Big Cheese reported on Thursday that Alkaline Trio have completed the recording of their next album. Although no titles or release dates have been confirmed, we have been told it will be an acoustic album. Cue the obligatory run-down of my top acoustic releases…
Given the soft-rock sound Sister Hazel have created for themselves, the transition to an acoustic album is hardly a challenge. What is so endearing about this album, however, is its live setting. With each of my favourite songs given an acoustic make-under, the album benefits from being recorded live. With the consideration needed for constructing an effective set list, the album has a natural flow, and remains free from stand-alone influences.
Okay, some of you may see this as a bit of a cheat. I don’t. I spent an entire two-week holiday listening to nothing but this album (I had bought the cassette on the ferry out). It is on this album we see Billie-Joe Armstrong showing signs of the song-writing prowess that has found favour as of late. Tracks like ‘Hold On’ are wonderfully constructed, and combine the band’s punk musings with acoustic sensibilities to great effect.
For A Rocket To The Moon, residents of an over-populated pop punk genre, releasing a credible acoustic release was always going to be a challenge. Prior to listening to this piece, I was skeptical about how effective an acoustic strip down would be. As it turns out…very. Between the lyrical content (particularly in opening track ‘Like We Used To’) and the re-imagined instrumentals, there is something pure and beautiful about the album, which deserves to listened to, and loved.
When you see the hits on offer throughout this 2003 effort, it’s hard to clear mind of the thoughts of ‘indulgent’ or ‘money-spinning’. I still don’t know why Bon Jovi felt the need to release this album. For the most part, however, I’m glad they did. ‘With radical changes abound throughout the album, all the classics like ‘You Give Love A Bad Name’ and ‘It’s My Life’ are still stunning, even if the thought of dressing them up differently just seems wrong. It may feel dusty, it may seem needless, but beneath all doubt, you’ll find a great album.
Of course, there are plenty more out there; some you may like more, others you may like less. If you find yourselves with a few spare minutes, however, I strongly urge you to check the above releases out.