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You may remember a television advert for Sony Bravia in which 250,000 bouncy balls were released onto the undulating streets of San Francisco set to the almost haunting sound of Jose Gozalez' 'Heartbeats'.
This advert had a mesmerising effect on many viewers, in our house especially - we would all just stop what we were saying and doing to watch and listen. That is some good media promoting!
At the time I didn't even think about finding out who sang the song or finding the album which it is on and just carried on with my life, until Jo Whiley played it on BBC Radio One weeks later and something inside me lit up at the sound. As soon as it finished and she told us who it was by and the album title I was on a mission! I found it a few days later in an HMV store and bought it straight away.
Jose was born in 1978 in Gothenburg, Sweden and is a singer/songwriter/guitarist, making 'indie folk' music as a solo artist and as part of a band called Junip. Most of the songs on this CD are written by him, but he is also famous for putting his own acoustic, soothing twist on classics such as 'Teardrop' by Massive Attack, 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' by Joy Division and 'Hand On Your Heart' by Kylie Minogue.
It is so difficult to put into words how the music on this CD makes me feel, but I'll try. It makes you want to smile and cry at the same time, you find yourself drifting off, occasionally totally stopping whatever you are doing just to breathe and listen. People who are in love might know of the ache you feel for someone you truly love, not a rude ache or a painful ache, it is a longing, a misery and an excitement at the same time, and your whole body feels weightless yet profoundly heavy all at the same time. This is how this whole album makes me feel. Every song is similar to the last but unique in its own way, meaning you can listen to it on repeat or shuffle for hours on end.
This review may seem 'touchy feely' to some people, but I urge you to listen to this music and see if you don't feel the same. If you don't then I'm sorry - for building it up and because you are missing out.
1. Slow Moves
6. Deadweight on Velveteen
7. All You Deliver
8. Stay in the Shade
10. Save Your Day
11. Broken Arrows
Favourite Line - "While the crowd is waiting for the final kiss, the one which allows them to sleep well"
Veneer by Jose Gonzalez is a beautiful album and one well worth getting. I bought this for £10 from Virgin but you can now get it for just over £6 from Amazon. The album is about to turn platinum in the UK proving its popularity.
What I liked most about the album is the style of music, it is very much folk and I really like Jose Gonzalez' voice. The album contains the very popular Heartbeats song which was featured in the Sony Bravia album making it famous. It also contains Veneer which is another beautiful song featuring a very catchy chord progression. The overall quality of the tracks on the album is very good although they do all sound very similar and there is not that great a variety.
I also really liked how the album had very powerful lyrics in all of the songs which showed Jose Gonzalez has a real passion for the music he writes. It really is a beautiful type of music that I found really easy to listen to as well as being stress relieving. The album was released in October 2003 orginally and contains 11 tracks in total.
I think that overall this is a very good album and I would really recommend getting it. I hope this was useful and thank you very much for reading this.
First album of swedish-born mellow guitarist Jose Gonzales is unmissable.
It's in the skilled, naked guitaring vein of Quiet-is-the-New-Loud folksters that began around Simon & Garfunkel and continues majestically only in the very proficient. Just a guitar and some rhythms and some fingerstyle.
And this guy is proficient. He gives us mature, poignant, actually more upbeat wistfulness, that is of its own nature. The lyrics are not very loud but it is as if we're overhearing them. They are understated.
So if you recognise true musicianship and always leap onto mellow albums from Radiohead, to Kings of Convenience, to John Martyn and Nick Drake, don't hesitate to get lost in the economical batterings here.
The songs will have you more motivated than Simon & Garfunkel etc, but nonetheless absorbed with a quality you sense will not tire out like other guitars and bands. 'Crosses' for example just hits the nail on the head with the hammer!
Excellent escapism that strikes out of the heart.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Slow moves
6 Deadweight on velveteen
7 All you deliverw
8 Stay in the shade
10 Save your day
11 Broken arrows