“Happy Modern People” is the long awaited, lively, latest soft-rock, pop-rock, rock album by Roger Gomez.
“Happy Modern People” comes in a radio edit, non-explicit version: a radio edit, full album with non-explicit lyrics and a traditional LP length of 45 minutes. The songs are equally a songwriter’s storytelling and a feel-good, energetic journey; all suited for radio, travelling and a drive.
To begin with, this new album is a continuation of Roger Gomez’s debut “Behind Cloud Nine” (with the then hits “Monday Guide” and “She Is Always Landing on Her Feet”).
The 10 tracks vary from modern rock to ‘80s sound reminding pop-rock and soft-rock after ‘00s. Each is filled with Roger Gomez’s trademark vocals and the unique soundscape he’s been known for.
Let’s see track by track how this international recording artist from Australia has evolved and how layered his musicality has become.
Track 1, Revolution in my Head: is the ultimate megahit of the album and probably one of the best pieces for the masses from Roger Gomez. He is very well aware how the album has to start with the most engaging banger and “Revolution in my Head” is definitely the one to be played in each and every radio stations and morning shows. The strong chorus-like verses and once again, the trademark vocal and guitar sound elevate the song into an internationally acclaimed status. Interestingly, the outro is a ‘70s guitar reminder, foreshadowing of different journeys in the rest of the album.
Track 2, Playing for Keeps: a well-designed, heavier and more guitar centric continuation with a smooth transition. The intensity and arrangement, vocals and the chorus’s upbeat strength make this song into an arena concert favorite. This time the rhythm section also stepped up – one can just wait for a live rendition.
Track 3, Beautiful Soul: the traditional slower, breathe out number in the album. The synths and pads add a celestial, dreamy background that lays the foundation for the surprisingly genuine chorus. The chorus is the absolute highlight, really catchy even with its bittersweet melody. The lyrics are easy to remember, whistle and this is the song where everyone will put the candles up in the concert. “Beautiful Soul” is the most probable song getting a placement, suiting to a series or independent movie. As a songwriter, Roger Gomez shows how less is more and still can be new words about love.
Track 4, Follow Your Own Star: is a unique and more experimental song in the album with heavy riffs and dreamy chorus parts, with changing paces and a real songwriter wonder in the mid-part with an orchestral break just to come back with an uplifting chorus. The imbalance of the hard-rock guitar brings an unsettling uneasiness – making “Follow Your Own Star” more different.
Track 5, Happy Modern People: this song can be considered as the last of the A-side; a very introspective and probably the most sincere story of the album, lending the title to it. The drumming sequence is special, refreshing just as well the chord progression. Interestingly, “Happy Modern People” as a song sounds like early R.E.M. and it feels completely right. Roger Gomez brings a versatile fragility into the vocals.
Track 6, Every Jewel in the Crown: is definitely a concert banger and an undisputable radio hit. Well-written chorus with a pinch of The White Stripes sound and a great mix make it perfect. The choice of the break not many artists would carry, however, it is one fitting to Roger Gomez’s sound. When the vinyl comes out, this first track from the B-side will have a great chance to be on repeat also as a single.
Track 7, Idol Hands: the song that changes all. Completely differing from the previous songs, this bit is a work of contemporary dance-rock and incredibly up-to-date vocal design. The mix puts this track into alternative club-scenes. It does not fall off the album, rather shows how versatile songwriter Roger Gomez is.
Track 8, No Leaves in Autumn: is the counterpart of “Beautiful Soul”, however, this song is more about longing for a time what might have not existed, capturing the mood of the innocence of youth or at least we tend to remember later. “No Leaves in Autumn” is a love-child of late ‘60s flower-rock and Bob Dylan. Good to hear these days.
Track 9, Firebrand: with a Pink Floyd-esque soundscape this song is a soul-travel for audiophiles and ones who dare to dream themselves into other plains. A bit of progressive-rock merged with catchy chorus in a typical USA radio mix and master. It can give a soul-scape to those who have time and open hearts. The final piano notes are a nice touch.
Track 10, Welcome to the Human Race: starts as a sad but true realization and turns into a great concert hit, bringing some good memories from the early ‘90s rock scene. This song is designed for big stages. It has the best guitar solo in the album with one of the most fitting sound. The trademark vocals are also a great elevation of the track. The personal storytelling in the first verses encapsulates a possible new direction for Roger Gomez in the future. “Welcome to Human Race” is the right choice to end the album “Happy Modern People”, with leaving us wanting more, in a good way.
Ultimately, “Happy Modern People” is a traditionally constructed, entertainment oriented songwriter album with a few radio and concert hits, including endeavors in modern soft-rock, traditional rock sound, pop-rock; all with hints from the very bests of the last four decades.
Roger Gomez is a performer to pay attention to, a singer-songwriter to follow, listen to and visit live.
Listen to and contact Roger Gomez on his:
Reverb Nation: www.reverbnation.com/rogergomez