Jose Gonzalez – Local Valley (2021) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Jose Gonzalez – Local Valley (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 41:55 minutes | 783 MB | Genre: Folk
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © City Slang

Jos’e Gonz’alez, the musically gifted and socially aware singer-songwriter, continues to evolve his recorded legacy of poised, compassionate modern folk music. For his fourth album Gonz’alez worked in his home studio near Gothenburg in his native Sweden on a collection of typically smooth, delicate odes featuring his voice and his collection of nylon-stringed guitars. The only technological intrusion here is the use of an iPad drum machine app. Gonz’alez’s most recognizable sonic signature-and for fans also his most beloved quality-is the soothing, spellbinding quality of his high vocals which often show a Brazilian Tropic’alia influence and are usually looped in harmony with themselves. The brief opener “El Invento,” where he ponders mankind’s past and future and is one of the strongest songs written so far in his young career, is the first track he’s ever released with Spanish lyrics (his family fled Argentina after a military coup in 1976, two years before he was born) and has the additional distinction of having been used as part of the 2020 Nobel Prize ceremonies. Inspired by his daughter, its phrasing and descending verses are Local Valley’s most melodic moments. The album title, Gonz’alez explains, is a metaphor for humanity on earth: “two dogmatic tribes stuck in a state where they’re unable to see things from the other’s perspective, preventing them from establishing a more harmonic state.” To emphasize the point, Gonz’alez alternates his singing among the three languages he’s fluent in: Swedish, Spanish and English. Despite his devotion to lyrical explorations of intellectual complexities and philosophical speculation-as he puts it “anti-dogma, pro-reason”-the music is surprisingly charming and simple. A melody like the repeated guitar figure at the center of “Tjomme” (sung in Swedish) which is then charged by a continual drum pattern is lively and appealing. On the gentle grooves of the Latin-flavored “Swing,” in which he sings the key line, “Move your body buddy,” in English, he’s joined by the voice of his partner, illustrator Hannele Fernstr”om. The chittering of songbirds that open the album’s finale, “Honey, Honey” and are laced throughout “Visions” are a nice touch. And his measured cover of Iranian-Swedish singer’s Laleh “En Stund P^a Jorden” confirms its modern folk music classic status. Gonz’alez’s quiet, nuanced and moving gifts resound. – Robert Baird

1. Jos’e Gonz’alez – El Invento
2. Jos’e Gonz’alez – Visions
3. Jos’e Gonz’alez – The Void
4. Jos’e Gonz’alez – Horizons
5. Jos’e Gonz’alez – Head On
6. Jos’e Gonz’alez – Valle Local
7. Jos’e Gonz’alez – Lasso In
8. Jos’e Gonz’alez – Lilla G
9. Jos’e Gonz’alez – Swing
10. Jos’e Gonz’alez – Tjomme
11. Jos’e Gonz’alez – Line Of Fire
12. Jos’e Gonz’alez – En Stund Pa Jorden
13. Jos’e Gonz’alez – Honey Honey