Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

Gomez

Split the Difference

2004-05-11

Split the Difference is notable in that it just may include the first poor song British 5-piece Gomez has ever issued. Out of 5 full-length releases, that's not a bad average.

Stripped back to an organic setting following 2002's lavish In Our Gun, at times the new disc smacks of dreaded "label demands", perhaps brought on by the overwhelming success of UK counter-parts The Strokes (as in, "Give us a song that sounds like The Strokes"). True, it's not fair to lead off by making derisive comments, since the album certainly doesn't lead off with weak material. For the most part, Gomez sticks to the recipe that's kept them fresh for neigh-on a decade. The three-pronged song-writing attack of Ben Ottewell, Tom Gray and Ian Ball swaps lead vocal duties, delivering plenty of reminders that Gomez remains one of the best rock acts in the business. The best moments In short, Gomez has earned the right to meander a bit. This album is perhaps best summed up by applying their own lyrics from the final track "Nothing is Wrong": "This is not the be all and end all for us...we're not here to judge you/we wanna be your friends now/we can make you feel like everything that's gone wrong happened for a reason". As the incantantion washes through the speakers, it's hard not to believe that Gomez will indeed be just fine.

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