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El Rey

5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 6, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

El Rey -- the first new album in over three years from The Wedding Present -- was recorded in Chicago by Steve Albini. The band returned from an eight-year hiatus in 2004 with the release of Take Fountain, and this long-awaited album brought them back into the spotlight, with all of the style and sophistication associated with this legendary group. That intensity has been turned up even further for the new album. El Rey is The Wedding Present's first collaboration with Albini since the beloved Seamonsters in 1991. Written while David Gedge was living in Los Angeles, El Rey burns with West Coast sunlight; Hollywood seen through the eyes of a gritty Northerner.

1. Santa Ana Winds
2. Spider Man On Hollywood
3. I Lost The Monkey
4. Soup
5. Palisades
6. The Trouble With Men
7. Model, Actress, Whatever
8. Don't Take Me Home Until I'm Drunk
9. The Thing I Like Best About Him Is His Girlfriend (Santa Monica And La Brea Version)
10. Boo Boo
11. Swingers

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 6, 2004)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: MANIFESTO RECORDS
  • ASIN: B00175G71I
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #296,841 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ikasumi on November 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan of TWP going all the way back to George Best. Seamonsters was a high point, so this one being recorded by Steve Albini perhaps gave me inflated hopes. But there is no new ground tread here, and little to inspire in the way the old ground is covered.

Gedge's lyrics used to be endearing, as he always seemed on the wrong end of a relationship gone bad and we could feel for him even in his bitterness. Then with Cinerama he became something of the happy womanizer and frankly hard to like (his two main themes seemed to be, "She cheated on me and it feels awful" and, "I cheated on her and it feels great," with no apparent sense of contradiction). Finally I thought perhaps he'd grown up when he gave us these lines in the lovely closer to Cinerama's last album: "I was jealous and mean, you were fragrant and flirty / It's strange just how innocent it all looks today / We tried to imagine being together at thirty / but that always seemed such a long way away." This sounded like an adult. But now he's regressed to, "And that's when I pretend that I don't have a girlfriend." Where are we now, high school? There are other embarrassing clunker lines like this, and I agree with the comment about, "No soup for you." Sheesh.

I still like them, and there are some good musical moments here, but it's very far from their best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By david on September 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD
the other reviewers talk about the dry albini sound as if it's a loss??? this album rocks, and for me that dry detached and damped albini sound is what the wedding present have been about when they hit their mark. these songs are not just about attitude - that wonderful dischordant out-of-tune pop guitaring is back at last! thank you david for this killer album - a collection of classic tracks. buy this now. you will love it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By bfolger on June 27, 2008
Format: MP3 Music
I have really liked the Wedding Present for about 15+ years now. Honestly, I haven't bought much of their recent stuff but wanted to check this out based on early buzz and Albini getting back into the picture. Its pretty decent for their "LA album". The themes of the songs get a little boring after awhile. Okay, I get it - Gedge is having women problems. My biggest problem is the song "Soup". I hate it. The "No Soup For You" chorus from Seinfeld totally trivializes the whole CD and starts making you analyze how bad some of the other song lyrics are. I guess in the UK the reference may go unnoticed but in the US it makes the song cheap and cartoonish. Enough with the negative, take out that song and this is totally a solid release and worth checking out. I mean, if you like The Wedding Present than you know what to expect.
[...]
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Burgum on September 5, 2008
Format: Audio CD
If you want to hear what reborn Wedding Present sounds like, get the excellent Take Fountain. If you want to hear what a post-Seamonsters Gedge/Albini collaboration sounds like, get Cinerama's outstanding finale, Torino. El Rey is Gedge's first stumble since starting Cinerama. Not terrible, it has it's moments (even bad Gedge writing is pretty good), but weak and unsatisfying. To echo another reviewer, "Soup" is unpalatable. Get out of LA, David.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stargrazer on July 19, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I love the Wedding Present. But I sold this CD shortly after buying it and have no intention of repurchasing it in the future. It's OK for them to have a lull in their output, I just hope for better work on their next release.

Seamonsters this isn't. Gedge sounds a bit resolved, rough edges sanded, electric guitars like vestigial fins. On first listen, things even seem a bit phoned in. (However I could have said the same of Saturnalia, a record that eventually grew on me.) Steve Albini's engineering, the big selling point for the new Wedding Present record (due to his superb work on Seamonsters, a defining album for this band) was something that this almost maddeningly consistent band really needed to make it all worthwhile for longtime fans -- but it simply doesn't do anything for performances that aren't immediate, bracing, and a little pissed off, like the last time Gedge and Albini collaborated.

It's still a Wedding Present album, though not a particularly gripping one. I appreciated the customer review that observed that Gedge seems caught in a songwriting doldrum: either "have an affair with me, that guy you're dating is a chump" or "I can't believe you cheated on me and treated me like a chump." The man wants to have his cake an eat it too, and while the situations and emotions that arise from this lifestyle can result in some exciting music, on El Rey they just seem like a retread of some pretty worn tires. Sure, this is one of his lyrical tropes, but it was handled with so much more nuance and self-inspection on the metaphoric "Mini" EP. Coming from a younger Gedge, this Don Juan-esque romantic languishing seems like a normal struggle with freedom and fidelity that most young males experience.
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