CD: The Wedding Present, Take Fountain


Break-up albums are often about as much fun as the final throes of the relationship they lament. But this painful goodbye is cause for celebration. This is the group's first release under the Wedding Present moniker since 1997, and the personnel are largely new: only David Gedge and Simon Cleave appeared on the previous album. The music, though, is a glorious union of Gedge's romantic past and his latter-day pursuit of lust, as explored by the eclectic Cinerama.

So there are chiming guitars and melting cellos, fragile heartache and angsty, punchy rhythms. Most of all, there's longing, inspired by the end of Gedge's relationship with long-time girlfriend and creative collaborator Sally Murrell. "How can I just shake his hand when it's been all over your skin?" he asks on Mars Sparkles Down on Me. There's the thrill of new ardour in Queen Anne and stirrings of love in Perfect Blue, but it is Gedge - cast as the crestfallen cotton-mill Romeo - that makes this such a welcome return.


Betty Clarke

The GuardianTramp

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