Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
Va Va Voom
As Embrace are wont to tell you, you should always come back to what you know....
Yet after 12 years of prising vibrant shades of emotional torment from the same chainsaw with The Wedding Present, our Dave has joined forces with girlfriend Sally Morrell, bravely decided to adopt an anonymous side-project called Cinerama and move on to new pastures, new sounds, new power tools.
"I've gone as far as I can with this crap", Gedge whimpers during 'Ears'. He's talking about someone's girlfriend shagging some other bugger, but the intent is clear. These days his guitars have been stripped of their customary barbed-wire strings and swathed in lush orchestral sweeps, the odd flute solo and a more mellow attitude towards the cheat. A sound, indeed, poised on a stool somewhere between The Cardigans, The Delgados and Fairground Attraction. With a xylophone on its lap. No, really.
To the dedicated Weddoes fan, the idea of King Grump playing Tindersticky tinkle-ballads like 'Hate', jangling like a lovelorn Kenickie through 'Dance, Girl, Dance', or even trying to, like, sing proper is sheer sacrilege. The appeal of The Weddoes, after all, is exorcising your fundamental fartiness by screaming along to the sound of sperm whales mating frantically. But this new 'mature', 'uncluttered' and 'might actually sell some bloody records' approach has its benefits. You can hear the words. You can unearth those sumptuous tunes without the aid of a blowtorch. And your mum won't threaten to throw you out any more, even though you're 32.
Come back to what you know soon, Dave, by all means. But in the meantime, we'll sink happily into these sweet and unmuddied waters.
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