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the wedding present's eighth studio album, 'valentina,' comes four years after 2008's critically acclaimed el rey. recorded in the wilds of france, the suburbs of los angeles and the lanes of brighton - it shimmers with near perfection. the ten track valentina rumbles in with the crunchy statement track 'you're dead' vibrating with familiar overdriven guitars and gedge's words dripping with finality. you jane comes next; a rhythmic rock 'n' roll treat, laden with forlorn wanting - and letting the thing you love go free. the record was mixed by the legendary producer andrew scheps who adds the wedding present to an impressive list of clients such as adele, iggy pop and johnny cash. it has been said that scheps' production adds a live feel to the recording while retaining the power of the band. unsurprisingly, there is no filler on this album' each track has its own distinct atmosphere and david gedge's lyrics explore the same beginning and ending of relationship material, but with his ever-fresh take on the highs and lows of a lovelife. back a bit' stop, another high point, is the wedding present at their pop-guitar best - driven by a delightfully overdriven bass line - and punctuated by what can only be called a drum 'performance'. and, at the end of the record, mystery date twinkles and lilts - tricking you into thinking that it's going to be a soft story of the very beginnings of love, but then absolutely thunders in with a cacophony of tempo changes and soaring guitars, leaving you gasping for breath as a japanese voiceover trails on. the wedding present have found the best recording studio, the best mixing engineer and the best set of songs to complete what may very well be their best album to date.
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