Gomez has been a remarkably consistent band over the course of 15 years or so, managing to sound like no one but themselves even while their first several albums sounded quite different from each other. On the surface, it might appear that the wild experimentalism of their early days is gone, since Whatever’s on Your Mind sounds of a piece with their two other ATO releases despite another different co-producer (Sam Farrar this time out). But a closer listen reveals that the experimentalism is still there, if perhaps a bit more refined. Just listen to the different drum treatments on the different songs, or the dub-like way the instruments drop in and out of the mix at times. Or how about the crazy breakdown in “The Place and the People”? And how the song moves from drum machine and buzzing electronics to solo piano and back? Or the nasty, fuzzed-out bass on “X-Rays”? And “Equalize” is just plain noisy (in a good way). The songs are split about as equally as possible between Ian, Tom, and Ben, with Ben’s tunes featuring some nice strings. The first few tracks have some added horns, while harmonium and bass harmonica add some nice textures to “Just as Lost as You.” Once again, this probably isn’t an album that’s going to bowl you over and set the world on fire; it’s a grower. And it shows once again that Gomez know what they’re going for and how to achieve it. It’s that strong sense of identity and intimate knowledge of their craft that produce such solid, distinctive albums. The fact that they’re also a powerhouse live act explains why this is a great band with such a dedicated following. All Music


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Matt Nathanson Modern Love
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Potluck Rhymes & Resin
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