Thursday, November 3, 2011
Jose Gonzalez "Veneer" (2005)
There was a phenomenon that I noticed when I worked at Amoeba. All the hip kids would come in & buy certain cult hit records. Then two or three years later, you'd start to hear records being released that were clearly heavily influenced by these same records. In this case, you can hear the influence of Nick Drake. Simon Reynolds would probably consider this an example of "record collection" rock, but I don't see what the problem is. After all, the early punks spoke openly about their obsessive listening to the "Nuggets" compilation. And the Stones (among others) openly copied the Chess blues records they could find.
In many ways Gonzalez what you'd expect from a 21st century recording artist. Argentine - born, Swedish -raised, recording in English, & heavily influenced by Nick Drake & other older English folk artists. The world is getting smaller & smaller, & these sorts of counterintuitive cross-cultural influences seem appropriate.
This is a beautiful & delicate record. It may be among the best of this new century. I think that people will be listening to it many years from now.