gomezGomez have been bubbling away for over a decade now after winning the Mercury Music Prize in 1998 with their debut, Bring It On. A New Tide is actually their sixth studio album having moved across to the ATO label after Virgin realised they weren't selling any records. Having not really been part of any particular scene in recent times, Gomez have been somewhat neglected by their homeland but have created a nice niche for themselves in America tasting success with last album How We Operate, and it was in the land of the free where this album was made. This is a mature sounding record. Seemingly gone are the days of playful tracks like 'Whippin Picidilly' and 'Shot Shot' in favour of piano, string arrangements and vocal harmonies and that's just on moody highlight 'Win Park Slope'. A softer rounded sound is evident with the acoustic guitar playing a prominent part, including in the slightly odd choice of opening track 'Mix'. Gomez have always shared vocal duties between the crisp Ian Bell and the gravely tones of Ben Ottewell. And it is true for 'A New Tide' also as they alternate regularly and for the most part get the balance right.Ottewell lends his voice to the touching 'Bone Tired', which encapsulates a hazy Sunday afternoon through a gorgeously finger-picked guitar and restrained choppy beats hovering in the background. Lead single 'Airstream Driver' follows with Bell taking his turn. This track picks up the pace, keeping a summery feel and wouldn’t feel out of place on a road trip soundtrack.Experienced producer Brian Deck (Modest Mouse & Iron and Wine) keeps things crisp and nicely textured and there are several guest musicians that have great pedigree in indie circles, enabling Gomez to push a few boundaries they hadn’t yet breached. Although those people that had forgotten about them since Bring It On may not be overexcited about this effort, as they have certainly moved dangerously close to MOR circles, it is a grower and worth a listen.70%