fisk manage to push the sound of 1996's prior release Saturnalia forward, without loosing the qualities and charms that made the band (or Gedge as a songwriter) so special in the first place.
The album opens with the fantastic indie-guitar-pop of Perfect Blue, which continues the melancholy vibe established by the rest of the album (with lyrics like "oh, haven't you had enough of me... oh, how could I make you love me?"), though adding a touch of hope as Gedge seemingly finds a reason to carry on. It's a great moment, and another of my personal favourites from this album, which deserves to find a wider audience outside of the usual ranks of Gedge fanatics and indie-pop devotees.
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on 4 August 2006
Wedding Present back on form. I have had 'Interstate 5' on repeat for the past week - for anybody that has ever been used 'and is it sexist to say, that I thought just boys were meant to behave in this way'. Lightning. And, as for 'I'm from further north than you', the man is a genius. Buy and enjoy.
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on 1 March 2005
This is one album you can not turn your back on. I consider it to be the underated album of the year so far. There are no filler tracks on the album and i'd consider Interstate 5, Always the Quiet One, Perfect Blue and Ringway to Seatac as the best.
If you like the single 'from further north than you' you will be blown away by this record. That single is good the rest of the album is a total masterpiece from David Gedge. Must Get!!!
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on 2 June 2005
In a year when there has been an unusually high number of great new bands release some spectacular albums, I never suspected it would be an old favourite who would be top of my own "Album of the Year" award. Maybe it was because I wasn't expecting much when I bought this and first put it on, but I found myself playing it over twice, I was so surprised. Ok, so the guitars are a little more mellow but Gedge's voice is in fine form and the songs are as angst filled as ever and so finely crafted. Old fans will love this and anyone too young to remember them from t'old days, well, this isn't a bad place to start and should provide a good incentive to collect their earlier stuff. It's a must have addition to anyone's music collection.
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