José González - 'Vestiges & Claws'

6/10

It has been nearly eight years since José González last released a studio album and people are just as excited now as they were then. Despite only releasing two records at the beginning of the century, his legacy and impact back then was obviously enough to make people stand up and listen once again to this tortured singer-songwriter. And while the gap in releases has certainly made a difference to the music scene around him, how has González adapted his sound to a more contemporary level on his latest release?

His third full-length to date, 'Vestiges & Claws', is certainly one of his most upbeat so far. Listening back to his older music beforehand, you realise that time seems to have lifted the spirits of the Swedish-born songwriter and given his music a new perspective. All specks of the brooding guitarist in a smokey room have been erased on this new attempt as it now seems to conjure up images of González playing these songs in an open field with the sun shining. But despite its chirpy overtones, the record has trouble in keeping itself on a positive path as many of the songs don't seem to resinate in the same way they used to.

Not a disappointing return but not really what his fans would be expecting either. While it seems he has obviously matured along with his sound, the result just doesn't have that same passion that made him a star in the first place.

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