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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.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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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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