October 20, 2021

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Jose Gonzalez’s ‘Local Valley’: Album Review

3 min read

Although he is still best known for the pastoral cover of the popular knife “Heartbeats” by the 2005 Sony Bravia ad (you know, the balls bounced with San Francisco), the interpretation of that song by Swedish-Argentine singer Jose Gonzalez has all the features of his solo work. Gonzalez has a soft voice and soft voice (we once witnessed a South through a southwest performance where he was almost completely immersed in an impressive drunken crowd chat) and often performed alone, accompanying himself on classical guitar and subtle influences, so it’s very easy Classify him as a Nick Drake-style folk singer. (He is a member of the long-running All-Rock group Junip and has toured with a backing band, Bright Lights).

Yet that limited sound ignores the deceptive complexity of his songs and formats, and his songwriting methods incorporate electronic music patterns and textures in a way that almost surrounds some of his songs, with a subconscious secondary layer of repetition and atmosphere. Both musically and lyrically, his best songs have two levels: Surface and Subtext (no coincidence that the song “Void” here begins with “Layer on Layer” lyrics). And the analogy of electronic music is cut in both ways: sometimes it’s more high-energy, such as “Head On”, where he creates melodies and dense embellishments on a repetitive rhythmic guitar figure that will be danced in different contexts; In “Tjomme”, he’s doing a slow push, singing a simple-minded song while basically jamming with himself (although it turns out that the lyrics of the song are angry voices over an unnamed “friend”). And “Dol” is virtually a tropical dance song.

“Local Valley” is no doubt a Gonzalez album, but there are several changes: this is his first solo album that uses computerized rhythms instead of the subtle sounds of his past endeavors, and it includes the first three songs in the language he speaks (English, Spanish) And Swedish). But it’s also arguably his most energetic solo album, much like the passive Drake-Ism of his past works has shown the way to a sound that is less fundamental change এটি it’s still mostly his and his guitar-living than his format. There are more multi-tracked vocals, there are more guitars and many songs are more live. And although a few of the African-influenced songs get a little candle-incense-boutique, the last track, a cover of Iranian-Swedish artist Laleh’s “An Stand Pa Jordan” (“A Moment on Earth”) is pretty much it is virtually a hymn.

Like its predecessor solo album, it is multi-functional, one degree higher than most albums, it works equally well as line-forward or line-back music-listeners can concentrate on it or just add atmosphere to it without distracting the environment. By And although there are many lyrics to the song, as Gonzalez puts it in the press material, “a crystal-clear, secular humanist agenda: dissenting, anti-cause,” it’s not like he’s hitting your head with it. In fact, he doesn’t hit you in the head with anything. Unlike many artists today, Gonzalez is not that kind of artist Claim Attention; The door is open if you like what you hear.

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