Cinerama – This Is Cinerama

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist (part 2)

Well, I said elsewhere that I wasn’t going to keep both this album and Va Va Voom, but fuck it. Call it indulgence. It is typically perverse that roughly two years after the release of debut Va Va Voom, but just weeks after second album Disco Volante, Cinerama released this collection of early singles. The title is a clever joke, btw. Cinerama was a pre-IMAX immersive process (three projectors used simultaneously on one giant screen); This Is Cinerama was a documentary from 1952 intended to promote the new system.

What I Think of This Album

Even discounting the overlap with Va Va Voom, this is a very strong collection. The songs “Kerry Kerry,” “Au Pair,” “Love” and “Dance, Girl, Dance” are all repeats. There is also a remixed version of “Ears,” cheekily jejune and retro.

The vaguely flamenco guitar strum of “7x” is what you first notice, but then Gedge’s lyrics take center stage:  “And I don’t want to seem unreasonable / But I’d just like to know when / You are going to speak to me again” and “Because now / I’m feeling totally perplexed / What did I do wrong? / Well, how do I work out what comes next? / Do I play along?” “Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” has a sort of spy guitar sound, which plays nicely with the orchestration. Meanwhile, “Model Spy” relies on a wah wah effect, with spy keyboards instead.

“Crusoe” is goddamn gorgeous, with timpani and strings, and full of devastating lines like “You can’t get a phone call like that and not tell me / You can’t lie with him in our bed and not smell me.” There is a sad ruefulness to weepy “King’s Cross”:  “I thought that you and me / Were never meant to be /  Now why would I think that?” with some great harmonies from Sally Murrell at the end. The cover of the Smiths’ “London” I can take or leave.

Given the timing of these singles, it is not surprising that the list of supporting players overlaps considerably with that of the debut:  Marty Willson-Piper (the Church); Dare Mason (producer of the Church and Animals That Swim); Derek Crabtree and Anthony Coote (Animals That Swim), as well as Julia Palmer (Billy Bragg) and Rachel Davies (Animals That Swim). Emma Pollock (Delgados) guests on “Love” and “Ears.”

This time, former Weddoes guitarist Simon Cleave is also around, and he co-wrote a couple of the songs. Gedge co-wrote two of the other songs with different people, neither of whom is properly identified in the credits.

The Best Thing About This Album

“The silence when you hold me is deafening.”

Release Date

October, 2000

The Cover Art

Another winner from Cinerama – bold color and font/graphics, with a whiff of romance to the blurry photos.

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