Rule The World

Max Gomez

New West Records, 2013

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


I think the first thing most are going to wonder when listening to Max Gomez's debut album Rule The World is: how is this guy only 23 years old? Neither his voice nor his songs bare any resemblance to what most people think of as a musician in his young twenties. I guess having been on stage since he was 15 playing in local bars around his hometown of Taos, New Mexico probably helped this young man mature quickly. It certainly didn't hurt that he had a deeply ingrained work ethic during his formative years, which translated over to playing the guitar from a young age. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Singer-songwriters are beyond a dime a dozen these days. So what separates Gomez from the rest of the pack? Well, first of all his youthfulness versus his very mature songcraft is immediately noteworthy. Second, Gomez plucks roots and blues inspired ideas and places it strategically amid his pop rock tunes. It results in an earnest, warm, and very pleasant sound that is instantly likable and easily memorable.

While the themes surrounding Rule The World are often bleak, discussing loss, heartbreak, and general disappointment, the music is far from a downer. “Run From You” channels a Jackson Brown feeling with '70s spirit, while “Ball And Chain” lets Gomez show off his guitar skills with interesting riffs.  Occasionally the volume get turned down, like the delicate ballad “Black And White,” which allows Gomez to let his voice take center stage; meanwhile, the intimate, folksy “What It Means” would placate even the most diehard alt-country fans. Songs like the pop and blues inflected “Love Will Find A Way” could easily find their way onto the FM dial, though conversely, “Cherry Red Wine” is a contemplative, dark tune tailor made for late night pondering.

An album that could be filed under indie folk, country rock, Americana, or adult contemporary, Rule The World finds Max Gomez sounding wiser than his years and more talented than many twice his age. This is a solid first trip to the plate and a name that should be around for many years to come. If you're open to a new singer-songwriter in your rotation, there is much to enjoy from this youngster.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of New West Records, and is used for informational purposes only.