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Jose Gonzalez – Vestiges & Claws (Mute)


Jose Gonzalez is either “that bloke who did the music for the Sony Bravia advert” or “that bloke who covered “Heartbeats” by The Knife” to the vast majority of the nation. Fewer folk will remember that he had one further hit record with his version of Kylie Minogue‘s “Hand On Your Heart”, and fewer still could tell you that Gonzalez is a Swedish born artist whose family fled a war torn Argentina in the 1970s to settle in Gothenberg. With this latest album, I doubt if this is about to change.

The Scandinavian’s third album is a rather rustic sounding affair, occasionally channelling John Martyn at his commercial peak, and fleetingly reminiscent of something from the soundtrack of ‘The Wicker Man’ (original 1973 version, of course). It’s all pleasant enough and if you know anyone who suffers from road rage, it would be prudent to slip this album into their car cd player while they’re not looking/waving their fists, and a wave of humility and calm will wash away the last remnants of their fury.

The only problem is that most of the tracks here are about as memorable as a discarded Lighthouse Family B-side. A bit harsh, perhaps, but the truth is that I’ve now played the album in full four times and I STILL can’t remember how any of the tracks go. Some sources claim that this is because ‘Vestiges & Claws’ is a more “mature” work than its predecessors, but come on, Jose was hardly Justin Bieber before, was he?

I’d love to be able to give you a blow-by-blow account of each song, but I’m afraid I can’t, because all the songs herein kind of meld together and it’s nigh on impossible to tell which one’s which. All I remember is that I liked ‘Let It Carry You’ the best.

Which all makes it sound like I hated the album. I didn’t. It’s actually quite agreeable in a funny kind of way but about as exciting as plain muesli.


God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.