This freewheeling British fivesome loves to follow its own ramshackle muse. Far from digging a rut on its fifth studio album, Gomez ratchets up the hooks and melodies under the eye of producer Gil Norton. The contemplative, searching "Charley Patton Songs" unfolds in a potent brew of strings, glockenspiel, and fat bass wallop. Back-porch Dobro and subtle keyboard figures bookend the lament of "Chasing Ghosts with Alcohol," accented by furious guitar blasts in the right channel (ol' Neil Young would approve). Top it off with a nod as good as a wink to the Ooh La La era of the Faces on the cheerful "See the World," and you can call this operation a rousing success.