Lee’s Listening Stack – Gomez – ‘Whatever’s On Your Mind’
Whatever’s On Your Mind
To all but the most keen-eyed observers, it would seem easy to take Gomez for granted. After all, it was early on that they distanced themselves from the competition with a series of colorfully appointed album covers and the receipt of a prestigious Mercury Prize. Since then, they’ve pretty much gone about their business, earning a devoted fan following while offering the impression that making good albums is simply a result of some astute quality control. That’s a fine reputation to harbor, but it does little in the way of shoring up anticipation or making the unknowing take heed. Which is a shame, because in a way, their consistency almost works against them.
Time, then, to take notice, and with Whatever’s On Your Mind, the opportunity is at hand. For those who are late to the game, it may provide a nice surprise, given its wealth of pleasantly tapered melodies and an easy, appealing sound that’s as accessible as it is alluring. Songs like “Options,” “Just As Lost As You,” “That Wolf” and the title track mine a cozy pop palette and veer towards a radio-ready MO, suggesting the band are intent on reestablishing some commercial concerns. There’s tenacity mixed in – the barbed retort that accompanies “The Place and the People” (“Now that you know me very well/Go to hell…”) and the hazy shuffle spun from “I Will Take You There” are the two most obvious examples – but by and large this is an agreeable set of songs and one capable of expanding their base. Suffice it to say that Whatever’s On Your Mind is wholly conducive to a reassuring return. – Lee Zimmerman