Boomkat Product Review:
It's round two for everyone's favourite Swedish-Argentinean singer-songwriter. After the immensely successful Veneer and a high profile Sony advertising campaign, Jose Gonzalez returns with this sophomore effort, an album which boldly shies away from the just-add-strings policies that tend to crop up as a solution to 'difficult second album' syndrome. Instead, Jose puts his head down and comes up with a batch of songs that hone the sort of signature gestures that characterised his first album, concentrating on the interplay between his voice and nylon-strung guitar. It's that unmistakable guitar sound that defines Gonzalez's writing. There's something about the heaviness of his fingernails on the strings that makes for a forceful counterpoint to that coy, rather softly intoned vocal. That's especially true of the rhythmic swagger that carries opener 'How Low'; it's somehow evocative of a one-man Stone Roses - I realise how odd that sounds, but seriously, check it out. Single, 'Down The Line' is typical of Gonzalez's ability to make an awful lot of noise without needing a band to back him up, the guitar walloped with considerable aggression, and recorded in such a fashion as to allow a healthy amount of old fashioned tube saturation to flood the production. 'The Nest' is one of the very few tracks here that heavily features a second instrument, a synthesizer of some sort, whose prolonged tones provide a foil for the ornate guitar passages. Given the wilful lack of permutations to Gonzalez's sound, the album keeps a pretty brief running time, only breeching the half-hour mark thanks to the eight-minute fingerpicking odyssey, 'Cycling Trivialities', arguably the finest thing on In Our Nature. To underline just how intimate the album sounds, check out the very last thing you hear: Jose shuffles around on his seat as the recording finishes - you really can hear every gesture on this album and it's a great pleasure to do so. Excellent stuff.