Cinerama is the latest band from David Gedge,
whom you might remember from such phenomenal 80's brit-pop bands
as: The Wedding Present. In The Wedding Present, Gedge wrote
love songs. Some were angstful. Some were sappy. Some were sad.
Most were about the fact that women just don't understand him.
I am sure that many of us can relate....
The Wedding Present broke up, surprise surprise, when Gedge
found a steady girl. She's named Sally, and she plays keyboards.
As a result of this, previous Cinerama albums explored keyboard
melodies rather than the intense guitarwork of The Wedding Present.
In all honesty that was a disappointment to me: i found the
first two Cinerama albums to be weak and lacking. Oh sure, Gedge's
remarkable way with words was still there, but with the keyboard
backing it just never really seemed to gel correctly. In fact,
after being bored to tears by 2000's Disco Volante,
i swore off The Gedge.
This held until fan buzz began indicating that the 2002 album
was more guitar-y, and that Gedge was playing old Wedding Present
songs in concert. And then i heard, through the miracle of streaming
audio, a rather lengthy John Peel Session with the band, and
they did, indeed, rock. Not the intense "my girl left me, life
stinks, so i'm just gonna play fast and with gobs of feedback"
sort of rocking guitariness of The Wedding Present, but still
much better than Cinerama had rocked before.
So, i finally bought this album. And you know what: it kicks
ass. David Gedge can write a melody better than almost anyone
else. And he has a real way with words, able to craft clever
lines with vivid imagery.
And yet, well, there is one thing that kind of bothers me here.
You see, i am a Prude. I don't want to hear about your sex life,
and i won't share mine with you. Some things just don't need
to be talked about, okay? Well, Mr. Gedge disagrees, because
where Wedding Present songs were about love, Cinerama songs
(at least on this album) are about sex. I mean, if you really
listen to the lyrics here, well, it's not PG rated, okay. Not
that he is too disgustingly graphic, but there are a few descriptions
and phrases in here that make me think "oh my". Then again,
that might just be me, and you might not be so concerned with
At any rate, this is a lovely disc, full of interesting and
catchy tunes. Wedding Present fans will find things to like,
such as the schreeching guitar lick that kicks off Two Girls,
or the slow build to guitar frenzy in Quick, Before It Melts,
or the spanish tinged guitar wail of Careless. All of
these are great tunes, and they will fit right in with Seamonsters
and George Best in your collection. The guitarwork
here will tell fans of the Gedge that, yeah, he's still got
But The mans real talent is his ability to write such catchy
songs. Careless, Starry Eyed, and Health and
Efficiency are toe-tapping, "singalong in the car" tunes.
They can't help but put a smile on your face as you belt out
the words along with him, frightening the old lady in the next
lane. In fact, Health and Efficiency, which was actually
the single off of this album, is just such a damned fine pop
song that i really can't even say anything else about it. It's
good: really good. It builds from a slow simmer of crowd noise
samples and strings to a feedbacky guitar apex, and then back
down again. It is a rock song with the verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus
format, but it is exceedingly well executed.
So, in the end, i am very impressed with Torino.
This is a fine album with catchy riffs, toe-tapping beats, and
witty lyrics. If you are a fan of Brit-pop, or, indeed, pop
in general, then you need to track this down. And if you, like
me, are an old Gedge fan who was worried that this album would
suck as bad as his last few, then i cheerily inform you that
it does not, and that you will like it.