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In Our Nature

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Audio CD, September 25, 2007
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In Our Nature + Veneer + Junip
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mute
  • ASIN: B000U618C8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,125 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. How Low
2. Down the Line
3. Killing For Love
4. In Our Nature
5. Teardrop
6. Abram
7. Time To Send Someone Away
8. The Nest
9. Fold
10. Cycling Trivialities

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After a breakthrough debut album, more than three full North American tours in one year a tour with Zero 7 and major TV performances, Jos‚ Gonz lez returns with his second album IN OUR NATURE. This latest opus sees Jos‚ Gonz lez coming into his own as a songwriter - with songs that are as instantly accessible as they are brimming with darkness and brooding intensity. Catch Jos‚ on tour this fall and on TV: Late Night With Conan O'Brien (9/28/07) & Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Names like Elliott Smith, Nick Drake, and Tim Buckley are often used together, not necessarily to describe one exact sonic style of singer, but more as incredibly passionate verbs, to identify the strong emotions evoked when listening to these late legends' sparse melodies. Swedish-based Argentinian musician José González is likely to hear those classic names a lot in his future. González received critical underground love from his 2003 debut disc Veneer, but garnered more widespread attention as a guest vocalist for downtempo group Zero 7. The singer's gentle vocals and Spanish-meets-classical guitar style make a quietly compelling match, especially so on his sophomore CD In Our Nature, easily the best work--either as a solo or contributing vocalist--that he has released to date. The track that may well attract the most new eardrums is his sparse, whisper-soft cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop" (a.k.a., the theme song to the TV show House), but many of his own tunes are equally endearing. War and world leaders were clearly on his mind when writing this disc, from opener "How Low"--in which González sings "Invasion after invasion/This means war/Someday you'll be up to your knees/in the shit you seek"--to the flamenco-affected track, "Killing for Love." All of these poignant--and at times pointed--lyrics are surrounded in lush, yet sparse melodies that make for music that is truly praise-worthy, bordering on timeless. --Denise Sheppard

Customer Reviews

Elegant guitar work and gentle vocals are at the core of this record.
It may be a dark and ultimately depressing solution, but in a strange way it gives a wonderful sense of completion, of almost peace within the dark resolve.
Tom Chase
One of the most enjoyable albums, start to finish, that I've purchased in a long time.
J. Chrisman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tom Chase on November 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I've read reviews claiming "In Our Nature" is merely "Veneer Part 2" and sees Gonzalez re-hashing a winning formula. I feel these accusations are a little unjust. "Veneer" showcased such a wonderfully unique singer/songwriter sound that it would be hard and pointlessly dangerous to move too far adrift. Unfortunately the classic sophomore criticism is apparent thanks to this inimitable style; grand expectations of something new and better become rife. I feel that while the overall sound is undeniably similar, the album is in no way the same. It touches on different subjects and evokes new moods and atmospheres.

As I said earlier, "In Our Nature" provides idiosyncratic Gonzalez songs, such as "How Low" and "Killing For Love", both giving early insight that Gonzalez is not about to blow your mind with a wild direction change. However, "How Low" and the second song "Down The Line" do present a subtle progression, and one that I feel is central to "In Our Nature". "Veneer" was centred mostly on Gonzalez's personal problems - notably broken relationships. "How Low" and especially "Down The Line" are the first of many songs which see Gonzalez stepping back and viewing social dynamics; making a variety of observations, mostly cutting and ominous, but ultimately positive and hopeful, emphasised by the "Down The Line" chanting climax of "Don't let the darkness eat you up". This is continued throughout with songs such as "Killing For Love" and "Cycling Trivialities", the latter ends the album on a poignant yet sincerely depressing vibe, attacking the ultimately trivial and futile self-centred nature in himself and those around him- "So, where's this leaving me? Recycling trivialities". This culmination sees a solution to the building tensions and problems depicted throughout the album.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. Wimberley VINE VOICE on September 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Jose Gonzalez's first album, Veneer, had a quiet, haunting beauty about it. Softly sung songs with quietly plucked guitar melodies really made you LISTEN and hear the music. With In Our Nature, there are more layered, textured songs that sound a little firmer in strength, but that beauty that was housed within the first album transfers here, and the transfer is smooth and complimentary with the enriched melodies. His sound hasn't changed (You gotta admit, when a talented musician with such a specific sound has a widely received 1st album ,you always wonder if they will stray from what makes them unique on the 2nd album. He certainly doesn't.) He adds a few more rhythms, but the simple ingenuity that gave the first album it's strength is still completely at home here.
If you liked Veneer, you will not be disappointed with In Our Nature.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Olukayode Balogun on March 7, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Swedish-born Latino José González's 2007 album is not much of a departure from 2003's Veneer, which I reviewed a while back. I dare say there might be a few folks who bought "Veneer" and liked it enough but were hoping for something different this time round. They will be very disappointed.

Personally, I'm totally loving this. To give him his due credit, he HAS tried something slightly different by bringing in Y. Nagano to do backing vocals, E. Boudin to play percussion and H. Wirenstrand to play synthesizer, when "Veneer" was pretty much a one-man show. I'm not sure it makes much difference to the overall sound though. All the songs are written by González except for his interpretation of "Teardrop", the Massive Attack classic, "Time to send someone away", which was co-written by Gonzalez and M. Bergqvist and "The nest", co-written by Gonzalez and Y. Nagano.

This is what González does - clear, clean, Latin-influenced folk songs with just him and his solo classical guitar (for the most part) - and I think he does it well. But it might not be everyone's cup of tea, especially on two albums in a row (not to mention one EP). For me however, this kind of stuff hits the spot. Every time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By notes from on September 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
..though short in its duration, it serves the pieces well in thier simplicity, sonically there is more softness in its ambience as his voice gently imbues into the instrumentation, unlike veneer where the lyrics and vocals were in the forefront and his strumming was aggresive,here the soundscape sweeps more poetic and meditative in its nature..upon first listening... I must say he delivers yet another gem
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Gilbert on March 11, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Even from the first beats of 'How Low' I am put into a pseudo-trance-like state. At the time of the album's release I was reading The Alchemist, which takes place in Spain and involves a trek into Egypt. Perhaps it is because the coinciding exposures that I attach a visual of arid climates and personal journey with this collection. Geez, I am beginning to sound like a Pitchfork reviewer.

Although the artist is mostly marketed based on his Swedish upbringing, he did receive ample exposure to Latin culture. It shows heavily in his finger-picking technique, and I feel like this album would be in the rotation at a trendy Argentinian coffee house.

I think this album has more rhythm than its predecessor, Veneer. What I mean by that is even from the get-go I find my heel slowly tapping to the tempo. The ambiance also seems to be slightly darker here as well.

As was previously stated, this 'In Our Nature' is not going to change your life. It is simply well-executed acoustic rhythms that can soothe you or dissolve behind you.

RIYL: The Cloud of Unknowing, Pink Moon
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