Here’s a clip of Southport quintet, and former Mercury-prize winners Gomez. It’s “Rhythm & Blues Alibi”, a key track as taken from their second album, 1999’s Liquid Skin. This record was the follow-up to their universally praised debut Bring It On, which placed quite a bit of pressure on the young band to come up with something great. And that’s what they did, with this song as something of a sonic reference point to their approach, mixing subtle electronics, folk-rock, blues, and classic British guitar-rock.
The band stood out on their debut as not quite fitting in with what other bands of their strain were doing at the time. Gomez referenced rootsier sources, while also using treated sounds and supplemental beats to offset traditional rock expectations. But on this record, they left some of their lo-fi sensibilities that were so prominent on their debut behind them and embraced a fuller sound.
And despite success of the singles off of the record, and the platinum sales figures, rock snobbery in some quarters decreed that they had had their time in the sun with Bring It On, and that it was all ‘diminishing returns’ from Gomez.
The band couldn’t have been unaware of this tendency of British critics to write off the follow-ups to critically acclaimed albums. And it’s this that makes me think that these kinds of criticisms are worked into the lines of this song. Read more