Apparently Gomez recognized the need for a change and for the first time brought in a producer -- Tchad Blake (Soul Coughing, Richard Thompson) -- who fortunately dials back those bad habits and impulses, presiding over the band's best album since its debut. Already blessed with one of the best basso singers in rock (the gruff Ben Ottewell), the band returns to the shambling rock bounce that graced its biggest hit, "Get Myself Arrested." While nothing here is quite that, um, arresting, it's easily Gomez's most rock-driven release and a peculiarly fun listen, recapturing the energy of that first album. Opening act the Thrills favor a sun-kissed pop style that mixes '60s West Coast folk psychedelica with a bit of country flavor (à la Beachwood Sparks).
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