on 23 November 2011
The Wedding Present would be one of my favourite bands of all time but I've always avoided reviewing their albums as I know I'd be unable to say in words how good they were/are, however this one appears to be un-reviewed so I thought it deserved some comments.
Unfortunately this is my least favourite of all their albums so I find myself criticising my heroes, which is a little weird.
By the time this was released all the original members, bar Mr Gedge himself, had left the band and he was soon to morph into his Cinerama personna, so this is a very transitional album between the two different styles of music and tends to favour the future Cinerama sound.
Having said that it's still full of his usual blend of songs about love & loss and I could listen to him sing all day in whatever style he chooses but alas a lot of the songs on here are just good but not exceptional.
Side 1 opens quite well with "so long, baby" which has a dramatic time change and is almost two songs in one but the rest of the side is fairly average and ends with one of the worst songs they've ever recorded "shake it" which has distorted vocals and terrible lyrics. The album is saved by Side 2 which is much better and contains two excellent tracks "spangle" (a heartfelt ballad) and "swimming pools, movie stars" which is the Wedding Present at their best.
Not the ideal place to start for new listeners, unless you're coming backwards from being a fan of Cinerama, and I'd personally recommend either "Bizarro" or "Seamonsters" as a better example of what makes The Wedding Present great.
on 18 July 2012
Quite simply, my favourite album from 1994. Mr Gedge has created a vastly underrated, strum-tastic, classic. Swimming Pools, Movie Stars is a stand out and will always remind me of being 18. Buy it!