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Album Review

Despite no longer being an angsty whippersnapper, David Gedge shows no signs of slowing down or tempering his biting mix of the bittersweet, the dark, and the seedy, as it relates to all the upswings and downfalls of love, lust, and infidelity. At this point, there's very little doubting that, at age 70, Gedge will be penning witty songs about the tempting nurse who rubs VapoRub across his chest with such titillating flair. His third studio album with partner Sally Murrell and friends as Cinerama isn't all that different stylistically from 2000's Disco Volante, shifting back and forth from elegant chamber pop to fiery indie rock at the drop of a hat. For the most part, this is more of the same, which disciples will have no qualms about. Songs like "Estrella" and "Starry Eyed" have the deft melodic tugs and gushing guitars that won Gedge's previous band so many hopelessly romantic fans. The brief breaks in the formula hopefully show glimpses of the future. "Airborne" is a beautiful Baroque pop song, full of nothing but strings that accompany what could be Gedge's most elegant and touching vocal turn yet. At just over two minutes, the song is as wickedly fleeting as the relationship that ends within it. Another wrinkle that will hopefully be explored further occurs during the last half of "Quick, Before It Melts," which caps off a roaring number with a cinematic passage consisting of a stately piano, a ruefully plucked acoustic guitar, and distant church bell chimes. Gedge has shown time and time again that he can knock out the kind of songs that are his stock in trade in his sleep. Torino is no slip, but perhaps it's time to cut the cord and make those teasing tangents the basis of an entire record.


Formed: 1997 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Named for an immersive widescreen film projection system that predated IMAX, Cinerama were founded by David Gedge after he put the Wedding Present on sabbatical following a 1997 tour. Centered lyrically around Gedge's regular themes of courtship, romance, love, lust, and infidelity, Cinerama also indulged Gedge's love of film music from John Barry to blaxploitation, as well as the classic songwriting of Bacharach/David and the less dramatic sides of Scott Walker -- a comfy spot between twee and Tindersticks,...
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Torino, Cinerama
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