Shapes & Shadows

  • Record Label: ATO
  • Release Date: Feb 15, 2011
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
Buy On
  1. Mojo
    Apr 4, 2011
    80
    We get strings, care-worn piano, and lots of subtle detail, the last deepening the listener's relationship with the excellent, lyrical mature songs over repeat plays. [Mar 2011, p.97]
  2. Uncut
    Mar 23, 2011
    80
    More often than not, Ben appears to be channeling his hero JJ Cale, although the spirited title track doffs a beret in the direction of Richard Thompson. [Mar 2011, p.97]
  3. Mar 11, 2011
    70
    With Gomez still a going concern, this solo effort--five years in the making--is very much a side project finally realised. But Ottewell should consider a follow-up, as there's much more to recommend here than on recent releases by other indie band singers turned so-so solo artists.
  4. Dec 19, 2011
    60
    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.
  5. Q Magazine
    Mar 16, 2011
    60
    Gomez's future seems cloudy, but with these nine tracks, Ottewell has a fighting chance. [Mar 2011, p.112]
  6. Mar 23, 2011
    50
    Style-wise, Shapes isn't marking a great departure from Gomez's jams. Rather, it highlights certain aspects the group includes in their music. Plus, the album allows Ottewell space to breathe. And he has never had as much oxygen as he does on Shapes.
  7. Mar 11, 2011
    50
    In essence Shapes And Shadows sounds unfinished, an album for the sake of notching "solo career" into Ottewell's bedpost, and completely inessential in the grand scheme of things.
  8. Mar 11, 2011
    50
    It's rather far from being a poor album, but there's no real argument to be made for the existence of as a standalone work. For that, a bit more tangential newness should be expected, but Ben Ottewell is disinclined to provide it.

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