There is something fundamentally different in José Gonzalez new album, In Our Nature, than in his first album, Veneer. The classical guitar is still present and ever-compelling, but there is something more innate in his performance as if he connected to something inside of him that drives him. The lines and the texture are stronger and more complex, and the album focuses more on what drives human nature, rather than stories of the heart.
Originally a student pursuing his master’s in microbiology, Gonzalez conveys his story of atheism and biological behavior. In “Abram,” he speaks to his atheist beliefs. The song is the shortest in the set, but it’s perhaps the most profound. Every line is direct and clear: Even though you mean well, well most of the time/You’ve aided delusion and created bias in our minds.
He also covers war in his songs “How Low” and “Killing for Love.” His songs are not pointed directly at the people who are initiating war but rather at the mentality of it. Using his music for a divulgence into the forms of human behavior paired with the regenerated classical guitar truly makes his music, in one word, endearing. The final song, “Cycling Trivialities,” is, in my opinion, the best on the album. It’s as if it completes the essay with a “so what?” and acts as the conclusion to this chapter. It’s almost as if I can feel a sigh of resignation released in the final note.

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