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4.3 out of 5 stars
Veneer
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 5 March 2006
on the one hand i'm shocked that there are people here who have given this a poor rating, calling it dull and someone even caling it too short (correction! most albums are too long, full of fillers that make for a shoddy product - it's only in recent years that cds have become so long - if you check out older classic albums they are mostly all around the half hour mark - and the extended cd was brought in to justify the hike in cd prices that we were seeing a few years ago, with average price being around the £14 mark) - on the other i'm shocked that so many people like this! i haven't seen the sony advert spoken of, but i heard a track (crosses) on the radio while driving and nearly crashed. bought the cd straight away. i was thinking - how did music as sublime as this get on the radio 1 album chart show? (which i don't normally listen to, but i have no cd facility in my car).
i can understand the comparisons to nick drake as there is a similarity there. however, i am not actually mad keen on nick drake - i don't quite connect with it. this music by gonzalez is to me more akin in spirit to jeff buckley - it feels very raw and beautiful, although understated - deep and mesmeric. it's gorgeous, really, like morning in a dew-filled forest. if morning in a dew-filled forest isn't your thing, then you might prefer something else. i would also say that 'heartbeats', which apparently is the famous track, is very different in spirit to most of the album - it's much more upbeat - on the whole the album is very moody, even dark, encouraging introspection. i love his voice, too, which someone on here has slated - very understated but heartfelt - subtle - blends like an instrument without overpowering the guitar. EXCELLENT - hope success doesn't ruin him!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2006
Unfortunately it seems artists like Jose Gonzales only get recognition via multi-million pound automobile adverts...or latterly adverts for great television sets.
This album is one that penetrates the soul in deep places, this is a folk album of the highest calibre.
From track ones haunting lyrics 'keep whispering your mantras', to the hispanic feel of track two and the eye watering beauty of why you have or are going to purchase this album (track four)I cannot recommend this album without recommending Gravenhursts Flashlite Seasons (the vibe is very similar to this album) and any of the three great Nick Drake albums (Pink Moon, Bryter Later, Five Leaves Left) .....i think it takes guts to put this album alongside any of Drakes but I do believe this album comes close and should not be underestimated or overlooked.
Highly Recommended.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2006
Having purchased this CD purely because I liked the track used in the Sony Bravia advert, I have to say that the whole CD is excellent.

Its simple, engaging and highly recommended.

Tim
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2006
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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
When I heard the song Heartbeats on the Sony BRAVIA advert, I fell in love. I couldn't resist buying the album, even though I somewhat expected not to like it.

I found it to be a great album. I had long been searching for an album to which I could relax, and I finally found it. Heartbeats clearly stands out as the defining track, but the rest I was very pleased with. The guitar work's inspirational, too.

If you're a mid-level guitarist looking for some inspiration, or are looking for an original, yet relaxing album, here it is.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2006
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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2006
Really good album, I never find it boring or repetitive as others have said. Each song has something special to it, there isn't a weak one; I especially like 'Lovestain', 'Heartbeats' or 'Deadweight On Velveteen'.

And thanks to Amazon reviewers for making me discover Nick Drake with their reviews!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2005
This is, without doubt, the best folk LP you will hear for a long long time. For those who consider Folk to be a 4 letter word, you got it wrong. This aint a cardigan, finger in the ear, hey-nonny nonny album... it is a perfect marriage of Nick Drake stylings with lush subtle flamenco touches. Don't worry, it isn't a 'world music' LP. This is bona fide... start to finish... it will knockk your socks off, break your heart and finish you off.
This man is godlike... so get on the train early so you can crow to your pals and say you found him first. For those who like Bonnie Prince Billy's starker stuff, to those who love Pink Moon... all the way to Fred Neil fans... this has everything you need. Need is a good word... you NEED this LP. I am quite content to keep him all to myself, but in all honesty, its too good not to share.
I am usually the most critical swine when it comes to reviewing LP's, and I can't praise this highly enough. Buy it. You'll be ranting and gibering like a loon after one listen. Trust me. Go buy it. Now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2007
This album is absolutley stunning, definitely one of my favourite albums of the last year. It is very chilled, the combination of his voice and guitar playing is truly mesmorizing. The only negative thing I could say about it is that it never seems long enough!

If you like this you should check out the new Zero 7 album, The Garden, as Jose features on quite a few tracks.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2006
Wow, never did music using the same guitar part have so much impact on me, the stripped back acoustic guitar and raw vocals really make a stunning album.
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