Minus The Bear-Acoustics

Minus The Bear Acoustics:

Acoustic versions of previously released songs. For a band that relies heavily on effects pedals, making an acoustic EP seems like a dangerous idea. Normally guitar dominated, going acoustic gives more focus to the lyrics and piano playing than on the original tracks. Don’t despair though, the guitars get a lot of time to shine, and do so effectively, imaginatively reinvented for this EP. Fortunately the lyrics and piano playing are both as enjoyable as the reworked guitar parts, and the band reinvents their tunes successfully. Though I’d say the originals beat out the acoustic versions, this EP is an interesting and worthwhile listen. I wouldn’t advise new listeners to start with this disk though, since much of what makes this album interesting is comparing the new versions to the originals, and quite frankly this EP isn’t what Minus The Bear are about, this is just a rewarding detour.

Alela Diane-To Be Still

Alela Diane To Be Still:

American folk sung with a powerful voice and featuring beautiful accompaniment. Diane’s lyrics are powerful and emotive. She covers a variety of topics all guaranteed to hit home. Her voice and guitar playing are also exceptional, practically demanding attention. Guest musicians playing mandolin, cello, and fiddle never overplay, and the layered back up vocals do wonders to accentuate important lines. This is a career that will be worth following.

Rating: 14/15 dumbfounded album reviewers

Bell X1-Blue Lights on The Runway

Bell X1 Blue Lights on The Runway:

Acoustic indie pop with a bit of country twang. The music and vocal harmonies are pleasant enough, but the lyrics run the gamut from average to a little goofy.

Rating: 9/15 Questions for this Mr. Wolf character

Ugly Casanova-Sharpen Your Teeth

Ugly Casanova Sharpen Your Teeth:

Indie pop, heavy on acoustic finger-picking and strings. Tasteful layered vocals and touching lyrics make this one an interesting listen.

Rating: 11/15 Modest Mice