Gomez - Liquid Skin

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:1999-09-13

"I'm not worried about your state of mind, 'cause you're not the revolutionary kind," croons Ben Ottewell, Gomez's gravel-voiced singer on "Revolutionary Kind", but indeed, it's precisely this attitude that mobilises Gomez's harshest critics. Essentially, Liquid Skin is the same album as 1998's Mercury Music Prize-winning Bring It On--a potent hallucinogenic stew of Deep-Southern folk, blues, and country music played by--and here's the galling point--five white students from the North of England, graverobbing music's past without a new idea between them. There's an air of "having a laugh" that makes Gomez sometimes seem invitingly punchable, but all the same, it would be churlish to deny Liquid Skin praise for its joyfully lackadasical approach to rootsy excavation. They've even gained praise in US alt-country periodical No Depression, which is usually suspicious of outright fakery elbowing in on its genre, so there's clearly something in the plush, casual Americana of "Rhythm & Blues Alibi" and the acidic glide of "California" to endear it to the purists. --Louis Pattison

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