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Acoustic 07

Acoustic 07

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

GIVEN the sheer number of acoustic-based singer-songwriters at the moment, it’s little wonder that a compilation series has been put together.

The best thing about Acoustic 07, however, is the sheer volume of artists that have been included – some obvious, others pleasantly surprising. It’s a double album of 38 tracks that hits very few duff notes.

CD one contains the better known recordings, with everyone from Jose Gonzalez (Lovestain) and Willy Mason (Oxygen) featuring.

But there’s still plenty to savour with highlights coming from the likes of Bat For Lashes (Trophy), Brendan Benson (Cold Hands (Warm Heart) and the damn near seminal Young Folks from Peter, Bjorn and John – trust us, if you haven’t heard it already, you’ll be whistling and hand-clapping along by the second or third listen.

Elsewhere, Rufus Wainwright’s lovely Beautiful Child melts the heart, Morcheeba’s Lighten Up provides a worthy reminder of the skills of one of Britain’s great chillout acts, and Grandaddy leave a farewell reminder of their talents with Rear View Mirror.

CD2 is slightly more obscure – but it’s where some of the biggest surprises lie in wait.

Take the Doors-like psychedelia of Espers’ Mansfield and Cyclops as a good starting point, or the tender heartbreak of Juno Falls’ The Last Love Song – both fine examples of the contrasting nature of acoustic based music. It doesn’t conform to a set formula and can be beautifully simple or amazingly expansive.

Sebastien Tellier’s La Ballad Du George is another gem awaiting discovery, while there’s some nicely spaced out folk from Justine Electra’s Fancy Robots – a track that The Flaming Lips would probably be proud to call their own.

And let’s not forget a contribution from one of the most consistently overlooked bands working in the UK today, South, whose glorious Up Close & Personal provides compelling evidence of why you should rush out and buy their latest album, Adventures In The Underground Journey To The Stars.

The great thing about Acoustic 07 is the way it simultaneously eases you into a relaxed state of mind whilst opening your ears to a great many artists you probably never knew existed.

It’s a memorable compilation that will probably be the envy of dinner parties should you put it on while entertaining; not to mention a terrific Sunday afternoon come down. It’s well worth a place in any record collection.

The only disappointment? The absence of Jack Johnson, arguably the greatest purveyor of acoustic-based music working today.

Track listing:
Disc: 1

  1. Lovestain – Gonzales, Jose
  2. Beautiful Child – Wainwright, Rufus
  3. Honey Child What Can I Do – Campbell, Isobel
  4. Savages – Weller, Paul
  5. Cold Hands (Warm Heart) – Benson, Brendan
  6. Oxygen – Mason, Willy
  7. Trophy – Bat For Lashes
  8. Lua – Bright Eyes
  9. Young Folks – Peter, Bjorn & john
  10. Girl In The War – Ritter, Josh
  11. This Could Be My Last Day – Duke Special
  12. You And I Are A Gang Of Losers – Dears
  13. Lighten Up – Morcheeba
  14. Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole – Wainwright, Martha
  15. Cruel – Calexico
  16. Put A Penny In The Slot – Regan, Fionn
  17. Rear View Mirror – Grandaddy
  18. Galileo (Someone Like You) – O’Rourke, Declan
  19. Steady Rollin – Two Gallants

Disc: 2

  1. Naked As We Came – Iron & Wine
  2. Slow Build – Duels
  3. When The Pain Dies Down – Stills, Chris
  4. Let’s Get Out Of this Country – Camera Obscura (1)
  5. La Ballade Du Georges – Tellier, Sebastien
  6. Wagon Wheel (These Days) – Deighton, Rosalie
  7. Fancy Robots – Justine Electra
  8. Silly Lilly Funny Bunny – Hecker, Maximilian
  9. Last Love Song – Juno Falls
  10. Mansfield And Cyclops – Espers
  11. Drunken Hands – Kjellvander, Christian
  12. To Let Myself Go – Brun, Ane
  13. Heaven Of My Heart – White, Jim
  14. Heart Of Glass – Nouvelle Vague
  15. Up Close And Personal – South (1)
  16. Steady As She Goes – Yorkston, James
  17. BREAKDOWN – Lindsay, Steven
  18. Been So Long – Vetiver
  19. Save me – Mann, Aimee