Gomesongs Side B
Independent release, 2007
REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/04/2008
As my review of Gomesongs Side A indicated, it’s hard not to like Terry Gomes, the singer/songwriter behind this material. However, it’s easier to like him on that disc than on this one, which veers a lot more toward country than its counterpart.
Side B is a little less varied than Side A, but not by much. While country takes center stage, folk, pop and acoustic singer/songwriter tunes are mixed in. More so on this collection too are stories told in the lyrics.
Most of these are songs Gomes wrote for other people, and guest vocalists (none of who are famous outside
If you liked Side A, this one will take some getting used to. Side B starts off with a straight country piece about the next-door neighbor’s wife who is always home alone and the, uh, action that follows. “I’ve got to lend a helping hand,” the singer says. What a guy.
“Socantina” features some great Latin-esque guitar that later gives way to a moody lounge piece; thankfully, there are no words here, as they would ruin it. But such experiments don’t really fit in because so much of this is country music – rather than showcasing Gomes’ considerable range, it seems more like showing off. Had some of the country tunes here been put on the first disc, the entire project would make more sense.
Unfortunately, the songs aren’t as catchy or memorable overall here. The two above tunes are the best, though the wistful “I Dream Of Boats” is as evocative as “Hey Sweet Shirley” is fun, all Irish melody but set to an easy acoustic/drum beat with an electric solo.
The fun thing about discs like these is the element of surprise. You don’t really know what’s coming up next, which would normally make for compelling listening. However, Gomes – a very likable guy, I might add again – chose an unfortunate sequencing pattern for these two discs, and Side B is the less successful brother of the pair.
Fans of male acoustic songwriters and/or country music who also like experimentation in their music will enjoy this. For others, a tentative approach is good to see if Gomes rubs you the right way, and if so the disc coming out later in 2008 will determine a lot about his future. Based on this, it looks pretty good.