Acoustic

(Dave Matthews, John Mayer, Dashboard Confession)

Steven Dunston “Hymns about Her” – a melodic piano-filled pop album with flawless vocals

Steven Dunston originally intended his songs to be freely distributed in the Web. Thus, he joined Jamendo and released two albums in 2006, both of which have been consistently faring well among audiences in Jamendo. One of these albums, Hymns About Her, has been receiving noticeable praises from web users, calling it nothing short of a masterpiece. After listening to the songs in Steven Dunston's latest album, I couldn't deny it myself. The songs are relieving to listen to; the raw vocals of Denston is highlighted by the stripping down of the musical arrangement. Most of his songs only have the piano as accompaniment.

WhiteRoom – a neoromantic pop album by WhiteRoom

Ever heard of neoromantic pop? I must confess that I haven't, that is, until I came across WhiteRoom's self-titled album. "WhiteRoom" is fast-paced, mournful, and thoughtful---all in equal measures. The sound is quite unique. "If Radiohead’s unborn bastard children had survived, been raised on a steady diet of Massive Attack, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, and Duke Ellington, you might have managed to engineer a group like WhiteRoom," says one music review. I couldn't agree more.

Reead “Nobody’s Innocent” – a pop-dance album with an acoustic touch

Nobody's Innocent is a pop-dance, electro/club album by 27-year old French artist Reead. If you can summarize the whole album in one word, it would have to be "surprising". The collection is a tight mesh of dance tunes and quiet acoustic serenades, which from the sound of it doesn't seem too appealing---but trust me, this album is one surprise you shouldn't miss. The dance tracks reflect the artist's funky side as influenced by constantly evolving pop singer Madonna while the soothing acoustic tracks show the strong impact of pop-rock band Lifehouse on the French singer. Reead manages to pull off this unlikely union of two different genres with admirable aplomb.

Jay Bennett – “Whatever Happened I Apologize”

Jay Bennett was an acclaimed musician, guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer most often recognized for his work in the twice Grammy-nominated band Wilco. He has played with the band for 7 year and after leaving Wilco in 2001 he has recorded 5 solo albums. Bennett released "Whatever Happened I Apologize" only on rockproper.com as a free Creative Commons album in November 2008. He died in his sleep on May 24th, 2009. RIP.

Josh Woodward: Only Whispering

This is an oldie-but-goody release from Josh Woodward. Praised for his melodic voice & witty lyrics Josh definitely delivers on this one. "Only Whispering" is probably the most acoustic of all seven of his albums and as he himself admits, the one most focused on storytelling. My favorite songs include "I'll Be Right Behind You, Josephine" for sweet lyrics & "East Side Bar" for its swing-like happy feeling. If you need a nice relaxing album to listen to on a quiet day - here is a perfect one for you.