Gomez, 'A New Tide' (ATO)

Critical Mass
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by Mikael Wood

Long before My Morning Jacket spiked their Southern-rock jams with early-'80s electro beats, these Bonnaroo-friendly Brits were mixing space-age electronica into their funky art-blues brew. Those dots and loops still ripple throughout Gomez's sixth studio album -- check how "Win Park Slope" works up to a Chemical Brothers–style climax. But A New Tide also contains some of the band's most straightforward material yet: With its soaring melody and sturdy harmonies, "Natural Reaction" could be a lost CSNY outtake -- until the spooky marimba breakdown, anyway.

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