Belle & Sebastian Too Heavy for You?
Jose Gonzalez is 25-year-old Swedish singer of Argentine extraction who covers Kylie Minogue tunes and sounds like a '60s British folkie. His acoustic guitar picking, precise but not fussy, and his 2:00 a.m. singing, gentle but not precious, brooding but not dour, combine for bohemian easy-listening music worth hearing even if you already have Nick Drake and/or Bert Jansch records. This EP leads with an extended version of "Stay in the Shade," from Gonzalez's 2005 full-length, Veneer, and follows with a handful of generally tuneful B-sides. His version of Minogue's "Hand on Your Heart" recalls Aztec Camera's take on Van Halen's "Jump": an acoustic rendering of a pop hit that bypasses novelty entirely just by aiming for the vulnerable heart of a good song.