9/25 new releases...jose gonzalez...mum...

Posted by Brad Schelden, September 24, 2007 11:05pm | Post a Comment
Out today is the beautiful new album from Jose Gonzalez. Mute reissued his first album "Veneer" about 2 years ago. So this is his second album. But his first real album for Mute. It is called "In Our Nature." I will admit that Jose Gonzalez is not for everybody. I was not even sure if he was for me for a long time. It took me a little while to give in to Mr. Gonzalez. Most of his popularity initially came from his brilliant little cover of "Heartbeats" by the Knife. It was used in a commercial that everybody seemed to watch on the internet.  I am not sure if the commercial sold more Sony Bravia LCD TVs. But it for sure sold thousands more copies of his debut album "Veneer." I think I actually heard his version of this song before I even heard The Knife. I would eventually become obsessed with their version as well which was on their album "Deep Cuts." Jose and The Knife share more than just this great song. They both come from the land of Sweden.

 Jose Gonzalez was born in Sweden but his parents are from Argentina. His music doesn't really sound like the mix of ABBA and Astor Piazzolla that you might expect from a Swedish Argentine. It has more of a minimal Nick Drake sound. Beautiful little minimal indie rock with just mostly guitar and vocals. He is sort of known for his covers and performs many of them live. His version of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is almost as magical as the original. He also has a cover on the new album which he has already been playing live for the last couple of years. The song is "Teardrop" by Massive Attack. It took me a while to actually even recognize it. Which is very impressive since it happens to be one the most overplayed songs of all time. The Massive Attack version with vocals from the wonderful Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins is fantastic. But I have heard that song so many times over the years that I had pretty much decided that I never needed to hear it again. And I also love Cocteau Twins more than anything. So it is a hard original to compete with. But his version is just as brilliant but completely different.  The whole album is  absolutely beautiful. It is simple and uncomplicated. Just a great album. Jose Gonzalez is actually one of those people that deserves any fame that he has acquired over the last couple of years. I just hope all those fans he got from that commercial don't forget about him. He has managed to create a second album that is just as good as the first. I am going to go listen to it again right now. And unlike that original Massive Attack song that he covers, I am not even close to being over Jose Gonzalez.

Also out today is the new album "Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy" by Mum. Mum come from the land of Iceland. The land that brought us Bjork and Sigur Ros. Mum is pronounced like "moom" and not just like the sort of mum that means mom. They remind me and probably remind you as well of Sigur Ros.  However, they are much more glitchy and cute than Sigur Ros. They have been a part of the IDM music scene for a while now and have had albums on Morr Music and Fat Cat. This is their fourth album. Just imagine a band like B. Fleischmann or Manual mixed with a more vocal band like Sigur Ros or Mew or even the Polyphonic Spree. A little bit dreampop and shoegaze mixed with some experimental intelligent dance music. It is a pretty fun album. Some of the songs are more instrumental and electronic. Reminding me of Aphex Twin every once in a while. But many of the songs actually use real instruments and feature vocals. Every once in a while it sounds like a little baby has got a hold of the controls and is putting his little baby voice into the songs. The vocals do remind me a bit of the child like vocals on albums from bands like The Cranes and Mew. Before this new album came "Summer Make Good" in 2004. They put out "Finally We Are No One" in 2002 and "Yesterday was Dramatic" in 2000. This new album could easily be a soundtrack to some weird experimental movie. The songs at times sound like weird songs from horror movies mixed with some weird children's folk album. The song "Guilty Rocks" is one of my favorites on the new album. It sort of reminds me of the opening song in Rosemary's Baby. Just not as haunting and scary. Maybe imagine what a fun horror movie would sound like. The album is great and interesting because it takes you on a sort of musical journey. It is at times ethereal and dreamy and at other times more playful. The album is a fun little adventure. But sort of like Jose Gonzalez it is not meant for everyone. But it is definitely meant for me.

also out today...

"Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon" by Devendra Banhart

"Just Like You" by Keyshia Cole

"Dethalbum" by Dethklok

"In the Marshes" by For Against

"Future Future Future Perfect" by Freezepop

"The Shepherd's Dog" by Iron & Wine

"Funk This" by Chaka Khan

"The Scene of the Crime" by Bettye Lavette

"Shocking Pinks" by the Shocking Pinks

"In Our Bedroom After the War" by Stars

"Two Gallants" by Two Gallants

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Jose Gonzalez (4), Mum (1)