Gomez: A New Tide (ATO)
Being a Gomez fan can be lonely. It can also be confounding. The British quintet has never broken through in the States, despite making hooky, dynamic rock music that splits the difference between Britpop and American roots, and boasts one of the best singers in the biz in Ben Ottewell.
His otherworldly voice is husky yet warm, coming at the listener in stacked textures. The perfect delivery system for emotion. To the band's credit - or detriment, depending on how you see it - Ottewell splits lead vocal duties with Ian Ball, an appealing singer but one with a more conventional tenor.
A New Tide, the band's sixth studio album since breaking onto the English scene in 1998, sort of carries on, offering neither revelation nor disappointment. But the sorry state of ProTools rock that rules the airwaves these days makes A New Tide sound pretty damn good.