Shapes & Shadows

Shapes & Shadows

by Ben Ottewell
     
 

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Gomez have always been a hard group to pigeonhole, their songs falling somewhere in the vicinity of British folk, pop, contemporary blues, and jam band rock & roll. Shapes & Shadows, the first solo release by bandmember Ben Ottewell, takes a straighter approach. Although recorded in Los Angeles, it's a rainy-day folk album anchored in Ottewell's acoustic guitar

Overview

Gomez have always been a hard group to pigeonhole, their songs falling somewhere in the vicinity of British folk, pop, contemporary blues, and jam band rock & roll. Shapes & Shadows, the first solo release by bandmember Ben Ottewell, takes a straighter approach. Although recorded in Los Angeles, it's a rainy-day folk album anchored in Ottewell's acoustic guitar, with occasional swells of strings and synths that conjure up images of the English coast. There's a controlled intimacy to the album; even when "Lightbulbs" builds up to a crescendo, it's barely enough sound to fill one's headphones, much less the concert halls that Gomez routinely play. Ottewell makes the most of that seclusion, and Shapes & Shadows draws parallels to Nick Drake and early David Gray at its most bare-boned. Despite being the most recognizable voice in Gomez, though, Ottewell always shared frontman duties with his bandmates, and hearing his gauzy tenor on nine consecutive songs tends to bring some of its shortcomings to the forefront. When he surrounds himself with other players, though, these songs come alive, from the rootsy swagger of "Blackbird" to the eccentric chamber pop of "Lightbulbs," which could double as an Ed Harcourt outtake. Ottewell isn't the first Gomez bandmate to pursue interests outside the band, but Shapes & Shadows is the most accessible solo effort to appear from that group.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/15/2011
Label:
Ato Records
UPC:
0880882172725
catalogNumber:
21727
Rank:
299842

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ben Ottewell   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Zither
John Ashton   Organ,Synthesizer
Michael Jerome   Percussion,Drums
Ian Ball   Piano
Fil Krohnengold   Organ,Synthesizer,Piano
Ken Oak   Cello
Will Golden   Bass,Synthesizer Bass
Oliver Krauss   Strings

Technical Credits

Chris Jones   Cover Photo
Marc Allan   Management
Ben Ottewell   Composer,Producer
Jason Colton   Management
Sam Genders   Composer
Will Golden   Producer,Engineer
Chris Wray-McCannn   Back Cover Photo
Oliver Krauss   Arranger

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