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4.0 out of 5 stars
A New Tide
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2009
Every now and then a band you used to love slides off your radar, and Gomez were the latest band to join this category of my record collection. The last three albums had plenty of tunes, but suffered from over-production and the loss of the organic sound that defined the band's sound on the debut and follow-up albums.

I stumbled across "A New Tide" several months after it was released and discovered that out of the blue, the band have put together the record that they threatened a decade ago. I began this review thinking I would call it their best work "since Liquid Skin", but it may be fair to say that, for me, this is their most striking album to date.

The silliness of recent records has been discarded, and they have stopped trying to pen pop songs, focusing instead on a beautiful album which flows in a way that none of their records have for a long time. One of the comments on this page says that the album has "no killer tunes" - this is spot on. But this is a good thing. This is not a collection of singles with some filler to make up an album's worth, it's a majestic work of art.

Only perhaps the track "Win Park Slope" doesn't seem to fit in with the album's sound.

It's not to say that there aren't stand-out tracks - the uplifting "Airstream Driver" captures the fun side of Gomez, but whereas the more electric tracks from recent albums were smothered in Protools effects, this track bounces along with a scuzzy and beautifully unpolished guitar refrain.

Arguably every Gomez album to date has had a tendency to peter out towards the end. Maybe this was a result of them taking on production duties themselves, but on "A New Tide", the sequencing places three of the most pleasing tracks right at the end, leaving a warm glow once play stops. "Very Strange" plods on unremarkably until a marimba section breaks up the track, and it's followed by the gentle strumming of "Other Plans", a track evoking the tender sounds of Belle and Sebastian and Yo La Tengo.

The stunning "Sunset Gate" closes the record memorably. A thudding but muted drum powers on behind the relaxed vocals, which are interrupted by a low and initially jarring section of woodwind. It's a hypnotic track which defines the natural and mature sound that Gomez have found here.

I have no qualms about dishing out five stars to "A New Tide". It may have seemed that Gomez had peaked early in their careers, but if the album title rings true then perhaps this marks the beginning of a bright new chapter in Gomez's career. This is a band that are well and truly back on my radar.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2009
This album has motivated me to write my first review for Amazon, and all after listening to 'Other Plans' from A New Tide. This album is one of those special breed of albums that does more than what you initially expect it to deliver. I would say on first listen it leaves you feeling generally good. The beauty of it however, is how it grows in stature the more familiar you become with it. The aforementioned 'Other Plans' is a superbly crafted song. 'Sunset gates' is so beautiful it could reduce the most hardened of music critics to something resembling jelly. 'Little Pieces' has a guitar hook the size of China with the Beauty of New Zealand..........and so it goes on. I highly recommend this album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2009
.....a Gomez album that lives up to 'Bring It On'. Ever since their debut album I've been waiting for something of similar quality; I'd almost given up but then along comes 'A New Tide'. This is quite the strongest set of songs they have put together in years and only 'If I ask You Nicely' grates, with some awful couplets. The singing and playing stands out throughout and the arrangements are more complex and sonically interesting than their recent work. There are standout tracks throughout but I would single out 'Airstream Driver', 'Natural Reaction', 'Little Pieces' and album closer 'Sunset Gates' as particularly memorable. Nice one, lads.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2009
I appreciate what other people say as I am a massive fan of Gomez and especially How We Operate, but bear with this little gem. It's smoother, hookier, dreamier and in the end, it delivers a great shot of pure Gomez, without perhaps the real kick of the last two albums. There are some great great tracks. Personal favourites- of course Airstream Driver (which is beyond good), Little Pieces, Natural Reaction and Very Strange.
Give it a few concentrated spins and the tunes speak for themselves.
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on 25 July 2010
Yes I bought the album when it first came out, played, enjoyed it and added it on to my Ipod. And that's the problem in this day and age, I put my Ipod on random and carried on with my life. I love Gomez, but I have taken them for granted over the years. Not anymore!
I have been listening to their myspace songs, especially Airstream Driver and Win Park Slope. I had forgotten how good these were. I decided to re-visit the CD and have played it constantly over the weekend. This IS something special, a great CD, which should be played in that context. With the Ipod age we forget to listen to CDs in their entirety and Gomez make wonderful CDs.. They are THE great British band of the last 10-15 years!
I accept that the band are not making the same music as at the start of their career, but they have evolved and I, for one, am glad that they are still together making wonderful albums
There is not a bad song on this collection. The production, musicianship is top notch. Let's hope that there are plenty more to come.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2009
Gomez has continued to release albums that manage to have totally different tones and styles. This album is no exception. Bring it On and Liquid Skin had the original Gomez sound, then In our Gun showed of Gomez's use of electronics and having fun with an album. Split the difference was a rocker of an album that was so surprising to hear from Gomez, but it was refreshing to hear, and, of course, as with everything they try, they pulled it off. Then after that, How we Operate was released which was a polar opposite to Split the Difference - it was leisurely and calm.

That brings us up to 2009 and Gomez has released A New Tide - an album which shows a return to roots, and it seems as though every different style they have experimented with has been wrapped up in this album. Let me give a brief review of each song.

1. Mix - A lovely vocal and guitar track led by Ian Ball, which has a fantastic kick-in section at the end.

2. Little Pieces - A more commercial sounding song from Gomez, but with an addictive acoustic guitar hook that is so quintessentially Gomez in its tone.

3. If I ask you nicely - The only song on this album led by Tom Gray - A fun sounding song which really puts you back to 1998 with a funky strummed guitar and an awesome chorus, FUN song!

4. Lost Track - Another excellent acoustic guitar hook on this song, a return to something you may have heard on Bring it On, with an excellent jazzy breakdown in the middle.

5. Win Park Slope - A drifting and eerie song, with an insatiable slide guitar riff in the background with excellent reverb on Ian Ball's vocals, this song creates such an atmosphere - arguably the best and most innovative song on the album.

6. Bone Tired - This song flows straight from the previous one, with a soothing fingerstyle guitar riff with Ben Ottewell singing over it. This song is just...beautiful!

7. Airsteam Driver - A song which has what sounds like elements of a track from Bring it On, mixed with the heaviness of Split the Difference - This song, again, is like nothing else on the album. Really great song, with a VERY addictive line which you will sing a LOT ("go carefully, carefully, oh airstream driver!")

8. Natural Reaction - A really sweet song, which has that feel of driving round the coast, led by a banjo. The verse of this song uses vocals SO effectively, as seems to be consistent with Gomez. The rhythm of this song mixed with the incredible use of voice makes for a very impressive song.

9. Very Strange - The drumbeat mixed with the riff really gets me on this song. That, combined with a really uplifting kick-in for the chorus (you'll be "do do do"ing along with this in no time) makes for a very impressive song. The song ends how it starts with the drums and guitar riff, a really well-written and rounded song. excellent stuff.

10. Other Plans - another genuine contender for the best song on the album; a lovely soothing song which could very easily have been taken straight off of How we Operate - hints of Nick Drake in this track?

11. Sunset Gates - This song is very enjoyable, very effective 'Gomez sound' with the vocal harmonies in the verse, with an acoustic guitar strumming along happily with a playful electric guitar riff. This song is so Gomez it hurts. Such a good close to an album - it ends with a plethora of sounds, brass, percussion, high vocals in the background, it's a fantastic close to the album.

All in all, this album really hits the spot for me, and it has something for every Gomez fan, whether you liked their early work more, or their later work. Every time I have listened to this album since getting it, i always hear something else going on in the background, which is such a common factor in the music of Gomez; the percussive sounds mixed with some mellotron and some subtle backing vocals - you'll get something new with each listen. I wanted to give 4.5 for this album, what for the lack of songs led by Tom Gray, however i didn't think to drop it down to 4 out of 5 was fair for what is a real gem of an album.

Gomez - You've done it again!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
While this album still sounds like Gomez, it comes across as though the band are no longer pretending to be happy or young kids anymore. While the last album 'How we operate' was more uptempo and more energetic it lacked a certain intimicy which this album delivers. How we operate seemed more optimistic, as if the band were sure it would bring them some success. Now they seem to have given up on that and made a slightly edgy album, which, thankfully, has seen them dispense with the annoying sha-la-laa type 'lyrics' of their previous effort. It's a more intricate, delicate and mature effort, and a logical progression for a band going more than 10 years. It reminds me of Bluetones early stuff and is less throwaway than 'How We Operate'. Overall it's more instrumental, but as a whole the album works very well and is an excellent listen from start to finish.
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I keep clicking on all the Gomez tracks in their growing catalogue, hoping that one of them will eventually fulfil all the hopes and dreams I have about them. Then I hear 'Little Pieces' and realise the time has come. If it is not one of the best tracks I will hear this year, and I have heard a few, then I will be amazed. The rest of the songs just fall in line after it. It gives the Americana groups a run for their money and has elements of all the best in there. I even hear Little Feat and Steely Dan, even though Gomez don't do harmonies. Brilliant!!
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on 21 July 2010
At last, the Gomez album I've been waiting for! In the past, whenever I heard a new Gomez CD, it was a bit like having a pleasant beach picnic, but with sand in the sandwiches. Moments of real power and loveliness would be marred by songs that were abrasive and generally hard on the ear, so I could never call any of them a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I never kept them in my collection. Until now! This is terrific, they've hit their stride and found their best sound. In other words, a sand-free picnic!
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on 31 July 2013
A beautiful little album that has all the Gomez hallmarks you'd expect. This flows along nicely in a lovingly crafted manner. It doesn't scream and shout, it whispers in your ear, tickles your toes, wraps it's arm around you in a big hug. It's the musical equivalent of a large slab of chocolate, settling down on the sofa and watching a good film.

Little Pieces, Airstream Driver and Natural Reaction stand out for me, but the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
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