TAKE FOUNTAIN (2005) is the first album by the Wedding Present since 1996's SATURNALIA. As always, though, the band is merely a name for a clutch of musicians working around singer/songwriter David Gedge. While TAKE FOUNTAIN has traces of the Wedding Present's classic recipe of driving dynamics and epic electric guitars, it bears a closer resemblance to Gedge's previous project, Cinerama. The opener, "Interstate 5," for example, kicks off with chugging, amped-up rock guitars, then segues into a evocative soundtrack-like music.
Gedge also continues Cinerama's penchant for breezy, tightly crafted pop, replete with hooky choruses and chiming guitars. The jaunty, up-tempo "Always the Quiet One" is lushly textured, textbook power-pop, as is the mid-tempo love-story-gone-wrong "I'm from Further North than You." While Gedge sometimes turns in atmospheric slower songs, such as the processional-themed "Mars Sparkles Down on Me" (with its subtle string flavors), and punchy, crunching rock ("Don't Touch That Dial"), most of TAKE FOUNTAIN is crisp, well-crafted pop-rock full of the bittersweet themes of love and heartache. Fans of Gedge's work with Cinerama will feel right at home here, and old Wedding Present devotees may find themselves pleasantly surprised at the singer/songwriter's matured songcraft.
Uncut (p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 - "Jealousy as an essential part of love, the hurting below, the emptiness above - TAKE FOUNTAIN has it in spades. The loneliest boy in town is back."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.101) - 4 stars out of 5 - "[A] eloquent an emotional discourse as he has mustered, depicting a broken man struggling to repair his life....Gedge has never before assimilated harsh rock textures to orchestral arrangements with such power..."