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A great acoustic listen

In Our Nature
In Our Nature
By José González

Imperial Recordings / Mute: 2007

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This review first appeared in Turbula in December 2007.

Sweden's José González (he is of Argentinian descent) is one of the few truly solo acoustic performers to gain chart traction of late. On his new album, for the most part it's just him – singing and strumming an acoustic guitar. While there are some overdubbed harmony vocals, and a few tracks with hand percussion, the sound here is still very spare.

And yet that sparsity of sound is all of benefit to the recording – ironically, because Gonzalez writes songs of tremendous complexity. At times, he reminds of the Beatles' mid-career acoustic work. At others, his vocal harmonies (with some provided by a Y. Nagano) remind of Crosby, Stills & & Nash.

But without great songs, that would be so much weirdness. The fact that he writes absolutely gorgeous songs makes the whole very organic and as good an acoustic listen as there is going today.