Shapes & Shadows

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
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...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/15/2011
  • Label: Ato Records
  • UPC: 880882172725
  • Catalog Number: 21727
  • Sales rank: 126,307

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Shapes & Shadows (3:45)
  2. 2 Lightbulbs (4:48)
  3. 3 All Brand New (4:16)
  4. 4 Blackbird (4:33)
  5. 5 Chicago (4:02)
  6. 6 No Obstacles (2:42)
  7. 7 Chose (3:26)
  8. 8 Step Right Back (3:40)
  9. 9 Take This Beach (4:37)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ben Ottewell Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals, Zither
John Ashton Organ, Synthesizer
Michael Jerome Percussion, Drums
Ian Ball Piano
Ken Oak Cello
Will Golden Bass, Synthesizer Bass
Phil Kronengold Organ, Synthesizer, Piano
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
Reuben Cohen Mastering
Chris Wray-McCannn Back Cover Photo
Oliver Krauss Arranger
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