Local Valley

José González - Local Valley
Critic Score
Based on 14 reviews
2021 Ratings: #365 / 607
User Score
Based on 80 ratings
2021 Ratings: #566
Liked by 9 people
September 17, 2021 / Release Date
LP / Format
Mute / Label
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It's the consistency and quality of his work that continue to impress, and the timeless Local Valley slots easily into his catalog as if it's always been there.


In contrast to his previous output, Local Valley is positive, engaged, almost rousing.


With his albums being so few and far between, it would have been nice to see González branch out further, taking a few more risks. At times the record feels almost too safe: sounds merge beautifully but we’re still left feeling as if there’s one more step waiting to be taken.

Under The Radar

Like any good work of indie folk, González’s voice and guitar blend together as one, creating a uniquely placid experience. It’s sleepy, acoustically sound, and definitely worthy of its place in González’s already impressive catalogue.

American Songwriter

Ultimately, Local Valley becomes a place where melody and mystique are woven well in tandem and relentless reflection gives way to a sense of clarity and comfort. Be assured the depth of devotion is never in doubt.

God Is in the TV
On his eclectic yet connected new release, José González sounds both like his talented self and a man that has grown mentally in the last six years.
Northern Transmissions

Local Valley offers a refuge for you to be alone with your thoughts in the most constructive manner possible.

The Line of Best Fit

It’s an album that scores highly on philosophy and intellectual curiosity, providing a welcome moment of relief from the frenzy of modern life.

González hasn’t changed much since his 2003 debut ‘Veneer’ but his fans won’t be disappointed by his new project and will surely be glad to have new songs after waiting six years.
Loud and Quiet

For the most part ... González remained almost admirably unmoved by the passage of time; as softly thoughtful as ever.

Even when José González is strumming chords, he holds the spaces between strokes to create drama and nuance. There’s always something going on beneath the music.
No Ripcord

Though his nimble, fingerpicking arrangements remain, just as translucent as ever, González experiments with new approaches to spice things up.

After six years, the Swedish singer-songwriter returns with another soothing album of sweet indie-folk murmurs. Spare electronic beats bring a new pulse to his sound, but the voice remains the same.

Local Valley has no lows, nor any thrilling highs, but it's an even, easy pleasure from start to finish.

As a big fan of Junip, Veneer and In Our Nature, this is just as much of a let down as Vestiges & Claws. Neither have the raw emotion or depth of their predecessors, though they do still sound pretty and colorful sonically.
It’s been a while since we last heard from Argentinian-Swedish singer-songwriter and guitarist José González, but after an almost six year break he returns with his fourth studio album Local Valley. González’s music on this album is hard to dislike, with its mix of beautiful and intimate folk with strong existential lyrics about our place in this world and other rhythmic based tracks that focus more on sending off positive vibes. I liked how the album balanced ... read more
top notch indie folk LP. emotionally exhausting and lyrically inspired throughout its runtime.

it's disappointing as a José González fan. almost 7 years after Vestiges and Claws and it's saddening that we're hearing nothing we haven't heard before. maybe it's a good thing though, because he knows what he's good at and he sticks with it and despite my less than stellar opinion of the LP right now, I'd probably listen to it in a few months and praise it for being a classic.

fave ... read more
José González - Local Valley

Genre: Singer Songwriter
Country: Sweden

Final Verdict: 58% (Pleasant Album)
Yearly Ranking: 575th / 860

Highlight: Lasso In

Made me think of:
Sufjan Stevens
John Martyn
Ben Howard
Jose stays in his comfort zone which I honestly don’t have much of a problem with other than the fact that this new record doesn’t deliver nearly enough high points to make it seem worth the wait.

Fundamentally, I think the majority of the songs on here are just too positive for my personal tastes, and I’m not getting enough depth (both sonically and melodically) to really keep me invested or wanting to come back for more.

Fav Track: Visions
Least Fav Track: Tjomme
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Added on: April 14, 2021