Whatever's On Your Mind
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Gomez's continued growth, then, or lack thereof, is a bit disappointing for a band that once showed so much promise with a bastardized version of Britpop that culled its influences from everything from old delta blues to psychedelic folk to jam band noodling. The essential ingredients are all right there and kicking - Whatever's On Your Mind evenly splits up vocal duties between Ian Ball and Tom Gray's more soothing vox and Ben Ottewell's gravelly howl, and tracks like the complicated pop of "I Will Take You There" and groovy first single "Options" exemplify the best of what make Gomez such an exciting listen, albeit still a defiantly pop outfit.Read more ›
On "Whatever's On Your Mind," Gomez offers more of the same, which is more variety than many bands offer in an entire career. Over the last fifteen years, Gomez has earned a large fan-base, especially overseas in their home country of England, thanks to an incredibly variable sound.
Ranging from blues to country roots while always keeping a foot firmly planted in popular rock, Gomez gives their audience a lot to digest, but the results are consistently enjoyable.
Opening with the first single, "Options," Gomez utilizes a driving acoustic guitar and drum partnership to get the band's seventh studio record started off with a bang. The vocals are more layered than many of Gomez's previous releases, but the chorus brings back the same feel-good tonality of previous hits like "See the World."
As "Whatever's On Your Mind" moves forward, it's clear Gomez was looking to provide their listeners with even more variety than usual. The sweetly sung "Our Goodbye," complete with a beautiful string arrangement, is followed by a significantly more rhythmic "Song in My Heart." Follow that with the distorted rumbles backing "Equalize" and the low electronic bass accompanying rare vocal effects on "That Wolf" and this is truly a new listening experience for everyone.
Quite possibly the biggest contributor to this ever expanding variety is the band's new writing process.Read more ›
The opening track, "Options," announces this album's safe road from the word GO, mimicking almost note-for-note the song "Notice," which opens the album "How We Operate." I liked that song, and there's nothing wrong with this one, apart from the lack of surprise or daring. But that's nothing beside the title track, larded with a string section that makes it sound like the love theme from an '80s romantic comedy.
These songs' anodyne familiarity signals the problem: listening to this album is like settling into comfy predictability. It resembles a Greatest Hits collection, in that it lets us rehears what we've liked most about Gomez in the past, without stretching the audience or the band. And, let me repeat, it's not bad. It beats any dozen randomly selected Top Forty albums. But I fell for Gomex because they aren't random.
This is a good album. But it breaks no new ground. "A New Tide" and "How We Operate" took my breath away by their combination of tradition and innovation. "Bring It On" and "Liquid Skin" sounded new and dangerous amid the largely benign Britpop mess of the late '90s. This just repeats Gomez's heyday. It's good enough, but I expect better. I'll probably play it occasionally, but not very often.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gomez has created yet another amazing album. I am extremely satisfied with this purchase and would have spent at least twice as much on it.Published on August 11, 2011 by April Decker
I listened to this first on a pair of cheap headphones and decided to write how disappointed I was that they'd made their first poor album in my opinion. Read morePublished on July 29, 2011 by Andrew Moore
Gomez have always had at least one really strong song on prior releases to make you want to buy, but on this release the songs are just lacking. Read morePublished on July 28, 2011 by LIF