How We Operate - album and concert review


Mai 15 2006, 0h17

Right around this time a year ago I first started listening to Gomez. My teacher gave me Bring It On with much praise telling me that I would probably enjoy it. Upon my first couple listens I wasn't too impressed. For some reason though I decided to give it another shot a couple days later and was blown away. The harmonies produced by Ian Ball, Tom Gray and Ben Ottewell on that album are unparallelled. Now a year after discovering Gomez I've listened to them more than any other artist and consider them one of my favorites.

And on to the review of "How We Operate." The cd was leaked on bittorrent so there were already many reviews and opinions on it ranging from overjoyed comparisons to "Bring It On" to sadly disappointed comments on how overproduction ruined them. Could that be true? Could their debut album(studio album) under ATO, be a disaster? Ah well, I was still so giddy with anticipation that I went out and bought the cd, something I haven't done in two years. Then I sat myself in front of my computer, ready to digest the new music and hopefully be amazed. Upon listening to the opening track Notice I was not impressed at all as Ian Ball's voice came off as way too whiney. Then on to the next song, See the World, it was good to hear Ben Ottewell's voice but I was again not too impressed. After two subpar tracks in a row I was actually worried the rest of the album would be a let down. I pressed on however and finished the album. Upon finishing it I wasn't too happy but never being one to fall in love with albums on my first listen I wasn't too worried about my initial reaction.

In the days that followed I continued to listen to the new cd as well as the classic Gomez songs I already love. After a few more listens it definatly grew on me. Hamoa Beach and Charley Patton Songs really made an impression and helped improve my opinon of the cd overall. Girlshapedlovedrug is also quite catchy and easily accesable while Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol has a very "Gomez" feel to it. The rest of the tracks grew on me too as I formed a positive opinion of this cd, although "Notice" was still my least favorite. Is this cd the next Bring It On? No, but it's not a disaster either. This is my take on it. Gomez has a sound all to themself that you can't put in any one genre. Many people argue that there are too many "bells and whistles" on all their cds but I for one love their multitude of musical instruments and see it as their plain love of making music. Working under a new producer and label, was somewhat of a negative in my opinion as this cd is too polished. There are still many "Gomez" moments on it though and I do enjoy this cd very much. And that leads me into the concert review.

I received the new cd about a week before I went to see them live, so I was ready to go when May 10th rolled around. The doors opened to a general admission show at 7pm but I wanted to make sure I got a good spot so I showed up at 5pm, behind a only a couple that has seen them 15 times before. Needless to say I was in the first row, right in front of the stage. Perfect. They started the show out with the song Bring It On, which isn't one of my favorites but really boosted my opinon by hearing it live. I was then quite excited as they played Love Is Better Than A Warm Trombone, which has been been my favorite track as of late and was the best song of the show in my opinion. They also played many songs from their new cd. The great thing about this was they were able to put the raw Gomez spin on it that it didn't quite have on the cd. I even enjoyed Notice and now have a new appreciation of it. The energy was amazing and I couldn't have asked for more(except maybe a set list). I now have a new appreciation of "How We Operate." No matter how many hip indie magazines slam Gomez, I'm sticking my opinion to this review. Pitchfork? Bah, Bring It On!


  • AlternateRaiL

    I was quite surprised when i heard How We Operate after listening to songs like Shot Shot and Whippin' Piccadilly, they sounded like Creed or something. i havent decided yet what i think of the new direction, but they didnt sound as unique in my opinion.

    Mai 15 2006, 12h51
  • mattlazear

    That's interesting....the track Notice is my favorite song on the new cd. I love that track, it's so beautiful.

    Mai 18 2006, 14h03
  • rimmerbjur

    I can't believe you guys don't mention 'All too Much' !? This song is so powerful and harmonic! Whenever I hear it I just wanna scream along to Ben's incredible vocal. It makes me think of Gomez classics like 'We Haven't Turned Around' and 'RnB Alibi'. It's my favourite so far - with 'How we Operate' and 'Notice' trailing it.

    Mai 20 2006, 10h08
  • apeman041007

    HWO is a refreshing change after Split The Difference, which IMHO was overcooked. HWO sounds remarkably fresh - there are a lot of great songs on it. I'm not sure that girlshapedlovedrug is a wise choise for a single as I like it less and less the more I listen to it. My favourite tracks on the album are Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol, Tear Your Love Apart, Hamoa Beach & See The World. Can't wait to see the band twice this week. I've seen them live a dozen times, but I've yet to see them at the Fillmore (west)

    Mai 23 2006, 20h10
  • mimiosa

    Hi there! I love the new album! I´m going to see GOMEZ in Budapest. It´s my first Gomezgig. I´m really looking forward to this. greez from austria

    Jul 6 2006, 15h02
  • MilesSmiles

    I've been a huge fan of Gomez since Bring it On came out in 98 and I've seen them a few times in concert. I have to say How We Operate is kind of boring to me. I like Charley Patton Songs and Tear Your Love Apart, but nothing else really jumps out at me. I guess the biggest criticism of Gomez when it came to marketing them is that they're all over the place musically and perhaps this latest album is just an attempt to make something more marketable.

    Set 10 2006, 20h57
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