The Inside Pulse:
This is Gomez’s fourth album. His last one was kind of dirty garage-rock not unlike The Kills or the stingy sections of White Stripes records. This one is absolutely not like that at all. At some point, Gomez decided that they were going to write a dozen crystal clear and symetric pop songs just to show people how to get it done. This is obvious because this album is pure sheen. It’s got the kind of reaching accessibility that both 14 year olds and 40 year olds could enjoy. There’s really no reason as to why these guys won’t be selling thousands of records this year, if the radios pick them up.
“Girlshapedlovedrug” is the best rock single of the year. Seriously. It’s catchy, it’s fun, it’s rather summer-esque. You can tap along, sing along, screw along. It’s not at all a one track record though. “See the World” and “Cry on Demand” are both upper echelon tracks that would sound perfect up high on a Billboard chart. It’s not lacking in great rock balladry, either. “Chasing Ghosts with Alcohol” will do its best to rip out the hearts of everyone who sneaks a listen.
In doing all the formulaic things perfectly, Gomez didn’t leave much room for actually doing anything new. You’ve heard these tricks before from matchbox 20, U2, Dog’s Eye View, Gin Blossoms, and every other band who has made a sugary pop ditty. Their last album was brave because it tucked itself into corners not charted by most bands. It would be interesting to find out which brassy major-label head told them to ship up and start sounding like everyone else.
U2 meets the Tragically Hip meets Bruce Springsteen, I’d say.
Reason To Buy:
You want another record that’s damn near perfect musically that doesn’t necessarily jar your system with technicalities and new ideas.