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This Is Cinerama

So often labels release a series of singles as compilations just to squeeze another dime out of us folk who feel the need to have a "complete catalog." This may be the case with This Is Cinerama, but Cinerama isn't such a big name that local retailers feel the need to stock every single that's released. I'd actually been searching high and low for a copy of Cinerama's "Manhattan" single because it featured a cover of The Smith's "London" on the b-side, but I had no luck. In fact, I have yet to find a store stocking any of the 4 singles that make up This Is Cinerama.

Any owner of Cinerama's debut, 'Va Va Voom', will recognize a few tracks on This Is Cinerama. These tracks, "Kerry Kerry," "Love" and "Au Pair," as well as track 6, "Dance, Girl, Dance," and track 14, "Ears," were all sprinkled throughout the debut. With the exception of "Ears" which was remixed for the Harpsichord 2000 compilation, these are the exact same tracks you've heard before. It would be easy to feel cheated here; purchasing songs that you've already doled out money for, but This Is… makes you feel better about your purchase as you launch into the b-sides.

The first b-side we come across is "7X," a jangly pop song with an upbeat tempo. It's hard to compare any of these songs against Cinerama frontman David Gedge's other project, The Wedding Present, as they have a much different feel. Sure, Gedge's love of obscured pop music is still ever apparent, but Cinerama provides a much more traditional (and therefor comfortable) sound. The musical theory of making songs for a James Bond film that Gedge prides Cinerama's sound on isn't very apparent until the instrumental "Model Spy." Filled with wah-wah guitar, harpsichord and female vocal harmonies, the song transports you to bed on a yacht with mirrors on the ceiling. He definitely hits the mark with this tune.

Upon hearing the aforementioned cover of "London," Cinerama delivers nothing less than a reworked masterpiece. After the heavy orchestration of "Crusoe," and jangly rhythm’s of "Film," it would've been a heartbreaker to hear the feedback and heavy beats of the original "London." Cinerama takes this piece of punk (because even though it was The Smith's, "London" was a punk song), and brings it down to a much slower gear and adds bitter-sweet guitar lines.

Again, this may be just a ploy for fans to purchase anything with the Cinerama name on it, but it actually serves much better as a stop-gap, to fill in the holes your Cinerama catalog may be suffering from. And for people new to Cinerama, it's just the bait to get them hooked.

-Tyler Jacobson

Track Listing:

  1. Kerry Kerry
  2. Love
  3. Au Pair
  4. 7X
  5. Mr. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  6. Dance, Girl, Dance
  7. Model Spy
  8. Crusoe
  9. Pacific
  10. King's Cross
  11. Manhattan
  12. Film
  13. London
  14. Ears (Valvola remix)

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