Jose Gonzalez
In Our Nature


4.0
excellent

Review

by Cam EMERITUS
October 6th, 2007 | 21 replies | 7,260 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Let the invasion begin.

Sweden has invaded. While French electro-dance groups and punky, boozing British scumbags have been making a large fuss about their invasion into the American mainstream, those sneaky Swedes have been quietly building up the front, moving towards the obvious goal to make their country as musically reputable as England or the USA. And who could be leading this front I just mentioned? Why, none other than Jose Gonzalez.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jose Gonzalez- In Our Nature

Jose Gonzalez- Vocals, Guitars
Y. Nagano- Backing Vocals
E. Bodin- Percussion
H. Wirenstrand- Synthesizer
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Jose Gonzalez has never been about piling it on. While, say, an Animal Collective song may have thirty different sounds and mind-bending, extremely scary synthesizer breaks, a Arcade Fire song may feature twelve drummers and fifty violinists (obvious exaggeration), or a Modest Mouse song may have bubbly trumpets accenting the already layered guitar-rock song, the Swedish-based Gonzalez has been perfectly content with softly strumming an acoustic guitar, singing quietly in his heavily accented English. And while Gonzalez isn’t the first to offer such a stripped-down blend of music in this new generation of indie rock, he’s one of the first to gain heavy attention for it. And this publicity he’s been receiving is the only reason he’s even somewhat comparable to these previously mentioned indie greats. Sadly, the man is still mostly known for his (excellent) cover of electro-dance group The Knife’s “Heartbeats”, along with other equally great covers of songs such as Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. Unfortunately, none of the songs found on his newest album, In Our Nature, are as good as the songs he has covered. But that’s not saying this is a bad album"don’t worry men, Sweden’s still invading.

What In Our Nature does offer is the softest, yet most active set of tracks released since Bjork’s Medulla, and even that instrumentally-bare album has more going on than this one. The first track, titled “How Low”, is simply Gonzalez scraping away at his guitar, giving a metallic, empty sort of sound that makes everything sound layered and messy, and then you realize that the little perfections"from his slapping the fret board harder than normal to produce a percussive sound, and the occasional pop and crackle in the production"it gives everything a wholesome sound. It’s like a house you’ve lived in for fourteen years: the paint may be peeling; the carpets may need shampooed, but its home, and nothing could replace the emotional feeling you feel for it.

Lyrically, Gonzalez improves rather drastically. While Veneer was cryptic and forgiving, In Our Nature is"dare I say it"much more mature lyrically. In Our Nature’s lyrical topics mainly have to do with grittiness of war, from the descriptive and haunting “How Low” to the title track, with its mumbled repetitiveness. Yeah, it’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a heavy improvement over Veneer’s rather simple themes. The best song lyrically, a tuneful, somber tune called “Abram”, takes a potshot at the church, as most obviously shown from the refrain: “Although you mean well most of the time, you made a delusion and created lies within our minds.” It just goes to show that you don’t need to be a metaller to reject religion.

There are some missteps, as there are in most albums, but they are few and very numbered. “Cycling Trivialities” is waaaaay too long for a Jose Gonzalez song, clocking in at eight dragging minutes with absolutely no extra instrumentation besides the standard bass, acoustic guitar, and Gonzalez’s wobbly, mumbling words. And, again, the cover of trip-hop legends Massive Attack’s “Teardrop” is the highlight of the album, with its low, driving beat, which is just so much more different than the other pure folk that’s found here, which shows that Gonzalez needs to grow as a singer-songwriter to match the quality of the songs that he covers. Repetiveness is the main problem here, as there is just so much you can do with an accent and an acoustic guitar. In Our Nature is thankfully short, at only 34 minutes, but it doesn’t take away the fact you’re listening to ten different versions of the same tune.

Overall, Jose Gonzalez doesn’t stray too far away from the wistful folk that made him an indie star, and he delivers an album that basically sounds the same as his previous one. But the most endearing quality is that In Our Nature doesn’t care that it sounds so similar to its younger brother, because Veneer’s mission wasn’t to provide a musical statement for entire country. In Our Nature’s mission is. Let the invasion begin.



Recent reviews by this author
Beach Fossils Clash the TruthBuke and Gase General Dome
Beach House BloomSun Kil Moon Among the Leaves
ASAP Rocky Live.Love.A$AP.Red Hot Chili Peppers I'm with You
user ratings (128)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
related reviews

Veneer
trending alt & indie albums

Here And Nowhere Else

Cope

St. Vincent

AM

Comments:Add a Comment 
joshuatree
Emeritus
October 6th 2007



3743 Comments


no one had reviewed this album, and i love it, so i volunteered.

Monticello
October 6th 2007



805 Comments


Yeah, I want this album.
Good review.

jrowa001
October 6th 2007



8749 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review, i like this album a lot

CarloVonSexron
October 6th 2007



25 Comments


excellent review man, i gave it a 4 in my review as well :D

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 6th 2007



3743 Comments


thanks everybody, this review took a long time to make so im glad that it got positive feedback

AtavanHalen
October 7th 2007



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

In Our Nature is thankfully short, at only 34 minutes, but it doesn’t take away the fact you’re listening to ten different versions of the same tune.


That really doesn't sound like an album worthy of a four.

In other news, I love this record.

bleep_bloop
October 7th 2007



37 Comments


Sweden has been as musically reputable as England and the USA for some time.

sgrevs
October 7th 2007



698 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

His covers are always better than his own songs, but they're all pretty good. Teardrop is fantastic, best song on here by far. Pretty nice review too.

denboy
October 7th 2007



85 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I prefer the live version of Teardrop.

I think this is a great album though, Down The Line is probably the best original he has written. He's grown as a singer too.

Veneer is one of my favorite albums, I didn't think he could release another album worth of good songs. But he managed, and I am very pleased

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
October 7th 2007



2806 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is ok. His voice drones on and he's not so good at guitar.

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 7th 2007



3743 Comments


i didnt really think his voice drones, and guitar skills really arent the focal point of this album--melody and songwriting are.

Zebra
Moderator
October 7th 2007



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I felt that this album has a few goods cuts ("Down the Line" and "Abram") but there's just not enough here to keep me interested.

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 7th 2007



3743 Comments


it is repetitive, but it really grew on me-- i thought it was pretty boring at first, but repeated listens made me enjoy it more. there arent a lot of albums in which that works.

joshuatree
Emeritus
October 7th 2007



3743 Comments


fuckin double post.This Message Edited On 10.07.07

samthebassman
October 7th 2007



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I found this album to be a bit disappointing after loving Veneer, ok though I guess.

ohpm500
January 28th 2008



12 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i have to say, it's pretty much the same as veneer, but considering the previous album's well, and i don't mean to sound disparaging, awesomely nice sound.... i wouldn't really have "in our nature" any other way.

chris21
January 30th 2008



159 Comments


good review! im definatley going to check this out

BroRape
February 18th 2009



803 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

time to send someone away is fantastic.

bspielburg
October 13th 2011



2 Comments


The Nest is the finest track on the album.

AtavanHalen
October 13th 2011



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gosh, I haven't listened to this in so long. I miss Jose so much.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy