Vestiges & Claws

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Vestiges & Claws
Vestiges and Claws album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released17 February 2015
GenreIndie, folk
ProducerJosé González
José González chronology
In Our Nature
Vestiges & Claws
Singles from Vestiges & Claws
  1. "Every Age"
  2. "Leaf Off/The Cave"

Vestiges & Claws is the third studio album by Swedish singer-songwriter José González, released on 17 February 2015 on Mute Records.[1] It is González's first solo album since his second studio album In Our Nature was released in 2007.

The album was a commercial success and was also critically acclaimed. It received an IMPALA Silver Sales Award and won the IMPALA Album of the Year Award.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[4]
Consequence of SoundB[5]
Drowned in Sound8/10[6]
musicOMH3/5 stars[7]
PopMatters7/10 stars[11]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[12]

Vestiges & Claws received favorable reviews from contemporary music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 74, based on 25 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[3]

Matt Collar of AllMusic praised the album, stating, "These are incredibly moving songs full of bittersweet asides that strike you at first with their haiku-like simplicity, only to draw you deeper into González's iceberg of ideas. Ultimately, it's this ability to stop you in your tracks and hold you with the warmth of his voice as you contemplate your existence that makes Vestiges & Claws such an arresting, uplifting joy."[4] Anna Byrne of Drowned in Sound gave the album a favorable review, stating, "Although the themes in the album vary hugely - uncertainty, fear, hope, regret - the quality and confidence of the music is consistent. It's heartening that there are no covers on this album - a first for González. With Vestiges & Claws, he is embracing his own style, his musical expertise, his lyrical prowess - without any hint of hesitance or the feeling that, in order to make a great record, he needs to feature what's already familiar."[6]

Andy Baber of musicOMH was more critical of the album, stating, "Ultimately, Vestiges & Claws is a solid return from González. In many ways, it is his most confident and personal record – with the covers that have previously featured on his last two LPs noticeably absent here – and he explores some interesting concepts over the 10 tracks. Whether it will get the attention of his previous work is another question, though, as without a distinctive cover, his comforting, low-key style can at times become repetitive and forgettable."[7] Ian Cohen of Pitchfork gave the album an average review, stating, "Even when Vestiges & Claws exudes strain, González never gives the impression of truly challenging himself. When he draws on the canons of both ancient philosophy and post-punk, he sounds like José González. Whether covering Massive Attack, Bruce Springsteen, or Low, he sounds like José González. Even when fronting a legitimate, kraut-influenced rock band in Junip, it just sounds like José González with the rhythmic tracework of his solo albums filled in. But as a record that so frequently meditates on unchanging human nature, that could just mean Vestiges & Claws achieved exactly what it set out to do."[10]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by José González.

1."With the Ink of a Ghost"5:18
2."Let It Carry You"5:34
3."Stories We Build, Stories We Tell"3:25
4."The Forest"3:20
5."Leaf Off/The Cave"4:53
6."Every Age"3:10
7."What Will"6:27
10."Open Book"2:40


Chart (2015) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[14] 34
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[15] 58
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[16] 79
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[17] 114
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[18] 86
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 55
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 7
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 44
US Billboard 200[22] 72


  1. ^ Moon, Tom. "First Listen: José González, 'Vestiges & Claws'". NPR. Retrieved April 30, 2015.
  2. ^ ""Vestiges & Claws" by José González wins IMPALA Album of the Year Award"". sur Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ a b "Vestiges & Claws – José González". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  4. ^ a b Collar, Matt (2015-02-20). "Vestiges & Claws – José González". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  5. ^ Henry, Dusty (2015-02-09). "José González – Vestiges & Claws". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  6. ^ a b Byrne, Anna (2015-02-12). "José González – Vestiges & Claws". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  7. ^ a b Baber, Andy (2015-02-13). "José González: Vestiges & Claws". musicOMH. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  8. ^ Homewood, Ben (2015-02-16). "7 Great Albums That May Have Passed You By This Week". NME. Retrieved 2016-08-02. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  9. ^ Saunders, Hilary (2015-02-25). "José González: Vestiges & Claws". Paste. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  10. ^ a b Cohen, Ian (2015-02-18). "José González: Vestiges & Claws". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  11. ^ Stevens, Nathan (2015-02-17). "José González: Vestiges & Claws". PopMatters. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  12. ^ Weiner, Sophie (2015-02-17). "José González: Vestiges & Claws". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  13. ^ Brodsky, Rachel (2015-02-19). "José González: Vestiges & Claws". Spin. Retrieved 2016-08-02.
  14. ^ " – José González – Vestiges & Claws". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  15. ^ " – José González – Vestiges & Claws" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  16. ^ " – José González – Vestiges & Claws" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  17. ^ " – José González – Vestiges & Claws" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  18. ^ " – José González – Vestiges & Claws" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  19. ^ " – José González – Vestiges & Claws". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  20. ^ " – José González – Vestiges & Claws". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  21. ^ " – José González – Vestiges & Claws". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  22. ^ "José González Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved August 2, 2016.