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on 29 June 2006
It's always difficult listening to new material by one of your favourite bands. The anticipation and expectation often end up exceeding the delivery on first listening, and this was certainly the case with How We Operate. But after a few more takes, I've found some great moments and classic Gomez magic in this album.

I agree with the previous reviewer that the Country & Western influence is fairly obvious in a couple of the tracks, and not being a C&W fan these were the tracks that I least liked (See The World, Hamoa Beach, Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol & Don't Make Me Laugh).

But there's still plenty here to please both the hardcore Gomez fan as well as the occasional listener. The opener, Notice, is a song of real beauty, rolling back the years to recall Tijuana Lady from the debut Bring It On. The title track, featuring Ben's trademark vocal, has the catchy, live-favourite qualities of the classic Get Myself Arrested. The single, Girlshapedlovedrug, sounding a little like early Razorlight (Golden Touch anyone ?), is an obvious single release although Gomez haven't always released the most obvious singles in the past - e.g. Sweet Virginia from the fantastic Split The Difference ! The opening bars of Tear Your Love Apart are very Libertinesque, but then jumps around between styles (with the refrain being overly-poppy for my liking), a very confused production.

Every Gomez album has it's opus (think Rie's Wagon, Buena Vista, In Our Gun) and Charley Patton Songs is this album's offering. A melancholy vocal over a bubbling tune with echos of imperial chinese melodies thrown in for good measure - it's a masterpiece !

Woman! Man! is another of those tracks that promises much, clever lyrics and smart direction but for me it's horribly let down by the 'sha la la' refrain; listen for yourself and see what you think. All Too Much features the most Pixies-like rock'n'roll moments on this album, probably the most obvious hint of Gil Norton's hand on the controls. Cry On Demand, the penultimate track, is a classic Gomez hotchpotch of a track (think Chicken Out) featuring changes of style, tempo, direction and an annoyingly catchy bit of whistling, but it seems to work in the way that only Gomez seem to be able to pull off.

All in all this is not my favourite Gomez album, but it's got enough of their trademark brilliance, even though only in patches, to make it a must have for anyone who's liked any of the previous FIVE Gomez albums. Don't take my word for it, invest a tenner (or less on Amazon !) and see for yourself.
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on 25 August 2008
Undoubtedly the poorest Gomez album to date. It really lacks the energy of the earlier stuff. As a long time fan, I was really looking forward to this, but it seems that they got out of the wrong side of the bed the morning they started recording this. It really screams "we want to please as many people as possible, and sell more records in America" through it radio-friendliness. There are a few good tracks on the album, but it is far outweighed by some poor showings in paricularly the very chronic girlshapedlovedrug, which resonates of some commercial one-hit wonder pop band trying to make it!!
If this is the only Gomez album you own, don't fret, the earlier stuff it absolutley rockin'. Buy that and you won't be sorry.
I only hope that for the bands next outing they can turn it around to their former selves. I'm really looking forward to seeing them at the Electric Picnic, but I hope that there is not too much material from this album.
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on 15 March 2016
Not as good as some of Gomez's other work but I'm biased as followed them from the start & purely for that reason i gave it 4 out of 5 but it's still worthy of being in anyone's collection especially if your a Gomez fan .
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on 15 May 2007
The reviews so far have very muched summed up my feeling for this fantastic album. Gomez were hailed as the next big thing upon their breakthrough in 1998, and lived up to it with a strikingly unique debut album. After the release of the follow up, Liquid Skin (and the equally brilliant Machismo EP), they went through a sticky patch which eventually culminated in the release in 2004 of Split The Difference, which is largely considered their worst effort to date (only a few tracks save it from being truly dire). An interesting live album followed, along with a Best Of that had all the hallmarks of a record company cash in. They finally released their follow in in How We Operate.

Then came How We Operate, their fifth album proper. The collection is bursting with life, and is indicative of a band rejuvinated after a long period of seemingly being lost. One feels that they were beginning to feel slightly oppressed by their previous record deal, for one reason or another. However, spurred on by an ever loyal fan base (which is constantly expanding across the pond), they've pulled off a career saving album. It's not just the fact that its full of top notch songs (Girlshapedlovedrug, See The World and the title track spring to mind), but its the way they are delivered and captured that make it really special. It evokes a passion that has been sadly missing in their recent efforts, and their self-belief is once again evident.

Whilst it does have its flaws - Hamoa Beach represents a lazy rehash of Doves track There Goes The Fear - nothing can spoil the party. As long as they keep producing albums of this standard and quality, and don't lose the passion they so evidently now have in abundance, they will be around for a long time yet.
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on 24 January 2017
Very Good.
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on 15 February 2016
Easy to purchase , quick delivery, package in tact.
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on 27 July 2015
Excellent Gomez album, well worth a listen even if you are a not a fan!
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on 28 May 2006
Gomez have always been a top band, and whilst they've varied their style slightly throughout their past 5 albums, they have always remained on top of the game. Nothing changes here. How We Operate is a classy vibrant album with some instant classics such as See The World, the title track How We Operate and that witty, rocky number, Cry On Demand. With this album they bring us 12 new songs in a return to more of the style of Split the Difference, their previous album. Whilst not one of their best albums, and definitely not same standard as Split the Difference in my opinion, the album is still very worthy of buying. Perhaps the influence of Country and Western is slightly too strong in some of the songs, it also shows just how versatile the musicians are, and is used in a particularly catchy manner in See The World (my favourite song), and the banjo has an amazing solo in How We Operate. The track Girl Shaped Love Drug is similar in vein to Franz Ferdinand, but shows much more diversity.

Lyrically, the tracks aren't much to shout about, but lets face it, most of the best bands songs aren't works of literary genius. Numerous in-jokes are still included, and give the songs a touch of feel-good humour. Gomez have stuck to what they know, and what they have proved they are good at, and personally, I love it.
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on 1 April 2012
The album is a great listen, so many fab tracks. I love playing this in the car or out running.
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on 8 May 2006
What a superb album. I think i have an import copy of this as it isn't due out in the UK until next week (?), but Selectadisc had a copy and i couldn't resist.

I love almost every track and thats rare these days with any band. I've always loved Gomez, although i couldn't quite 'get' their previous effort, Split The Difference. I loved their earlier albums but STD just didn't quite fire with me. So i was a little hesistant with HWO but it really is superb. Notice, See The World, How We Operate, Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol and especially Charley Patton Songs are awesome. I always prefer the gravelly tones of Ben Ottewell on their releases but Ian and Tom's efforts are just as good on this album. I just wish they were playing Nottingham on their UK tour. I've seen them twice but it's been a few years and they are a really good live act.

It's now a toss up for album of the year so far between Gomez, Derek Trucks and the Drive By Truckers. Three great albums.

Go and buy !!!
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