Well produced, swirling, and atmospheric, â€œEl Reyâ€ is all the songs that play in a John Hughes film while the nerd pines at a rainy window, watching the girl next door get into the jockâ€™s car, sit shyly, only to be mauled and date raped. And then, at the end of the montage, she show up at Nerdboyâ€™s door, hair soaked, blouse transparent . . .
Which is to say, itâ€™s dramatic, a little whiney, funny, and charming. Itâ€™s Duckie.
The Wedding Present have been in the biz for about two decades now, bubbling under when Pavement became a cult band, staying below the radar when Oasis got big, and all the time making music that was basically just as good. This is the bandâ€™s eighth release (I think), and their second with producer extraordinaire Steve Albini, who seems to really get David Gedgeâ€™s sound. My sole complaint is that the excellent bass guitar work is sometimes buried beneath the vocal and rhythm guitar tracks, but thatâ€™s a minor point. If youâ€™ve ever wondered if shoegazer could shout; if youâ€™ve ever wanted to know what it sounds like when John Cusak cries . . . This is the album for you.