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Gomez
Split The Difference
Virgin Records
www.gomez-usa.com


There was a time when art was the defining form of civilization. Art created technology that advanced civilizations. Artists were highly regarded citizens, and esteemed for their contributions to the world. Art drove humanity to higher callings and the betterment of themselves. If art truly made the world spin, as it once did… Then Gomez would perhaps be king of the world. They would be the new Leonardo Da Vinci, the new Michelangelo, the new Raphael, or even the new Picasso, sometimes.

On their newest release, Split The Difference, Gomez have once again re-invented themselves the tiniest bit, improving upon a phenomenon that I could have hardly expected to be improved. Their last release, In Our Gun, was a conglomeration of sounds and textures that were wholly unexpected, but very pleasant to behold. Now, the band has moved from the edgier and grittier sound of that record to a more open and airy, psychedelic sound. More like the Beatles than ever before, there are songs that transcend that legendary band - revealing their influence, but kicking it aside to make room for Gomez's own unique voice. Check out the newest single "Silence" for your proof.

Gomez retains its Britpop/jam-band image on songs like "These 3 Sins", with its ultra-groovy bass lines and chugalug drumming, and "Where Ya Going?", which is an exercise in rock not dissimilar to the classic "Not Fade Away". Lo-fi and edgy songs like "We Don't Know Where We're Going" and "Meet Me In The City" demonstrate the ability of the band to make drastic jumps in sound, while retaining an overall consistency with their blues-based grooves. And let us not forget the hauntingly beautiful "Sweet Virginia", which will henceforth be one of my favorite twisted love songs of all time, with its bittersweet chorus of: "If you know how to run, Sweet Virginia, you should run/ If you know how to play, Sweet Virginia, You should play/ If you know how to sing, Sweet Virginia, you should sing/ If you know how to be, be without me, you should be." And I'll throw in this for good measure - "Catch Me Up" will inevitably move your feet and leave you gasping for air, aching for more and more great music from Gomez.

The British Empire fell long ago, but thanks to fresh bands that continue to improve upon their predecessors' musical base, the Britpop Empire will continue to thrive. Gomez will undoubtedly always be near the front of that pack of extraordinary hit makers. These songs are just the next step in the continuation of that simple truth - full of vibrant life, clever lyrics, and ingenious musical experimentation… Long Live Gomez!

-L. Keane

Track Listing:

1. Do One
2. These 3 Sins
3. Silence
4. Me, You and Everybody
5. We Don't Know Where We're Going
6. Sweet Virginia
7. Catch Me Up
8. Where Ya Going?
9. Meet Me In The City
10. Chicken Out
11. Extra Special Guy
12. Nothing Is Wrong
13. There It Was


 

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Mike Doughty



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