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Rhythm & Views

The Wedding Present

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A singles collection? Over the course of only one year? What, dear Wedding Present, were you thinking? Perhaps you were thinking that since you have only recently emerged from a nine-year absence, your beautiful 2005 release, Take Fountain, wasn't enough, so you released multiple versions of songs from Take Fountain and nine songs previously unavailable in the United States, and that would help feed your fans' appetites.

And you'd be right.

Sure, we don't "need" to hear three different versions of "I'm From Further North Than You," but we also don't "need" a nice glass of wine with dinner. And really, hearing three different versions--the album version, a "Klee remix" and an acoustic version--only deepens our belief that David Gedge can make a lyric as seemingly banal as "I think we're the same in many ways" resonate with wit. And songs like "Snapshots," with its ethereal sad dramatics, and "Rekindling," with its clean/dirty guitar switches and reference to ice cream in the first 30 seconds, fill our pop-rock bellies.

"Shivers," with its old-movie-soundtrack-recording feel, makes us wonder why people in the United Kingdom get to hear these songs before those of us in the United States. Is this fair, dear Wedding Present? Perhaps this is why the second disc, a DVD of "the accompanying promotional videos" is included--to even things out a bit. Well, OK. We'll forgive the oversight, if only for the video for "Interstate 5," with that girl running barefoot down streets and across dams. That's gotta hurt. But hey, if you're running to The Wedding Present, who needs shoes?

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