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Thursday, December 14

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Transmission
« Metric meets again Wilco in Your Pocket »

Review Mon Sep 24 2007

Review: Jose Gonzalez -- In Our Nature

in-our-nature.jpgIt's strange to think that the most exposure most people have had to José González is as the soundtrack to a European Sony commercial, but for a while his cover of The Knife's "Heartbearts" seemed destined to doom him to the same minor relevance as Trio.


Of course, VW also famously used Nick Drake, so maybe that's the most appropriate place to start thinking about González' second record, In Our Nature, because it's hard to avoid the Drake comparison. González has mastered his version of the acoustic singer / songwriter act, and he's not shy about doing his best trick over and over again -- In Our Nature is ten cuts of reverb-drenched multitracked vocals over nimble acoustic guitar, with the occasional bits-and-pieces percussion deployed to make things seem even more gentle than before.

In fact, the addition of percussion (and some other textural instrumentation) and a slight bump in tempo is all that really separates In Our Nature from González' previous effort, Veneer. Played back to back, one flows into the other with remarkable ease, and it's almost as though the albums were meant to be played this way, slowly building to a climatic cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop" before easing back down into the sparseness of "The Nest" and then finally closing with the soaring "Cycling Trivialities," which is a musical wonder in desperate need of a new title and lyrics.

Recorded entirely on tape (and without any concern for the attendant noise issues -- check out that insane motor whine from 5:44 on in "Cycling Trivialities") In Our Nature is a throwback album from a throwback performer. While it's hard to remember a time when bands didn't always have laptops, Gonzålez isn't at all shy about being just a guy with a guitar and a knack for acoustic arrangement. Hopefully that'll lead to something more meaningful than a commercial for a TV set one of these days.

In Our Nature goes on sale tomorrow, 9/25, and González will be playing at Park West as part of his North American tour on October 4 -- tickets are $18.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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