Gomez - Split the Difference

2009-07-02 08:07

What makes Gomez tick? In their solid rock and blues mix, you'll also hear traces of psychodelia, a pinch of Radiohead (on tracks like "We don't know where we're going") and a Blur-like tendency to imitate the Beatles slow-vocal style (on "Sweet Virginia). But this comparison thing is hard going - to say Gomez remind me most of Beck is a fair indication of how hard their very obvious influences are to pin down.

Gomez are not astounding in any way, but they're a relief. They write really good songs. This is a rare talent, when many albums consist of tunes resembling advertising jingles, or feature only melodies so bland you wonder if they may have been auto-generated by a computer running on anti-depressant tablets.

Lead singers Ben Ottewell and Ian Ball's unpretentiously soulful vocals thread the songs together; a reminder how important good singing is to a band's success. And good and unpretentious, rather than oustanding and innovative, is the bottom line with this band. They're awfully nice, they do rock, but they're not going to rock the boat much.

Listen for yourself and see if you agree. Click on the selection of sound clips (on the top right) to hear excerpts from the album. Recommended tracks include the kicking "Do One", "Sweet Virginia", "Extra special guy" and the achingly grateful love song, "There it was".

- Jean Barker

"...one of the finest releases of the year so far. If you were one of those people who wrote them off two years ago, it's time to get listening again..."
- Chris Jones for BBC

" The members of the group seem far more focused on creating music than being rock stars."
- Ari Levenfeld for Pop Matters

Gomez may just have reconnected the dots for us, integrating contemporary rock elements with their turn-back-the-clock blues. In fusing the two genres, it's almost as if they've-Guh!-split the difference.
- R. S. Ross for Stylus Magazine

The band makes a decent attempt to revive the homemade feel of its early recordings, turning up at least two winners in "Extra Special" and "Sweet Virginia," but it seems like a compromise.
- Aidin Vaziri for Amazon.com

A bit of blues in the chords, a lot of rock in the vocal, and an uncanny knack for sounding familiar without quite copying anyone... Gomez are British but you'd guess their roots were half in New York grunge and half deep in Texas.

Goda 2004/10/15 2:55 PM
How often do you listen to this? I get the feeling all these highly respected reviewers don't like Gomez nearly as much as they say they do. I bet they spend much more time listening to their old talking heads compilations. Talking Heads - Naked
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