Saturday 18 November 2017

Album review: Jose Gonzalez - Vestiges & Claws

Jose Gonzalez - Vestiges & Claws
Jose Gonzalez - Vestiges & Claws
John Meagher

John Meagher

The Swedish troubadour is back after a seven-year hiatus and this impressively understated and slow-burning album that picks up where the last left off.

4 stars

Think delicately plucked acoustic guitars and a voice that barely rises above a whisper or a mumble. There is an unhurried, unshowy feel to the songs and they are all the more powerful for it. Gentle his delivery may be, but these ten compositions are robustly constructed and quite beautiful too with album centrepiece ‘Leaf Off/The Cave’, in particular, ticking both boxes.

A faint African influence can be discerned here and there but the template remains largely unchanged. Detractors will use that as a stick to beat him with; others will question the wisdom of fixing something that’s not broken.  Those who admired his breakthrough debut (Veneer) from a decade ago will find much to love.

Key tracks: 'Leaf Off/ The Cave'; ‘Let it Carry You’

Jose Gonzalez - Vestiges & Claws (Peacefrog Records)

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