We are, admittedly, late with this one, and possibly not for the last time. Maybe we kind of knew what to expect and were in no particular rush. Is this a good or bad thing?. Either way there is a strong case to say Valentina is the best and most consistent Wedding Present LP since they re-took the name from the light grasp of Cinerama roughly eight years ago.
The artwork and packaging here is rather nice too. They shoot, they score! Pitchfork says of the album: “Valentina suggests that the only thing they’ve been listening to lately is their own discography”. Which I guess is no bad thing. The Weddoes have in recent times sounded a little flat and short of energy and fizz– something normal for a band around for this long I guess– but here they sound re-ignited somewhat, especially during ‘End Credits’ and ‘Back a Bit’, which sound like something they would have recording twenty years ago; spiky guitars being chased along by quick-fire pounding drums. Fun all the way.
‘Mystery Date’ starts off in more reflective and calmer mode– being a Wedding Present record this also is typical– before it opens up and lets loose some more. Single release ‘You Jane’ is one which can easily get lost amid the endless flurry of music out there being streamed and over-enthusiastically blogged about, but if allowed a little more time it becomes another typically effortless, uplifting indie-pop diamond.
Like The Fall, despite all the things going on in the world that make one depressed, knowing that The Wedding Present are still capable of music this pleasing goes some way toward making things a little bit better. Out as usual on Scopitones. I love that word; “Scopitones!”