John Gomez,
Head First
(Reload, 2003)

Head First is young singer-songwriter John Gomez's debut album, and I wish I could be more positive about it. He styles it Americana -- to some that means country, to some roots -- and his lyrics mirror city under life and country hardship, love, lust and homesickness, a quest for music and dreams, sometimes in drugs, sometimes in travel, sometimes in reminiscence and the finding of a kindred spirit.

The words are sometimes pure and sometimes not-so-pure nods to the country genre, but the modern vision of Gomez presents a kick-ass style to an often derided genre, a darker and at times deeper look sideways at American lifestyle, whether in Texas, Boston or Memphis.

I've tried over 10 times to listen past the first few bars of each song on this 11 track CD -- the music sounds strong, but for me, John Gomez should stick to writing and playing, and get someone else to sing his songs! I'm sorry, John, I just can't stand the voice, my finger edges to the jump button every time, your lyrics are good and the songs sound like they'd be otherwise catchy, driven or sorrowful, but my ears don't make much of a differentiation between your vocal chords and a cat sliding down a blackboard. I've tried, honestly, to give you the chance of a fair review, but I just can't listen to one whole song.

For those less aurally challenged than myself, give Head First a go, you may completely disagree with my ears. But I hope you will agree with my eyes, I think the lyrics are just fine!

- Rambles
written by Jenny Ivor
published 19 March 2005