Put Your Hand On Your Heart (Again): Jose Gonzalez Takes On Kylie Minogue

Jose Gonzalez plays a set at the 2008 PLUG Independent Music Awards. i i

Jose Gonzalez plays a set at the 2008 PLUG Independent Music Awards. Roger Kisby/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Roger Kisby/Getty Images
Jose Gonzalez plays a set at the 2008 PLUG Independent Music Awards.

Jose Gonzalez plays a set at the 2008 PLUG Independent Music Awards.

Roger Kisby/Getty Images

English / Spanish

In last week's show, Felix and Jas talked at length about the difference between a typical cover song and a reinterpretation. A standard cover tries to approximate the original as closely as possible, while a reinterpretation has to do with an artist reworking a song in his or her own voice and style.

One of my favorite artists, José González (Junip, Zero 7) rose to international fame when he released the single "Heartbeats," played at Starbucks everywhere between 2007 and 2008. "Heartbeats" is a remake of a song by the Swedish electronica duo The Knife.

González, whose parents are from Argentina, grew up in Sweden. He listened to his Dad's old bossa nova records and started playing guitar while his parents took siestas in the afternoon. As a solo act, his style is bare-bones, just González himself and a classical guitar. He's said that this style grew out of imitating Silvio Rodriguez as a kid.

My favorite González remake is his take on Kylie Minogue's "Hand On Your Heart," which came out in 1989. In a 2006 interview with Michele Norris for All Things Considered, Gonzalez said that one day he saw the Minogue video on TV and was struck by how happy the singer looked while she sang profoundly sad lyrics. So he decided to redo it with a classical guitar and an updated tone. His version on the 2006 EP Stay in the Shade is heart-wrenching. It's helped coax tears from my proud eyes during many a breakup. Without further ado, behold the changes the singer-songwriter made in the course of his reinterpretation. Note: The González version of this song could make you cry. The Minogue version probably won't.

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English / Spanish

Con La Mano En El Corazón (Otra Vez): José González Reinterpreta A Kylie Minogue

En el programa de la semana pasada, Felix y Jas hablaron mucho de las diferencias entre un cover y una reinterpretación. Un cover trata de recrear la versión original, mientras que una reinterpretación se trata de rehacer una canción de una forma consistente con la voz y estilo del artista que la está reimaginando.

Uno de mis artistas favoritos, José González (Junip, Zero 7) alcanzó la fama internacional cuando estrenó su sencillo "Heartbeats," a la vetna en Starbucks en los Estados Unidos entre el 2007 y el 2008.

González, cuyos padres son de Argentina, creció en Suecia. Solía escuchar la música bossa nova en la colección de discos que tenía su papa. Empezó tocando la guitarra mientras sus papas tomaban la siesta por las tardes. Como solista, su estilo es muy sencillo: su voz y su guitarra acústica. Según él, cuando era niño imitaba a Silvio Rodriguez.

La reinterpretación de González que más me gusta es su versión de "Hand On Your Heart", una canción que Kylie Minogue estrenó en 1989. En una entrevista del 2006 con Michele Norris para All Things Considered, González dijo que un día por casualidad vio el vídeo de Minogue y se sorprendió al ver a la cantante, tan feliz, cantando una letra tan triste. Así que él decidió rehacer la canción con una guitarra acústica y un tono nuevo. Su versión en el disco Stay in the Shade (2006) es desgarradora. Me ha producido lágrimas durante cortes con ex-novios. Sin más preámbulo, les presento los cambios que hizo el cantautor al reinterpretar la canción. Ojo: La versión de González te puede provocar lágrimas. La de Minogue, no tanto.

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