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Veneer

65 customer reviews

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Veneer
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$9.49
Audio CD, September 6, 2005
$30.55
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$30.55 + $3.99 shipping In Stock. Ships from and sold by the_music_store.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

All Music Guide calls it: "A striking collection of hushed and autumnal indie pop bedroom songs that reside on the hi-fi end of the lo-fi spectrum." Veneer is the debut album by Swedish-born minstrel José González…already a certified quiet-is-the-new-loud legend in his native Sweden. Who needs bells and whistles (outside of a forlorn trumpet and some subliminal percussion) when songs are this strong and the voice is this perfect? When all that you need to hold an audience in blissful rapture is what you can balance on a barstool? Jose’s sensual, sensitive, powerful vocals and supernaturally gifted guitar playing truly recalls artists like Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, Hayden, and Mark Kozelek. He’s earned the accolades by writing incredible songs and staying true to his heart, keeping the songs barebones simple.

The José González song "Crosses" was featured on the season finale of The OC.

Review

"A striking collection of hushed and autumnal indiepop bedroom songs that reside on the hi-fi end of the lo-fi spectrum." -- All Music Guide

"An ethereal, sometimes-aloof troubadour, González will sing you to sleep and then dash off under cover of night..." -- Pitchfork

"Dark, still, oddly powerful elliptical folksongs that suggest Paul Simon...or John Martyn...adrift in Arthur Russell’s "World of Echo." -- Mojo Magazine

"Dreamily introspective vocal and minor key melodies...all powered by Gonzales's mazily intricate guitar picking." -- The Telegraph

"Equally in thrall to the floating drone of post rock as to the elegant finger picking of Bert Jansch..." -- Time Out London (UK)

"Succinct acoustic meditation...hypnotic guitar figures that create the feeling that you’ve stumbled into a pre-dawn workout for emerging finger-pickers." -- Harp Magazine

"Swedish singer-songwriter marries [Nick] Drake’s mournful minimalism to deftly picked, Latino guitar. The results...are extraordinary." -- Uncut Magazine (UK)

1. Slow moves
2. Remain
3. Lovestain
4. Heartbeats
5. Crosses
6. Deadweight on velveteen
7. All you deliver
8. Stay in the shade
9. Hints
10. Save your day
11. Broken arrow

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 6, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hidden Agenda
  • ASIN: B000AM6OKI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #433,680 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Juan Mobili on September 21, 2005
Format: Audio CD
When it comes to Folk, recent years have been bountiful with great new and original artists. Whether you think of Sam Beam, Polly Paulusma or Devendra Banhart, just to name just a very few great and distinct voices.

Folk is reinventing itself and, as the Kings of Inconvenience's first album announced, "quiet is the new loud." In that vein, "Veneer" -Jose Gonzalez's debut- should be considered another omen of Folk's unending trove of beauties, and proof that this is someone to keep tabs on.

Jose Gonzalez is a resident Gothenburg, Sweden, the son of Argentinean parents and, as the result of this album, this year's "best new artist" Swedish Grammy winner.

The story goes that his father gave Jose two books of guitar tunes -one of Beatles' songs and the other Bossa Nova- after which point he picked up the instrument, studied Flamenco and Classical guitar, developed an interest on Joao Gilberto and Joy Division, and started to compose his own material.

Speaking of his songs, the comparisons already abound, some are too generic -are we going to associate anyone who picks up an acoustic guitar and sings in a hushed voice with Nick Drake?- while other may misguide you. For instance, there's indeed a touch of early Paul Simon, parallels to Iron & Wine and even a hint of Mark Kozelek, in Gonzalez' style.

Still, when it comes to influences, I find stronger forces shaping his sound. Namely, the spirit of Joao Gilberto's intimate gems and the apparent inheritance of Argentinean melancholia ... all good things, of course, but not telling the full story about this guy.

Gonzalez is more than a faithful copyist. What he's done is embodied his influences deeply, and brought a very personal tone to these -all self-penned- songs.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Olukayode Balogun on June 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Like many, I first became aware of Jose Gonzalez through one of his songs, "Heartbeats" being used to advertise a new electronic product on TV. The scene in the ad was typical California: San Francisco, a warm sunny day, and with loads of different beautiful colours dancing across the screen. The song captured the scene magnificently, and apparently, the advertising was telling us that this was the beauty of colour that would get with one of these TVs.

The interesting thing is that the lyrics of the song, ("To call for hands of above, to lean on. Wouldn't be good enough for me") have absoultely nothing to do with either bright summer days or fancy new electronic gadgets but somehow it just works. The sheer warmth of his voice (drenched in - to these ears - latin/Brazilian influence) and the magic of his guitar playing, just makes it work. In fact, it wouldn't really matter what language he was singing in. Even if it was Martian, I'd still love it.

The other interesting thing, at least for me, is that although I've always loved acoustic guitar, I would never have thought that an entire album of songs with just guitar and voice would be sustainable. There is a brief trumpet solo at the end of "Broken Arrows", the last song on the CD but apart from that, it's as pure as the driven snow. It works on that level too.

Even his lyricism has a certain purity. Take the song "Lovestain" for instance: "You left a lovestain on my heart, And you left a bloodstain on the ground. But blood comes off easily". Now anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of crime scene investigation will know that blood is a demon to get off of any surface and therein lies the power of the lyric. The pain of love lost might eventually become bearable but it never really goes away? Not only that - those three short sentences are the entire song. And again, it works!

A beautiful collection of heart-wrenching and soul-stirring songs. Pure artistry at its best.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Scott D. Grindstaff on September 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Jose Gonzalez is a class act. One of his greatest talents is his gift in combining a beautiful, tranquil voice with stimulating, rousing instrumentation. 'Veneer' reflects this perfect combination track after track, and brings the acoustic genre to a new level. It is the perfect soundtrack for buffering this crazy world we live in today. I was introduced to Jose via his work on the latest Zero 7 album. His tracks on that cd bring depth and substance. Likewise, 'Veneer' recharges the mind while soothing the soul...as in my favorite lyric: "Cast some light and you'll be alright".

I have seen Jose perform live twice and even had the opportunity to chat with him briefly. Watching him live is a treat. He becomes one with his guitar, as if he were born playing it. Jose Gonzalez is a rare talent, a humble performer, and a genuinely good guy. Get to know him...get 'Veneer'.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Manny Hernandez HALL OF FAME on January 11, 2006
Format: Audio CD
2005 continued to be a great year for folk. Sufjan Stevens released the best album in the genre and his best so far, and Swedish-born Argentinian, Jose Gonzalez, put out this fantastic record. "Veneer" will make you think of Nick Drake and Elliott Smith, no matter how hard you avoid it. But it's not forced or engineerd. It's natural. It's organic. And the result is brilliant. The album is simple, yet it gets to you in many ways. All the songs are the man and his guitar, with a voice so mellow that you won't have much to do against it.

Without a doubt, one of the best in 2005, and one of the best discoveries in recent times.
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