If you were to follow the trajectory for the success that Gomez has accumulated in the last 15 years, it almost runs backwards. Since scooping the Mercury Music Prize in 1998 for Bring it On, Gomez have been victims of their own early success. While the first two alums saw the band reach into the top ten of the British music charts, the commercial success they once courted rapidly declined there after. Following In Our Gun (their third record), a release of a Gomez album came and went without even a whimper in the music press.
The good news, however, is that although their albums may not be going multi platinum anymore, Whatever’s On Your Mind, their seventh studio album, sees the band returning to a place that artistic merit and soul take precedence.
Gomez’s bread and butter has always been in a melodic hook that boomerangs back with a sweet harmony, and in the perfectly timed pop song, ‘Just As Lost As You Are’, they nail the pop song down to its fine art form. Production gets beefed up Phil Spector-style with full horns and strings, for both the sentimental title track: ‘Whatever’s on your Mind’, and ‘Our Goodbye’, where the growl of Ben Ottewell’s vocals fly over well crafted orchestral arrangements, that are similar in texture to some tracks off Tom Waits’ Orphans, or even some of the earlier work from British band, Tindersticks.
They may not be shifting units in the hundreds of thousands anymore or standing on the red carpet at award ceremonies, but who cares, Whatever’s On Your Mind is a treat for fans of Gomez and lovers of well crafted pop music.